Yeah that was probably poor choice of phrasing on my part. My bad. To clarify, General Under Honorable Conditions, is a step down from Honorable as far as discharge categories. It doesn't always mean you did something criminal, though it can often mean exactly that. Basically, there are 2 descriptors when a service member is discharged. The character of discharge (Honorable, Dishonorable, Bad Conduct, etc) and then the REASON for discharge. The reason is where they give a short explanation as to why you were let go. This could be anything from Medical Discharge (due to injury from service, considered Honorable), Completion of Contracted Time (Meaning you did your contracted term of service, and were let go without issue, considered Honorable), or the one I often see with General (In Lieu Of Court Martial). Meaning you did something to seriously fuck up, bad enough to warrant criminal action (DUI, Narcotic Possession, other various crimes that are unbecoming a soldier, but aren't like REALLY bad things). But, to keep the branch of service looking good, and maybe because you did a plea bargain, they just let you go. Now you can have General without doing a crime, for things like "failed to meet standards of improvement", usually means you washed out in Basic Training or whatnot. Personality disorders (could be anything from you being a paranoid Qanon fuckwad, to "he's kind of an asshole who just can't follow orders, and does not mesh with the unit, so we're letting him go") General discharge allow veterans to still apply for any VA benefits they might qualify for, except education benefits, which are limited to Honorable service only.I read that underlined part and mentally omitted the first comma which led me to believe you suggested rape was an example of "you did something to fuck up" that "wasn't too bad." Fortunately, I read it back and caught my error before I penned a response in misunderstanding. Not on topic at all, just found it funny and wondered how many of us get into these discussions and might miss a little thing that changes everything, lol. As you were!
Other Than Honorable (OTH) is a step further down from General, and this is when you are really doing bad shit. Bad Conduct is even worse than OTH, but we don't see too many of OTH or BC, they just don't come looking for benefits very often.
So if he's got an E2 rank after 2 years, it means, like @Dalisclock said, he either didn't do shit to improve and get promotions (probably tied to what he was discharged for), or he fucked up and had his paygrade reduced when they let him go, which happens a lot. I'd guess he probably just never advanced beyond the E2 rank, and they just let him go because of reasons. If he had served like 5+ years, and his DD 214 showed E2, I'd suspect they reduced his rank as part of his punishment for whatever he did.