Military Law Lawyer

There are many reasons for joining the U.S. military. Some people join to serve their country, while others want to see the world and use educational and training benefits that accompany military service. Much is demanded of service members. If you are a service member, you have sacrificed fundamental Constitutional freedoms, and your family has endured hardships while you stood in harm’s way. You deserve to be treated fairly and with dignity. Sometimes there is a breakdown in the disciplinary process, and you may feel that you have been wronged or mistreated. At Domek Law, we handle a wide range of proceedings, representing service members nationwide.

Officer Grade Determinations

As an officer, you must apply for retirement. Your military record must be reviewed prior to retirement being approved. Only after retirement is approved will your retirement grade be determined. Officers who have stumbled in their careers may face huge losses in retirement pay, since they are retired in the last grade that they have successfully held. If you have faced any problems, the severity of the offense and the circumstances, as well as the overall quality of your record, will be factored into your officer grade. When you are considering retirement, the amount of your retirement pay is vitally important, and you may want to retain a military law attorney to advocate on your behalf.

Administrative Actions

The Uniform Code of Military Justice governs criminal misconduct in the military, but military administrative law, which consists of orders, statutes, and service regulations, governs non-criminal misconduct. Administrative actions may include Letters of Reprimand, Letters of Admonishment, Letters of Counseling, Unfavorable Information File entries, Promotion Selection Record Entries, Administrative Holds, and Investigator General investigations. Any of these actions can derail your career, even if that was not your commander’s intent. Sometimes a single act of misconduct is spun into multiple Letters of Reprimand. Among other successes, Mr. Domek has convinced a state Adjutant to disregard the findings of an Investigator General investigation and permit a retirement without an adverse grade determination.

Promotion Propriety Actions

Generally, individuals are promoted based on their potential to serve in the next higher grade. To compete for promotions or stay in service, it is necessary to receive a strong, accurate performance report. There are complicated rules surrounding what may be put into a performance report. If you have had a promotion put on hold, or if you have received a bad report, submitting a strong response within the proper time constraints can mean the difference between a stalled career and a bright military future. If you have been wronged or have gotten a poor rating that you did not deserve, you should consult military lawyer Timothy Domek at Domek Law.

Board of Corrections of Military Records

The Board of Corrections of Military Records can correct errors or remove injustices perpetrated by any branch of the military services. The correction board can consider applications for the correction of a military record, including a review of a court-martial discharge. You usually need to file a request for correction within three years of discovering the error or injustice. You will need to show to the Board’s satisfaction that the entry or omission in the records was unjust or in error. The application needs to include all the evidence available to support your position. Each service branch has its own Board of Corrections with a specific set of procedures and rules that need to be followed. It is important to retain a military law lawyer who has experience dealing with the Board of Corrections of Military Records.

OPR/EPR Fitness Report Appeals

Each service branch, from the Army to the Coast Guard, has its own regulations related to performance report appeals. These occur at the local level through various administrative boards. Performance reports are critical to your career, including future assignments. Therefore, it is important to retain a seasoned, aggressive attorney if you have received a performance report with which you disagree. These can include Officer Performance Reports (OPR) or Enlisted Performance Reports (EPR). The statute of limitations for appeals is three years. An appeal can be especially important if you know that a separation action is forthcoming.

Inspector General Investigation Representation

Each service branch has an Office of the Inspector General. The office investigates allegations of individual misconduct, abuse, waste, and fraud. If you are the subject of an Inspector General investigation, you should be aware that there is a possibility of adverse events. Your military career can suffer harm from an investigation even if there is an insufficient factual basis for it. These adverse events can include promotion withdrawals, promotion delays, letters of reprimand, or referrals for involuntary separation. Often, Inspector General investigators do not consistently stick to applicable military regulations and federal laws, and it is crucial to retain an experienced military lawyer to push back against the investigation.

Non-Judicial Punishment Representation and Appeals

Non-judicial punishment proceedings are known as Article 15 in the U.S. Army and Air Force. Your career as an officer or senior can be ended by an Article 15, which is a form of military discipline authorized under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The standards of proof for an Article 15 are not perfectly clear. Therefore, actions may be taken with insufficient proof. You can turn down an offer of an Article 15 and ask for a trial by court-martial. However, if you turn down an Article 15, you may be charged with more offenses at your court-martial than what you originally faced on the Article 15 charge sheet. You have appeal rights even if you are determined to be guilty by your commander. You can be denied a commission if you have a non-judicial punishment on record. Mr. Domek has handled Article 15s for personnel in all grades, and he has won many of these actions.

Flying Evaluation Boards

Flying Evaluation Boards are military board hearings in which you can face the potential loss of your aviation qualifications as a military pilot. The hearing process is called a Flying Evaluation Board in the Air Force and the Army. If you are alleged to have committed misconduct or to have violated aviation regulations or rules, you can lose your qualifications. This is a very harsh consequence for a military service member to face. The outcome of the Flying Evaluation Board can have a substantial effect on a service member’s career and can even result in administrative discharge or separation, so you may want to consult a military attorney.

Medical Evaluation Boards

Sometimes an illness or injury renders a service member unfit for duty. If you are not able to perform your duties as required by your rank and duty position, you will be considered unfit for duty. The process of making this determination starts with a Medical Evaluation Board. The Medical Evaluation Board needs to prepare a report that documents your medical history and current physical status. It should recommend duty limitations. The report will document whether a medical condition hinders your ability to carry out your duties. You are entitled to respond to the Medical Evaluation Board. If it decides that you have a significant medical issue affecting your ability to perform your duties, the case will be referred to an Informal Physical Evaluation Board, which will determine whether you are fit for duty.

Civilian Employee Disciplinary Actions

Civilian employees must abide by DoDD 5500.7, Standards of Conduct. When civilian personnel violate the punitive provisions of the Standards of Conduct, they can face disciplinary action. They are subject to administrative actions like reprimands. Generally, the lowest level of discipline needed to correct a civilian employee’s behavior is supposed to be imposed for work-related performance. Actions can be taken only for such cause as will promote the service’s efficiency, and these are supposed to be taken without regard to color, race, religion, national origin, age, sex, mental or physical disability, genetic information, political affiliation, pregnancy, or marital status.

Disenrollment Hearings and Recoupment Actions

Many people find the service academies and ROTC program a good way to commence a military career. However, if you are accused of misconduct in either the service academies or the ROTC program, you may face disenrollment proceedings. If you are a scholarship cadet, you may also face a recoupment action in which the service tries to take the value of your scholarship from you. A significant amount of money is at stake when recoupment is sought in connection with service academy disenrollment. The rules that govern these proceedings can be complicated. The rules for proceedings related to the service academies and the ROTC program are different, which makes it important to seek representation from a knowledgeable lawyer.

Retain an Experienced Military Attorney

While the military discipline system deserves respect, commanders sometimes get it wrong. At Domek Law, we are not the least bit hesitant to take on the system for the benefit of our clients. We believe that any injustice, no matter how small or seemingly unimportant, weakens the institution of the United States Military, in addition to doing serious damage to some young man or woman’s hopes and dreams for a military career. Domek Law represents service members across the U.S. Call us at (208) 546-8784 or contact us via our online form to discuss your needs.

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