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Few Attempt Conscientious Objector Status
GAO Reports Only 425 Applications From 2002-2006, 44% Denial Rate
10/01/2007 6:29 PM ET

A new GAO study on conscientious objectors in the US military reports that the number appealing for the status represented a relatively small percentage of the overall service.

Between 2002 and 2006, 425 servicemembers filed applications for conscientious objector status with the US military. Fifty-five percent of the applications were approved, 44% denied, and 3% were withdrawn, pending, closed, or not enough information was available to determine a reason.

GAO determined that the designation of conscientious objector status does not influence the award of VA benefits. Rather, whether or not a servicemember had an honorable or dishonorable discharge was the primary determinant, though the length of service could also be a factor.

Of the 224 servicemembers who were approved as conscientious objectors, 207 received honorable discharges and 14 received general discharges. Information on the other three was not available.

GAO Report on Conscientious Objectors d071196.pdf Highlights d071196high.pdf

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