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 years of service, or an involuntary separation for those with less than six years. Separation is triggered after commanders document misconduct and follow up with adverse administrative action like article 15, Captain’s Mast, page 13 in the Navy, or other letters of instruction or formal reprimands. Getting a GOMOR can lead to Board of Inquiry. Commanders document misconduct by conducting commanders’ inquiries followed by a 15-6 investigation for allegations of misconduct. Often the allegations are less serious violations of the UCMJ such as suspected larceny, suspected DUI or alcohol-related incident, sexual harassment, or suspected fraternization. Commanders don’t need the stringent court-martial rules of evidence to end someone’s career and take away their benefits.
Get aggressive, experienced legal defense early because an investigation can lead to AdSep
It would be naïve for a service member to assume they could weather the investigation phase without assistance. Hope is not a plan. It’s critical for service members to start getting a defense together early in the process. If they know someone is accusing them of misconduct whether it’s sexual harassment, larceny, or a report of an alcohol-related incident, it’s important to ensure that you have a fair and unbiased investigation. The goal at this point in the process is to refute the government’s investigation by getting at the truth early in the process because investigation can lead to AdSep.
Respond effectively to a GOMOR, Letter of Reprimand, or Letter of Instruction
If the allegations are founded during the investigation, then the command will follow on with an adverse administrative action such as the following: nonjudicial punishment, whether it’s an Article 15 or Captain’s Mast; or a general officer letter of reprimand for high-ranking service members or a letter of reprimand or a letter of instruction that is filed in your permanent file. This is how a GOMOR leads to Board of Inquiry. These types of written reprimands and documented misconduct comes with extreme risk for your career and benefits. If they’re filed in your permanent file, they most likely will lead to involuntary separation from the military and almost surely will prevent a service member from being promoted.
Exceptional defense during an AdSep, Show Cause, or Board of Inquiry
Even if the command does not recommend a service member for a separation board, the services human resource command is likely to flag a service member’s record. If the misconduct is flagged by the HR command, during a promotion board or other review, they will very likely direct the command to execute a separation board. This is one way an investigation can lead to AdSep.
If a person has six or more years in the military, they automatically have the right to have a separation board. Whether it’s an administrative separation board for enlisted or a board of inquiry or show cause board for officers, this board allows service members to defend against the allegations of misconduct and refute the findings in the investigation in front of a panel. When a GOMOR leads to Board of Inquiry, service members have the right to present their case represented by an attorney. There are several outcomes possible for the separation board. An experienced attorney’s main goal is to have the service member acquitted at the board and retained on active duty. If a person is found to have committed misconduct, it’s an experienced attorney’s secondary goal is to preserve that service member’s characterization of service. Without an honorable discharge, that service member’s benefits, their ability to get a security clearance, or find a good job are all at risk.
It is risky to face an investigation without legal assistance
If a service member has gone through this entire process, from allegation to inquiry, to investigation and adverse action, without appropriate representation, then the service member will have failed to halt or mitigate the process before it got to the separation board. It’s best to have someone working on your behalf during the investigation phase to ensure that your side of the story is represented. And then, should the allegations of misconduct be founded, the service member has the right to respond to the command. At this juncture, an exceptional attorney can help put together a response packet that can help mitigate the damage in the report and have a better chance of local filing. Getting assistance early in the process gives you multiple points along the way to help save your career. Because a GOMOR can lead to Board of Inquiry, If you find yourself accused of misconduct under the UCMJ it’s important to get an experienced and aggressive attorney by your side. An exceptional attorney can mitigate the damage by an aggressive command. If you are facing any allegations of misconduct and are under investigation, call the Law Office of Peter Kageleiry now at 757-504-2815 or contact us through our online form.