What Does AWOL Stand For

Learn what does AWOL stand for, its consequences, examples, and statistics in the military. Understand the impact of going AWOL on individuals and organizations.


AWOL stands for Absent Without Leave. It is a military term used to describe a service member who is absent from their duty station without authorization. In this article, we will explore what AWOL means, its consequences, and how it can impact individuals and organizations.

What Does AWOL Mean

AWOL is a term used to describe a situation where a service member is not present at their assigned duty station and has not received permission to leave. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including personal emergencies, mental health issues, or simply failing to report back to duty after a scheduled leave.

Consequences of Going AWOL

Going AWOL can have serious consequences for service members, including disciplinary action, loss of pay, demotion in rank, and even court-martial proceedings. It can also have lasting effects on a service member’s career and reputation.

Examples of AWOL Cases

  • In 2019, a Marine Corps recruit went AWOL from boot camp and was later found hiding in a storage room on base.
  • In 2015, an Army soldier went AWOL after being denied leave to attend a family event and was apprehended by military police after several days on the run.

Statistics on AWOL Incidents

According to military reports, the rate of AWOL incidents has decreased in recent years due to improved monitoring and communication technologies. However, there are still cases of service members going AWOL each year, highlighting the ongoing challenge of maintaining discipline in the military.


AWOL is a serious offense in the military that can have lasting consequences for individuals and organizations. It is important for service members to understand the rules and regulations surrounding leave and duty assignments to avoid the pitfalls of going AWOL.

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