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What is a GOMOR And Why Commanders Give Them

 In Blog, GOMOR

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 to issue a GOMOR:

Serious Misconduct: A commander may issue a GOMOR in response to serious misconduct by a service member. This misconduct could include fraud, larceny, substance abuse, or other violations of military law.

Failure to Follow Orders: If a soldier fails to follow lawful orders (Article 92 UCMJ) or violates military regulations, a commander may give that Soldier a GOMOR as a formal reprimand for failing to adhere to the chain of command and maintain discipline.

Professional Misconduct: Actions that reflect poorly on a soldier’s professional conduct, both on and off duty, may lead to the issuance of a GOMOR. This professional misconduct could include behavior that damages the military’s reputation or undermines good order and discipline.

Ethical Violations: Any actions that involve ethical violations or breach the military’s code of conduct may result in a GOMOR. These violations can include activities that go against the core values and principles of the military service.

Substandard Performance: A commander may give a GOMOR due to substandard performance in a soldier’s duties. The GOMOR justification could be related to job performance, leadership deficiencies, or other issues that impact the overall effectiveness of the military unit.

Repeated Misconduct: If a soldier has a history of misconduct or has received prior disciplinary actions, a GOMOR may be issued as a more severe measure to address the continued pattern of inappropriate behavior.

Leadership Failure: Officers or non-commissioned officers who fail in their leadership roles or responsibilities may receive a GOMOR as a formal reprimand for failing to uphold the standards expected of military leaders.

It’s important to note that the commander may issue a GOMOR after thoroughly investigating and considering the circumstances. Soldiers can seek legal advice and challenge a GOMOR through established military legal processes if they believe it was unjustly issued or wish to present a defense against the allegations.

Local or permanent filing?

For various reasons, a commander may file a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand (GOMOR) locally. Filing a GOMOR locally means that the reprimand is placed in the Soldier’s local personnel file rather than forwarded to the Soldier’s official personnel file at the Department of the Army or relevant military branch headquarters. Here are some reasons why a commander might make this decision:

Swift Disciplinary Action: Local filing of a GOMOR allows the commander to take swift disciplinary action without involving higher echelons of command. Local filing can be beneficial in addressing misconduct promptly and maintaining good order and discipline within the unit while allowing a Soldier to recover and learn from their mistake.

Unit-Level Accountability: Some commanders prefer handling disciplinary matters at the unit level to emphasize the importance of maintaining discipline within their command. Filing a GOMOR locally reinforces unit-level accountability and responsibility for maintaining standards of conduct.

Commander’s Discretion: The decision to file a GOMOR locally or forward it to higher headquarters is often at the commander’s discretion. They may consider the severity of the misconduct, the impact on the unit, and the circumstances surrounding the case.

Privacy Considerations: Filing a GOMOR locally may be done to protect the privacy of the service member to some extent. While the reprimand is still part of the Soldier’s military record, local filing may limit access to the information compared to a GOMOR filed at higher headquarters.

Leadership Intervention: Commanders may handle certain disciplinary matters internally to allow for leadership intervention and mentorship. Filing a GOMOR locally enables the commander to work closely with the service member to address issues and support their rehabilitation or improvement.

Preserving Career Opportunities: Filing a GOMOR locally, instead of forwarding it to higher headquarters, may mitigate the long-term impact on the service member’s career. A GOMOR can trigger Human Resources Command (HRC) to code a soldier’s permanent file for a future QMP board. While the reprimand remains in their local file, it may not have as broad-reaching implications as a GOMOR in their official military record.

How can a Lawyer Help me respond to a GOMOR?

A military lawyer, also known as a Judge Advocate (JAG), can play a crucial role in helping a soldier who has received a General Officer Letter of Reprimand (GOMOR). Here are several ways in which a military lawyer can assist:

Review and Analysis: The lawyer will thoroughly review the circumstances surrounding the issuance of the GOMOR. They will examine the facts, evidence, and the legality of the reprimand to determine if there are any grounds for challenging it.

Legal Advice: The JAG can provide legal advice to soldiers, explaining their rights and options. This assistance includes advising on whether the Soldier can challenge or mitigate the reprimand or if any administrative or legal remedies are available.

Defense Strategy: The military lawyer can develop a defense strategy if the Soldier wishes to contest the GOMOR. This strategy may involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and identifying legal arguments to challenge the reprimand.

Representation: The JAG can represent the Soldier during administrative hearings or any legal proceedings related to the GOMOR. This representation includes presenting the defense’s case, cross-examining witnesses, and making legal arguments on behalf of the Soldier.

Appeals: If necessary, the military lawyer can assist with the appeals process, ensuring that all proper procedures are followed and advocating for the Soldier’s rights and interests. This appeal is generally with the Army Board for the Correction of Military Records. This process can take up to a year or longer.

Counseling and Support: Beyond the legal aspects, the JAG can provide emotional support and guidance to the Soldier throughout the process. This support includes explaining the potential consequences of the GOMOR and helping the Soldier make informed decisions about their case.

It’s important to note that the specific assistance a military lawyer provides may vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the applicable army regulations. Soldiers are encouraged to seek legal advice promptly if they receive a GOMOR to ensure the best possible outcome.

Check out some of our GOMOR success stories on our Case Results Page. If you are accused of misconduct, are under investigation or been notified about a GOMOR, call us today at 757-504-2815 or contact us here.




What is a GOMOR And Why Commanders Give Them
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What is a GOMOR And Why Commanders Give Them
This article discusses why 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. Soldiers can retain an experienced military lawyer to help them respond to a GOMOR.
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