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Should I admit guilt and apologize in my GOMOR Response?

 In Blog, GOMOR

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 as two-star counseling. However, if the effort fails in achieving a local filing, and the command or the Army Human Resources Command initiates separation, the government prosecutors will use the words from your GOMOR response against you at an AdSep Board or Board of Inquiry.Actual result of a GOMOR Local Filing; GOMOR Response; GOMOR Rebuttal

So, what to do? In some cases, not admitting guilt is the best option. As an example, GOMORs for accusations of sexual harassment automatically lead to a separation board. Even if you can achieve a local filing, HRC is after you for separation anyway. It is best not to make the government’s job any easier.

How bad is a GOMOR for my Career?

What’s critical in responding to a GOMOR in the Army, is to realize how critical it is to your career. It’s not something you should attempt to do without an experienced attorney. Our office has seen several BOI and AdSep clients who attempted to respond to a GOMOR on their own or with the help of an inexperienced appointed attorney. These clients admitted guilt in a GOMOR response without consideration of its potential effect on their eventual separation proceedings. The ineffectiveness of the response did more harm than good, because these GOMORs were just the beginning of the Army’s separation efforts. These clients who retained us when being notified of separation failed to recognize they needed an experienced attorney earlier in the process. The evidence put forth in their earlier statements increased the complexity of the defense and the risk to their career.

When to hire an attorney for a GOMOR

It is fair to say that clients should not wait to get a GOMOR in the Army to start looking for an experienced attorney. When a person is notified that they are under command or military law enforcement investigation, they should make no statements before consulting with an experienced attorney. Investigators with often get suspects talking and they make statements against their own interested. As well, Soldiers are often counseled to admit guilt in a GOMOR Response to gain sympathy and forgiveness from the general officer who gave them the GOMOR. And often, the Trial Defense Service will not engage with clients until an investigation is already finished. It is not that they don’t care, it is because TDS attorneys are often overworked and don’t have time to dedicate to people who might need an attorney, just those who have already been charged.

If you are under investigation or have been notified you will be receiving a GOMOR, don’t wait until you receive a GOMOR to give us a call. We can assist you in navigating the investigation process and keep you from making statements or doing other things that can make things worse.

If you are anticipating a GOMOR in the Army, how you respond makes a difference. An experienced attorney can develop a strategy that can increase your chances of getting a local filing and continuing with your career.

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