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AAIP Threat to Military Careers

The Army Adverse Information Program (AAIP)  addresses concerns regarding the potential compromise of national security and the integrity of military operations due to the presence of adverse information within the military personnel community. This program provides a major threat to military officer careers if poorly or unfairly executed investigations result in substantiated findings. It is […]

GAO Report: Imbalance of Experience between Military Prosecutors and Defense Lawyers

May 2024 – The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a Report to the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives Actions titled “Military Justice: Actions Needed to Help Ensure Success of Judge Advocate Career Reforms.” This newly released report demonstrates why service members should hire an experienced military attorney. Issues Hinder Military JAG Reforms […]

What is a GOMOR And Why Commanders Give Them

Why do commanders issue GOMORs? Military commanders issue General Officer Memorandums of Reprimand (GOMOR) for various reasons, typically in response to serious misconduct or a violation of military regulations. The issuance of a GOMOR is a formal administrative action and is considered a significant disciplinary measure. Here are some common reasons why commanders might choose […]

I’m facing a QMP Board. What to do?

Countering the cause of any action that caused a Soldier to be considered for QMP will be the main thrust of any matters prepared for a QMP board. Soldiers facing a Qualitative Management Program (QMP) Board may have been identified by the board because a General Officer issued them a Memorandum of Reprimand, or GOMOR, […]

Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Allegations

Article 128b UCMJ deals with the crime of assault. The military can charge Article 128b UCMJ when there are credible allegations of assault that arise from violent situations. Those could be anything from a bar fight between persons to domestic violence between intimate partners. In the military, Article 128 UCMJ charges often stem from allegations […]

Connection between Behavioral Health and Misconduct

Behavioral health-related misconduct often leads to adverse separation for service members. Unfortunately, many of these service members lack access to to counselors before their mental health declines and potentially results in misconduct. An Army Times story reported the military health system has a significant shortage of behavioral health providers. The GAO found that more than […]

What is an USAF Unfavorable Information File?

The Unfavorable Information File (UIF) is an official record of unfavorable information about an individual. Units usually keep these records at the squadron level. These files document any behavioral or performance issues resulting in administrative, judicial, or nonjudicial punishments or counseling. The commander must only document substantiated unfavorable information in this file. Mandatory Document Entry […]

Poor Performance or Article 92 UCMJ?

Article 92 UCMJ is the Failure to Obey an Order or Regulation. The U.S. military considers it a dereliction of duty when soldiers are unable or unwilling to perform the job assigned to military personnel. Article 92 is one of the punitive articles of the UCMJ. Although the military can try by court-martial someone accused of violating the […]

Do I need a Military Lawyer Near me?

If you found this article, you may have searched for “Military Lawyer Near Me”. You may be a military member who faces criminal charges, an administrative separation or other adverse action and need a lawyer to defend your rights and represent you during legal proceedings. Having a military lawyer near you does help when you […]

What is UCMJ Article 117a?

UCMJ Article 117a is the Wrongful Broadcast or Distribution of Intimate Visual Image. In the civilian world, this offense is commonly called revenge porn. A more accurate description is nonconsensual pornography. Congress decided to act against this type of offense in the 2018 NDAA which created Article 117a. Prevalence of nonconsensual pornography Cybersmile.org cites to […]

Set Aside An Article 120 UCMJ Conviction

An Article 120 UCMJ conviction can be appealed within the military justice system. Having an experienced military appeals lawyer can make all the difference. The appeals process typically involves several levels of review. Here’s a general overview of where that review happens: Levels of Article 120 UCMJ Conviction Appeal Review Court Martial Convening Authority: After a court-martial, the convening authority, usually a high-ranking […]

Command Investigation: Misconduct

A high-profile military officer command investigation for misconduct can be quite complex and sensitive. They often involve misconduct allegations, ranging from ethical violations to criminal activities. These investigations are crucial for maintaining discipline, integrity, and trust within the armed forces. The process typically includes a thorough examination of evidence, witness testimonies, and sometimes collaboration with […]

Suspected of General Order No. 1 Violation in Poland

As many in the military already understand, U.S. Troops have arrived in Poland in support of the NATO mission and in support of our allies specifically supporting the war in Ukraine. USAG Poland, which stood up this past March 2023 supports three forward operating sites in Poland: FOS Poznan, FOS Powidz, and FOS Zagan, comprising […]

What is the Court-Martial Appeals Process in the Air Force?

