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Army discharges reservist who sued over deployment

Jay Ferriola and girlfriend Jeannie Cohler watch as attorney Barry Slotnick speaks last month.
U.S. Army
Justice and Rights

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The U.S. Army has given an honorable discharge to a captain who filed a lawsuit to block his deployment to Iraq.

Jay Ferriola, 31, said Friday he was very relieved and felt that a weight had been taken off his shoulders when he learned of his discharge Wednesday. He added that he holds no ill feelings towards the Army.

"We are very proud to say that former Captain Ferriola is now Mr. Ferriola," said his attorney, Barry Slotnick. "He has unpacked his bags and is not going to Iraq."

According to the lawsuit, Ferriola resigned from the Army Reserve in June after eight years of service, including four years of active duty. Although he never received a response from the Army on the resignation, he was told to turn in his equipment.

But he then received orders to report on October 25 for active duty with the 306th Military Police Battalion in Uniondale, New York.

His lawsuit against the government claimed lack of due process, involuntary servitude and breach of contract. He said in the lawsuit that the unit would serve in Iraq for a year and a half on a "dangerous mission."

According to Slotnick, Ferriola decided he did not want a career in the military and wanted to pursue opportunities in civilian life.

After a hearing October 24, a judge said Ferriola did not have to report as ordered the next day, and gave the Army a week to accept or reject his resignation.

CNN's Jonathan Wald, Susan Chun and Debra Goldschmidt contributed to this report.

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