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Entry-Level Discharges From the Coast Guard

Bowe Bergdahl was discharged from the coast guard in 2006, a few weeks after he joined. His separation was labeled an uncharacterized discharge, which is common for recruits who wash out within the first 180 days of service, while they are still considered entry level. This graph shows the number of coast guard recruits each year since 2001 and the percentage of recruits who were discharged within six months. Most of these separations occurred within the first three months of service—that number is also broken out here. The coast guard can let someone go for a number of reasons, but a few common ones are failed medical and physical standards; adjustment disorders; and fraudulent enlistments, like if someone deliberately omitted a crime on his or her record or left out a medical condition that could compromise his or her abilities.

All Recruits
3 months
6 months
Discharges within
  • '01
    3,976
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 418 Total within 6 months: 465
    11.7%
  • '02
    4,798
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 294 Total within 6 months: 331
    6.9%
  • '03
    4,080
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 264 Total within 6 months: 289
    7.1%
  • '04
    3,498
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 270 Total within 6 months: 291
    8.3%
  • '05
    3,782
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 292 Total within 6 months: 329
    8.7%
  • '06
    3,783
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 291 Total within 6 months: 314
    8.3%
  • '07
    3,996
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 310 Total within 6 months: 340
    8.5%
  • '08
    3,746
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 271 Total within 6 months: 297
    7.9%
  • '09
    3,313
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 179 Total within 6 months: 207
    6.2%
  • '10
    2,160
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 107 Total within 6 months: 119
    5.5%
  • '11
    3,131
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 147 Total within 6 months: 154
    4.9%
  • '12
    2,301
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 103 Total within 6 months: 115
    5%
  • '13
    1,480
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 158 Total within 6 months: 181
    12.2%
  • '14
    2,571
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 315 Total within 6 months: 339
    13.2%
  • '15
    2,911
    Discharges
    Within 3 months: 320 Total within 6 months: 368
    12.6%
Source: U.S. Coast Guard

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