A single soldier mom’s legal case was resolved this week.
Former Spc. Alexis Hutchinson was granted an administrative discharge Thursday in lieu of trial by court martial, Fort Stewart officials confirmed late yesterday. Hutchinson was immediately demoted to the rank of private when her discharge was granted.
Hutchinson, a 3rd Infantry Division soldier, voluntarily requested the administrative discharge, said Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson.
Hutchinson, a cook stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, missed a scheduled deployment with her unit in November. She was facing charges of missing movement, absence without leave, dereliction of duty and insubordinate conduct toward a noncommissioned officer.
Her supporters say the 21-year-old single mother missed her deployment flight because she didn’t have childcare for her infant son, Kamani, and feared she would lose custody of her child if she deployed.
Hutchinson had reportedly arranged for her mother to care for her son, but the arrangement fell through days before her scheduled deployment, she told authorities.
According to an official press release, during the Army’s investigation of Hutchinson’s case evidence was discovered “that differed significantly from Pvt. Hutchinson’s explanation of events.”
“The investigation revealed evidence, from both other soldiers and from Pvt. Hutchinson herself, that she didn’t intend to deploy to Afghanistan with her unit and deliberately sought ways out of the deployment,” the release said.
Army officials said many soldiers who currently serve in Afghanistan are, like Hutchinson, single parents or both husband and wife are active duty military. These soldiers face similar challenges arranging for childcare when they deploy, officials said.
“Pvt. Hutchinson’s case was thoroughly examined and resolved according to its own unique set of facts and circumstances,” Larson said. “After doing so and taking into account Pvt. Hutchinson’s voluntary request, which contained an admission of guilt to an offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Fort Stewart senior commander (Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, 3rd ID deputy commander general-rear) decided to administratively discharge Pvt. Hutchinson from the Army.”
Larson said Hutchinson does not have to disclose which of the offenses she admitted guilt.
“That is one of her rights,” he said.
Hutchinson should complete her out-processing during the next week, before receiving her discharge papers, Larson said.
He added that in Hutchinson’s case an administrative discharge is “in the best interest of the Army, Pvt. Hutchinson and the American people.”