Written Reprimands without Proof in the Military

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Written reprimands are becoming more prevalent in the military. These documents, sometimes referred to in the Army as the “GOMOR”, can majorly impact your career. These written reprimands are sometimes being issued without proof of wrongdoing. So how can you fight them? 

Written reprimands without substantial evidence have become more consistent over the past several years. One someone makes a complaint of criminal activity but then decides they want no part in the justice system after the investigation has closed, the military will still choose to issue a written reprimand to the military member who has been accused of the crime. Often this will come despite the individual who reported the alleged issue choosing not to participate any further. 

When you receive a written reprimand, you can’t request a trial court-martial. Instead, all that you can do is respond in writing within a few days. Commanding officers often choose to do this so that they cannot be accused of failing to address the alleged issue. Unfortunately, it still impacts – and ultimately punishes – the recipient. 

A Lengthy Impact

Written reprimands are commonly filed in the military member’s file and therefore visible throughout his or her military career. It can therefore impact his or her ability to receive a promotion, re-enlist, or retire. The military member can appeal the reprimand by going to the Board of Corrections, but this can be very difficult and by the time it is removed their career may already be irreparably harmed. Even worse is that a commander who issues a written reprimand can discharge you from the military even without evidence or support of any kind. 

Defending Yourself

So how can you defend yourself? The first step to fighting a written reprimand is to draft a response. A knowledgeable and experienced military attorney can help you to develop your legal argument.  Additionally, you must collect and submit character letters from those who know you. These letters serve to attest to who you are as a person and why it’s unlikely that you would engage in the misconduct as charged. If you do all of the above and your command still chooses to uphold the written reprimand, you can appeal to the Board of Corrections (or a similar organization depending upon your branch of the military) and request that the reprimand is removed from your file.

The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members in Colorado Who Have Received a Written Reprimand

The U.S. Government has an interest in obtaining a conviction as soon as possible, as it does not wish to gain negative publicity about one of its service members. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced military attorney as soon as possible.

If you are a military service member and have been charged with a crime under the UCMJ, or have received a written reprimand, the Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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