When convicted at court-martial, a defendant becomes the Appellant. The Appellant has rights regarding this outcome in their case. Before addressing appellate rights, appellants should know that there is a new right allowing the government to appeal the Appellant’s sentence if it violates the law or is “plainly unreasonable.”  The military judge cannot increase the […]

Article 92 Violations in the Navy

There have been various instances in Navy history where individuals faced charges of violating Article 92 in the Navy for failure to obey orders or regulations or dereliction of duty. Navy Article 92 violations can be ship-related or non-ship-related. Revolutionary War Navy Article 92 Violations As far back as the Revolutionary War, some commanders faced accusations of […]

What is the Board of Inquiry Process in the Navy?

1. Officer misconduct is identified through an investigation The Navy Board of Inquiry process starts informally when a commander suspects a naval officer has committed misconduct. MILPERSMAN 1611-010 outlines which incidents commanders are required to investigate and report whether its misconduct or substandard performance. The following are some examples of misconduct: sexual harassment, toxic leadership, […]

Article 131b Obstructing justice

Article 131b Obstructing Justice refers to the following elements of misconduct under the UCMJ:  Any person subject to this chapter who engages in conduct in the case of a certain person against whom the accused had reason to believe there were or would be criminal or disciplinary proceedings pending, with intent to influence, impede, or […]

When does the military use a Board of Inquiry?

The Military uses Boards of Inquiry (BOIs), sometimes known as Show Cause boards, to consider a wide range of misconduct or issues that pertain to an officer’s or service member’s performance, conduct, or suitability for continued military service. The specific types of misconduct or issues that most BOIs consider can vary depending on the circumstances […]

Difference Between a Commander’s Inquiry and a 15-6 Investigation

A Commander’s Inquiry and a 15-6 Investigation are administrative procedures used by the U.S. military to investigate incidents, allegations, or issues within the command. However, they differ in terms of their scope, purpose, and the level of authority involved: Commander’s Inquiry: Scope: A Commander’s Inquiry is generally less formal and less extensive than a 15-6 […]

How to fight a SHARP complaint

Soldiers that find themselves facing a SHARP complaint in an investigation should start by consulting an experienced military lawyer. Consulting an experienced SHARP Lawyer helps them understand how to fight a SHARP complaint. Soldiers can find themselves facing an AdSep Board for Sexual Harassment or a Board of Inquiry for Sexual Harassment if they approach […]

Article 90 UCMJ Disobey a Superior Commissioned Officer

Article 90 UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) pertains to “Assaulting or willfully disobeying superior commissioned officer.” This article addresses offenses committed by military personnel who assault or willfully disobey a superior commissioned officer. Elements of UCMJ Article 90 obey a superior commissioned officer A service member who Strikes his or her superior commissioned officer […]

Administrative separation for Domestic Violence Article 128b

We have had several GOMOR responses and separation boards for service members accused of domestic violence. The military is generally restricting their court-martial efforts to cases of sexual assault, so adverse administrative action like non-judicial punishment, GOMORs, and AdSep or Boards of Inquiry, is how the services are dealing Article 128b accusations. You might think […]

What are Article 89 and Article 91, UCMJ?

The military’s emphasis on obedience to orders is rooted in the need to maintain operational effectiveness, discipline, and unit cohesion in high-stakes and potentially dangerous environments. This contrasts with the civilian world, which typically offers more autonomy and decision-making latitude to individual employees within the framework of their job responsibilities. This article defines Article 89 […]

Should I admit guilt and apologize in my GOMOR Response?

The strategy when it comes to responding to a GOMOR in the Army is tricky. Should you admit guilt in a GOMOR response? Sometimes, you want to fall on your sword so the General officer believes you are taking responsibility. This could lead to a local filing if the general believes you and sees this […]

Article 107 UCMJ False Official Statement

Article 107 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is a provision that defines the offense of false official statements. The article states that any person subject to the UCMJ who makes a false official statement under oath, or in writing, or verbally, with the intent to deceive a person in authority or to […]

Issues of consent and Article 120 UCMJ

Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) deals with various sexual offenses, including rape, sexual assault, and indecent acts. One of the key elements of these offenses is the issue of consent. Consent is an essential element in any sexual encounter. It is the responsibility of both parties to ensure that they […]

Pornography in the Military

Pornography can be a problem in the military, as it is in any other workplace or organization. The use of pornography can contribute to a culture that is disrespectful to women and can create a hostile work environment. Additionally, the use of pornography on government computers or networks can be a violation of military regulations […]

Article 25 Court-Martial Panel

Article 25 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) governs the composition and selection of the court-martial panel in the United States military. The court-martial panel, also known as the jury, is responsible for determining the guilt or innocence of the accused in a court-martial proceeding. The court-martial panel is composed of at least […]

What is Article 133 Conduct Unbecoming an Officer?

