The facts behind the UA are rather bizarre. In short, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle,
Hering disappeared in August 2006, soon after returning from a combat tour in Iraq. He was due back at Camp Pendleton that September to begin training for a possible redeployment to Iraq in late 2007. But, on Aug. 30, 2006, a friend of Hering's told police the Marine suffered a rock-climbing accident west of Boulder and wandered away. The friend later admitted the disappearance was a hoax — but not before hundreds of people had scoured the landscape looking for Hering.According to the Marine Corps Times, here (compare his photo at capture with this one from after his summary court-martial today), Former Lance Corporal Lance Hering's desertion nearly two years ago may have been linked to mental problems, also possibly a reason for the relatively lenient treatment. In the two years since his disappearance police have searched his parents home, report here, and rumors have circulated concerning Hering's whereabouts after intermittent contact with Hering.
Hering will likely be separated with an Other-than-Honorable discharge, though it is possible the leniency will continue. He could be separated for mental health issues, in which case he'd receive a General (Under Honoarble Conditions) discharge. However, Hering's troubles are far from over as he faces a probation violation hearing for prior burglary charges and charges related to that little hoax he helped engineer, see report here.