Drugs Have No Place on Base
By Maj. Robin Petterson, Judge Advocate General , 104th Fighter Wing
/ Published January 10, 2009
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts -- Do you want to ruin and end your military career? Do you want to make it very difficult to find civilian employment? Try using drugs and that's just what will happen. The Air National Guard has a random drug testing policy that could catch anyone anytime who uses drugs. If you do drugs, you will get caught.
The Air National Guard must maintain the health and fitness of its unit to meet its duties and responsibilities should our nation call upon us in a time of need. Drug use is strictly incompatible with this goal.
The drug testing procedure is random. This means at any time you could be notified to participate in our drug testing program. In fact, your name could randomly come up for testing a few months in a row. This has happened. If you are notified, you would have to provide a urine sample that would then be tested in the Air Force Drug Testing Laboratory. The first test administered on a portion of the urine is called a screening test. If the screening test is negative, no further testing is conducted. If that test is positive a second test is performed. The second test is called a re-screen test. If the second test is negative, no further testing is done. If it is positive, a third portion of urine is tested using a third test. The third test is called the confirmation test. It is a highly sensitive, state-of-the-art test and looks for evidence of a specific drug. If the confirmation test is negative, the entire urine sample is considered negative. If it is positive, the base where the sample came from is notified of a positive drug test.
Do not think that if you are to be tested you can creatively get out of giving a sample? This will not be allowed. All members called for testing will give a sample, period. There is nothing a member can do to hide the presence of drugs in their body if they have used them. Testing is too thorough and complex to not detect drugs when used.
Drug testing is for both the traditional guardsman and the full time civilian employees of the ANG. In both cases, if a positive drug test results, the process for discharge will begin. Once a full time civilian employee loses military status, they will be terminated from their full time employment within 30 days.
This next part may surprise you. Commanders have the authority to order a drug test of an entire unit or part of a unit at anytime. This type of inspection is done for the health and welfare of the unit. Likewise, a Commander can require a specific individual to test. This is based upon the Commander's authority to order a search and seizure of the member's urine. If the unit wants to test you, it will.
If you test positive for drugs you will be administratively discharged. If you receive a General discharge your eligibility for reentry into the military may be affected. Other rights and benefits will be adversely affected as well. If you receive an Under Other Than Honorable Conditions discharge you will be ineligible for reentry into the military and certain benefits can be lost as determined by the Veteran's Administration.
Clearly, it doesn't pay to use drugs, ever! A single misjudgment could seriously and adversely affect you for the rest of your life, especially your employment. Every unit member of the 104 FW is highly valued; we don't want to lose a single member because of drug use. Just don't do it.