What is AWOL soldier?
AWOL stands for Absence without Leave and a soldier on AWOL status literally means someone who is absent without getting permission from his/her superior. A soldier who goes on AWOL may do it for a variety of reasons. Some instances are unintentional and made it necessary for a particular soldier to leave his/her post without securing permission to do so. Other instances meanwhile are intentional with the soldier involved knowing that he/she may get reprimanded or punished for leaving his post without due notice.
AWOL instances may be very minor but in these cases the incident is still labeled as “without permission”. In cases where a soldier fails to show up to his/her post because of a family engagement, the soldier involved will still get the AWOL status because of his/her failure to inform the proper authority for his/her absence. In some military units, soldiers who report late for work or duty may also be considered AWOL until such time that they show up and perform their duties.
But aside from these minor incidences, some “AWOL situations” are more like “desertions”. Desertions are classified as intentional absence of a particular soldier without any intention of returning back for service. Some soldiers under these cases will go in hiding and will find every means not to show up and get punished for their actions. Desertion types of AWOL are considered major offenses and usually involve more severe punishment.
Depending on the nature of the incident, soldiers on AWOL may get court-martialed or may go to some form of military prison for punishment. Some soldiers may also get probation and will have to render services within his/her unit in the military. Minor cases may mean some scolding and/or verbal reprimand from superiors while others will be re-assigned to other departments or units. Some soldiers will also be relieved from their posts or will be given new tasks and responsibilities which will serve as lesson and punishment for the AWOL-crime committed.