Article 133 Conduct Unbecoming an Officer, an article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), prohibits military officers, cadets, or midshipmen from engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. The article states that a commander may punish any commissioned officer, warrant officer, or enlisted member who behaves unbecomingly of an officer or […]

What is Article 121 Larceny and Wrongful Appropriation?

Article 121 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) covers the offense of larceny in the military. Larceny is defined as the wrongful taking, carrying, or using of someone else’s property with the intent to deprive the owner of that property. If you have been accused of Article 121 Larceny, consult with our experienced […]

Maximum punishment for UCMJ Article 120

UCMJ Article 120 is the Uniform Code of Military Justice article that pertains to sexual assault offenses. The maximum punishment for UCMJ Article 120 depends on the specific offense and the circumstances surrounding the case. Those facing charges may want to know what are the best defenses to Article 120. The maximum punishment for each of […]

UCMJ Article 31

Two Important Parts to UCMJ Article 31 1. No one subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice may compel any person to incriminate himself or to answer any question the answer that may tend to incriminate him. They have Article 31 rights. 2. No person subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice may […]

Army, Navy warn military judges: poppy seeds cause false UA results

  Accidental ingestion defense; innocent ingestion; article 112a UCMJ Both the Army and the Navy sent out a Brady notice recently regarding the possibility that Poppy Seed ingestion could cause a person to test positive for Codeine during urinalysis. This notice could assist a defendant in an accidental ingestion defense to Article 112a UCMJ. This […]

Why adultery is a crime in the military

The military community is very similar to civilian communities in that it is comprised of human beings making friendships and support connections to increase quality of life and forge ahead with successful lives. This means both communities share similar characteristics both bad and good when it comes to relationship building. However, the military community has […]

Field Grade Officers Right to Respond to AR 15-6 Investigation

Field Grade Officers under AR 15-6 investigation have a right to respond to the findings of an AR 15-6 investigation when the investigation is complete. Responding to findings is important because the summary of the investigation report is likely to be included in an officer’s file at promotion boards. Promotion boards have access to adverse […]

Military sexual assault lawyer

Defend against Article 120 UCMJ allegations when you find a military sexual assault lawyer This video discusses why it’s important to find military sexual assault lawyer  who knows how to defend against UCMJ Article 120 Sexual Assault Allegations. You need to find a find military sexual-assault lawyer as soon as you discover you are under […]

Response to Captain’s Mast

We recently assisted a Sailor in response to proceedings under Article 15 of the UCMJ. The Sailor was accused of Article 112a, ingestion of an illegal substance. The command dismissed the non-judicial punishment after reading through the response and speaking with the Sailor. This is a good news story. In most cases, there is very […]

How to respond to a GOMOR

How to respond to a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand A General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand (GOMOR) is a threat to your military career and your future.  The command suspects you of committing misconduct serious enough to end your career, but probably lacks enough evidence for non-judicial punishment or courts-martial. The key question in this […]

Casual Sex, young military adults, and Article 120

Casual sex factors that call for an experienced military sexual assault attorney Eliminating sexual assault from the military is a laudable goal.  However, the complexity of the problem does not lend itself to easy solutions.   Congress has repeatedly directed and even threatened each branch of the military to take action to prevent and prosecute sexual […]

New army directive compels involuntary separations for sexual harassment

Army Directive 2022-13 Reforms To Counter Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault in the Army Sexual harassment investigations In September of 2022, the Army put out a new Directive directing commanders’ actions regarding sexual harassment investigations, administrative and criminal processes for alleged offenders, and protective requirements for alleged victims. For those Soldiers who are under investigation for sexual […]

Am I guilty of Fraternization?

