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Honorable discharge for Navy Yard shooter who had a ‘pattern of misconduct’

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The gunman in Monday’s shooting carnage at the Washington Navy Yard exhibited a “pattern of misconduct” during his four-year tenure in the Navy Reserve, but he still received an honorable discharge.

Aaron Alexis’ military offenses included unauthorized absences from work, insubordination, disorderly conduct, room inspection failures and one instance of being absent without leave — with the most serious offenses handled in the civilian justice system, a Navy official said on background Tuesday.

While in the Navy Reserve, Alexis was arrested by civilian authorities for disorderly conduct in Dekalb Country, Ga., and for discharging a firearm through his ceiling into his neighbor’s apartment in Fort Worth, Texas. 

The Navy originally processed Alexis for a general discharge, which indicates a less-than-honorable record of service and disqualifies one from some veteran benefits, the official said. But his military offenses did not rise to meet the critieria for a general discharge, so he was given an honorable discharge. 

Alexis applied for early discharge through the Early Enlisted Transition Program, and was accepted and honorably discharged Jan. 31, 2011.

He automatically was enlisted in the Individual Ready Reserve for “minimum obligated service” through 2015, but he did not continue to drill with a unit. 

Alexis was a full-time reservist serving on active duty. 

He enlisted May 5, 2007, the same month he turned 28. Two-and-a-half years later, he achieved the rank of third class petty officer as an aviation electrician’s mate, working on aircraft electrical and instrument systems. 

Navy officials are trying to figure out how Alexis was able to get a common access card that allowed him to access the Navy Yard installation, where he killed 12 civilians in a shooting rampage Monday.

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