Why was Jeffrey Dahmer kicked out of the army? Military role and honorable discharge explored

Jeffrey Dahmer started consuming alcohol at a very young age. (Image via Marny Malin/Getty Images)
Jeffrey Dahmer started consuming alcohol at a very young age. (Image via Marny Malin/Getty Images)

American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer has become a topic of interest ever since Netflix released its fictionalized crime series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

Created by Ryan Murphy, the 10-episode series showcases Dahmer's murders between 1978 and 1991. Dahmer would drug, rape, kill, and dismember the bodies of his victims, who were aged between 14 and 33.


With the limited series streaming on the platform, true crime enthusiasts dug deeper into the life and family of Jeffrey Dahmer, which also led several fans to question if he served time in the United States Army, a topic that was touched upon in episode four of the series.

Jeffrey Dahmer had an alcohol problem

Yes, Jeffrey Dahmer served in the US Army but was kicked out because of his alcohol addiction.

Dahmer enrolled at Ohio State University six weeks after killing 18-year-old Steven Hicks, his first victim. After he was expelled within the first semester of college, his father, Lionel, urged him to join the US army as an alternative.

According to Cinemaholic, Dahmer worked as an army medical specialist at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio after he was first enlisted to serve with the Army Police. He used to screen patients alongside a nurse. In July 1997, he was transferred to Baumholder, West Germany. As per The Cinemaholic, in Germany, Dahmer served as a combat medic in the 2nd Battalion, 68th Armored Regiment, 8th Infantry Division.

Dahmer was honorably discharged from the military after serving two years, from 1979 to 1981, which was initially a three-year enlistment. The reason for this was his significant alcohol drinking, which worsened over time and left him ineligible to serve in the army.

The serial killer started drinking as a youngster. According to The Cinemaholic, Jeffrey Dahmer was even enrolled in an alcohol abuse program by his platoon commander, but it did not change him.

Two weeks after moving back to Ohio with his parents in 1981, Dahmer was arrested for disorderly conduct after getting drunk. Newsweek reports that he had to pay a $60 fine and serve a brief suspended jail term because of it.

As per The New York Times, Dahmer revealed to the police that his "fantasies" of murdering people had "recurred" after he left the military and shifted to Milwaukee. He stated that he did not kill people again until he discovered gay bars in late 1984 and early 1985.

As per The Sun, Dahmer was accused of s*xually assaulting a person stationed with him. The person claimed that Jeffrey Dahmer did not kill him because they were in Belgium, and he did not know his way back to Germany. The Cinemaholic reports that it was later discovered that the serial killer had s*xually abused at least two men during his time in the military.

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now