Fraternization refers to prohibited personal relationships between service members. It can sometimes be confusing to what constitutes a prohibited relationship. The military services in the last couple of decades have updated their policies to be stricter. The services not only aim to prohibit improper relationships, but also prevent the appearance of such relationships because of […]

How to Expunge DNA Records

DNA Records associated with a sexual assault investigation  Having DNA taken is part of the investigatory process for those caught up in a sexual assault investigation. It is a legal invasion of privacy made worse by knowing your DNA remains in a criminal database even after being cleared of suspicion. But military members, veterans, and […]

Page 13 – The shot across the bow of your Navy Career

As all Navy personnel understand, the Navy Page 13 is a standard form used to communicate to Navy personnel information, from the mundane, instructive, to the serious. It’s used to ensure Navy personnel understand and acknowledge instructions. When used as a warning, a Navy Page 13 is a signal to be taken seriously. It’s the […]

USAF discharge rules for sex offenders 

In a recent press release, the Air Force announced the update to DAF Instruction 36-3211: Military Separations where the USAF discharge rules for sex offenders have changed. The DAF said the update was necessary to clarify the discharge instructions with regards to Airmen accused of sexual assault.  Airmen and Guardians whose sexual assault offenses are founded […]

A Civilian Military Lawyer Near You

Service members volunteer to defend their country honorably. They are expected to act with honor. People who choose to serve, regardless of the personal or monetary benefits, tend to have these characteristics. To serve, military members agree to be held to a higher standard of conduct than an ordinary citizens. Violations of these standards of […]

What techniques do police use in UCMJ sexual assault investigations?

UCMJ sexual assault or rape is one of the most serious of all crimes in the military. In fact, most military courts-martial and court-martial appeals are for Article 120 UCMJ sexual assault cases. The military tends to enforce other, less serious violations of the UCMJ crimes through adverse administrative action like non-judicial punishment, letters or […]

Five Phases of an Army GOMOR

A General Officer Memorandum of Record, or GOMOR, is an Army tool that lets the Army enforce good order and discipline among the force. It’s effectively a threat to all the troops to deter misconduct. Also a way to maintain the strength of the force short term. It puts a person on notice that their […]

AdSep from the Navy

Am I at risk for AdSep from the Navy? There are several ways the Navy involuntarily separates people for poor conduct. A Sailor can be at risk for Administrative Separation from the Navy if they are punished for minor infractions. AdSep from the Navy can also result from a pattern of misconduct or commission of […]

What happens when court-martialed?

What happens when court-martialed? What happens when you are court-martialed? Those service-members who are court-martialed can face a variety of outcomes. These include being acquitted of whatever UCMJ violations they are accused of, or being convicted of some, or all, of the charges. For those wondering about what happens when you are court-martialed, they should […]

Navy pulls sexual harassment investigation authority from commanders

Navy Secretary, Carlos Del Toro, has withdrawn the sexual harassment investigation authority for commanders to conduct their own investigations. Instead, Commanders who receive formal complaints of sexual harassment must forward the complaints within 72 hours to the next higher-level commander in the chain of command. The higher-level commander will have the authority to appoint an […]

How adverse administrative action leads to separation

Adverse administrative actions end careers and separate service members from their benefits. Investigation can lead to AdSep. Documented misconduct leads to a lack of promotion, which leads to involuntary separation from the military. Depending on the level of misconduct, the adverse action can lead directly to a separation board for those with six or more […]

Innocent until proven guilty of Article 120 sexual assault or Article 134 sexual harassment?

We take for granted that in the United States a person accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  The prosecutor has the burden to prove guilt.  The presumption of innocence applies at military courts-martial and during adverse administrative actions in the military.  Does this principle apply in practice? Are Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, […]

A ROUGH FORM OF JUSTICE: The Purpose of Military Justice

Part 1: The Purpose of Military Justice The military justice system has a unique purpose – in addition to prosecuting offenses as defined by Congress and the President, the military justice system is designed to assist commanders in maintaining good order and discipline.  Civilian court systems have no similar purpose.  This is why having an […]

Navy Readies AdSep for Vaccine Refusal, Extends Vaccine Deadline

The Navy issued new guidance mid-December outlining the steps ahead for those who have not received the vaccine and do not have a pending exemption request. Sailors who missed the deadline can still get the vaccine and the Navy will retain them. Sailors who aren’t eligible to retire or ETS before June 1st and still […]

Military Justice Reform in the 2022 NDAA

In December 2021, Congress passed, and the President signed, the fiscal year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act or “NDAA”.  The 2022 NDAA makes significant changes to the U.S. military justice system – part of the years long effort to reform military justice.  Some of those changes will have little practical impact on the rights of […]

New DoDi Clarifies the Rules on Prohibited Extremist Activity

RULES GOVERNING EXTREMIST ACTIVITIES IN THE MILITARY Pentagon Clarifies Extremism rules DoDi 1325.06 gets specific about what the DoD considers active extremist participation The Department of Defense recently updated the DoD Instruction prohibiting extremist activities in the military.  Department of Defense Instruction 1325.06, Enclosure 3, defines extremist activities.  Among other activities, the DoDI prohibits, “(a) […]

Can you appeal a military sex assault conviction?

