Regulations to check are AR 600-85 and AR 635-200.
There are two issues. With over 19 years I wonder if he has an approved retirement packet? If so, then he will most likely be allowed to retire. The unit is required to initiate separation action; but the approval authority, since he has over 18 years, is DA. His GMCMA will make a recommendation to DA on whether to separate or retain.
Since he has over 18 years, the Soldier CAN NOT waive his administrative separation board. A board has to be convened. If the board determines the Soldier should be retained, the case is closed. If the board decides to separate, the packet goes to the GCMCA and his recommendation goes to DA for final determination.
At a minimum, I see a Field Grade article 15 in his future and being reduced to E5. The unit may think that is enough and allow him to retire. That may depend on what he tested positive for.
There are other possible scenarios that could occur but cannot be laid out as we have limited information.
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I have to point something out.
I did not see a rank mentioned in this scenario.
ONLY if the Soldier is a SSG (E6) can they be reduced to a SGT (E5) under a Field Grade Article 15. SFC and above cannot be reduced under Article 15 proceedings; only by Courts-Martial. The unit does not have the authority to determine an Article 15 is sufficient and allow the Soldier to retire. The Soldier must be processed for separation IAW AR 635-200 and the packet forwarded to the separation authority. As you pointed out, that is DA. As you also pointed out though, if the Separation Board determines retention, then the Soldier is retained and will be allowed to retire.