When the chain of command initiates an adverse separation action, the enlisted service member is entitled to due process – notice of the reasons for the proposed separation as well as an opportunity to respond. Enlisted members of the military with six or more years of service are entitled to appear before a separation board. During the board hearing, the service member is entitled to present evidence rebutting the reason(s) for the adverse separation action. The service member is also allowed to present evidence of good military character, duty performance, and service to the nation.
An experienced military lawyer knows how to use this information to influence the outcome of the board. Click here to see sample results for some of Mr. Kageleiry’s clients who fought back against an adverse administrative separation.
“The results speak for themselves – Thanks to Mr. Kageleiry’s advocacy I was exonerated of the allegations against me. Pete was well prepared and he did a great job convincing the board that I had not committed any misconduct.”
— from a former client.
An experienced military lawyer knows how to communicate effectively with the board members. The board is composed of three members – normally two officers and a senior enlisted member.The senior member of the board serves as board president. In most cases, the board members have decades of experience serving the nation and take their responsibility to reach the right result very seriously. Unless the service member hires an experienced military lawyer, in most cases the board members will have much more military experience than the detailed military counsel or the government attorney arguing for discharge.
Your service to our nation matters. An experienced advocate knows how to make the board members see your dedication to the military. The presentation to the board members can make a difference in the outcome.
The Administrative Discharge Process
The separation action is often preceded by an adverse administrative action such as a formal reprimand or punishment under Article 15, Uniform Code of Military Justice. The chain of command initiates the separation action by notifying the service member of the proposed separation, the alleged reasons for separation, and the possible characterization of service (type of military discharge) the service member could receive. A prior action such as a finding of guilt at Captain’s Mast does not automatically result in a negative outcome at a separation board hearing. The board members will listen to the evidence and the arguments of counsel for both sides and reach their own conclusions.
The service member has the right to be represented by a military attorneyat the separation board hearing. The hearing is informal – the rules of evidence do not apply. However, the board is required to follow certain procedures. The service member has the right to call witnesses and present documentary evidence. The skill level of the representatives of both the government and the service member can make a difference in the outcome of the board hearing.
During the hearing, the board must answer three questions. First, does the preponderance of the evidence support the conclusion that the service member committed the alleged misconduct? Second, if the service member did commit the misconduct, does the board recommend separation? Third, if the answer to the first two questions is yes, then the board makes a recommendation as to the characterization of service — what type of administrative discharge should the service member receive? The answers to these questions will have tremendous impact upon the service member and his or her family.
Attorney Peter Kageleiry, Jr. will fight for your career and your future.
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No matter where you are stationed in the world, contact my office in Virginia Beach at 757-276-1992 or through our convenient online form to schedule a free consultation.
Attorney Peter Kageleiry, Jr. focuses his legal practice exclusively on military court-martial law and related adverse administrative actions.