Service members can appeal their military sex assault convictions depending on the type of court martial. There are three types of courts-martial: summary, special, or general. If you were convicted at summary court martial, you have five days from the day you were sentenced to appeal to the next higher command. The next higher command […]

Army enlisted grade reduction policy will hurt more Soldiers than it saves

Enlisted grade reduction option will levy harsher punishment in forced retirement According to new Army policy, commanders may opt to reduce the grade at which retirement-eligible enlisted Soldiers retire when they are pending administrative discharge at an AdSep board. A new Army press release states that “The new directive gives Soldiers more options,” said Gerald […]

How to request your military records including your DD214

Requesting your service records Applying for VA benefits or looking for help with a discharge upgrade? Although looking for old service records is not a legal issue, we occasionally get asked administrative questions about records recovery and applying for benefits. Obtaining old military records is not part of our practice. We did however discover how […]

Article 92 consequences for refusing vaccine

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III issued a memorandum directing the Secretaries of the Military Departments to immediately begin full vaccination of all members of the Armed Forces under DoD authority. This includes those on active duty or in the Ready Reserve, including the National Guard, who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Since […]

What are the different types of military investigations?

Service members who are alleged to have committed misconduct or find themselves otherwise under investigation may want to understand the different types of military investigations. Injuries and deaths Property loss and destruction Criminal activity Safety violations and concerns Any other matter or incident Who conducts investigations in the military? The Command Military or Security Police […]

What to do when under command investigation

Soldiers may be surprised and rightly stressed when they hear they are being investigated and ask themselves “what to do if you are the subject of a Command Investigation?” It’s important to understand the process to better understand what to do next.  Commanders direct an investigation when they receive information or an allegation that a […]

DoD policy change on promotion boards increases career risk for officers

Changes in the adverse information promotion boards will see means officers should retain counsel early in the investigation process. The Army has announced that promotion boards will be able to see adverse information when reviewing a promotion candidate’s file. Before this change, adverse information was only used as part of an administrative qualification review after […]

The Courts of Criminal Appeals Process

What Happens After a Conviction? This article explains the Courts of Criminal Appeals Process. The sentence a service member receives determines whether a criminal case goes to the courts of criminal appeals for the defendant’s service or is returned to the Judge Advocate office for the defendant’s command. Each service has their own court of […]

SERVICES IMPLEMENT THE 2016 MILITARY JUSTICE ACT

Services Implement The 2016 Military Justice Act The military services are working to implement the 2016 Military Justice Act. The intent of the act is to produce a streamlined and transparent court-martial process, one that will closely resemble criminal practice in the broader federal jurisdiction. These efforts appear in the new 2019 Courts Martial Manual.  […]

Risk of Alcohol Consumption And Potential DUI on Your Career

Service Members can find their careers at risk when alcohol or DUI causes negative consequences in a person’s life. Understanding this risk requires greater analysis than just making assumptions about how many drinks you think you can have before you are technically over the legal driving limit. The military in general considers any serious alcohol-related […]

A Rough Form Of Justice – Part 2: Military Justice Sources of Law

During World War II, the U.S. military services operated under a disjointed and, most would agree, unfair system of military justice.  In 1950 Congress enacted the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  The UCMJ consolidated and revised the Articles of War, the Articles for the Government of the Navy, and the disciplinary laws of the […]

A Rough Form Of Justice – Part 3: Adverse Administrative Actions

In Part 1 of this blog series, I describe the historical purpose of military justice: the preservation of good order and discipline within the military. I also explained that under modern military law, military commanders are expected to balance the need for discipline with the requirement to do justice. In Part 2, I describe the development […]

A Rough Form Of Justice – Part 4: Courts-Martial

In the first three installments of “A Rough Form of Justice,” I describe the purpose of military justice, the sources of law governing military justice, and the adverse administrative actions military commanders may impose on members of their command.  In this last installment I briefly address the most severe punitive disciplinary tool available to commanders:  […]

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