Protesting Vet Faces General Discharge

Marine board acts after antiwar rally; corporal vows to appeal
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2007 7:43 AM CDT
Cpl. Adam Kokesh gestures to supporters as head back into his hearing.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In a decision that may hold implications for veterans' free-speech rights, a disciplinary panel has recommended that a decorated Marine who appeared at an antiwar protest in desert fatigues receive a general discharge. Adam Kokesh, who had been honorably discharged from active duty, says the military is using "tactics of intimidation" against the protest group Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Kokesh, who removed his military emblems before the March demonstration, said yesterday he will appeal. A general discharge is a step down from an honorable discharge and connotes "significant negative" conduct but allows the service member to keep his benefits. Kokesh argued that because he wasn't on active duty, the Marine code of conduct does not apply.