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 investigation findings
Fiscal year 2020 NDAA directed the services to make changes to their officer promotion boards. Promotion boards for some officers. Field grade promotion board members have access to reports of substantiated allegations of misconduct when deciding whether to recommend someone for promotion. Read more about this risk here.
The excerpt from AR 15-6 is as follows and can be found on para. 5-4:
- The right to respond to adverse information is extended by this regulation only to field grade officers, because such findings or recommendations may be considered in future promotion boards that will consider those officers for promotion. This does not require nor preclude approval authorities from extending this opportunity to any other individual who is the subject of adverse information in the report of proceedings.
It’s important to note that approval authorities can extend the opportunity for any other individual who has been under investigation the same opportunity to respond. As two examples: a Chief Warrant Officer or a prior-enlisted Captain with many years of experience, both of whom are tremendous assets to the Army, should be afforded the opportunity to respond.
Responding to an AR 15-6 Report
It’s best to retain the services of an experienced attorney when responding to an investigation report. An experienced attorney can identify problems with the investigation and help prepare a response that rebuts the investigation findings and identifies mitigating factors regarding the findings.
An AR 15-6 investigation is a command investigation initiated for misconduct that would normally not be handled by military law enforcement, but instead by an appointed 15-6 Investigating Officer. When under a command-directed AR 15-6 investigation, the earlier you get representation, the better chances you have of protecting your career, your benefits, and your freedom.
Regardless of the type of investigation, invoke your right to an experienced military law attorney when you are under investigation. Do not give a statement to the investigating officer without speaking with an attorney. Invoke your right to remain silent and request to speak with an attorney. In most cases, it is not in your long-term interest to give a statement no matter how much the investigator implies that you need to give a statement. Many experienced field grade officers think they can maneuver their way through questioning because they assume their innocence will bear out. However, you are more likely to confirm the time, dates and other facts related to the investigation and set yourself up to a charge of giving a false statement.
If you are under AR 15-6 investigation, no matter where you are stationed in the world, contact our office at (757) 504-2815 or through our convenient online form to schedule a consultation. Attorney Peter Kageleiry, Jr., focuses his legal practice exclusively on military court-martial law and related adverse administrative actions.