Military law involves the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and a number of other statutes, regulations, and instructions. Commanders can use these to address misconduct that does not warrant a court-martial. The different military branches each have their own administrative actions available for commanders to use.
General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand (GOMOR)
A General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand is an administrative measure short of an Article 15. It is considered a “career killer” in the Army. A GOMOR is authorized by AR 600-37, Unfavorable Information. The Commander has two options for filing – either in the local file or the performance portion of the AMHRR.
A GOMOR can have the effect of rendering someone ineligible for promotion, triggering an administrative discharge board or Board of Inquiry , a retirement grade determination, or the inability to reenlist.
You have the chance to rebut the GOMOR before it is filed. KMD has assisted clients with their rebuttal statements so effectively that the response has changed the General’s mind on many occasions, resulting in either withdrawal of the GOMOR or local filing. Statements in rebuttal to the GOMOR are filed with the GOMOR itself, which can impact future decision-makers for things like promotion, retirement grade determinations, and future appeal. This is why it is important to obtain the assistance of a military defense attorney who can help you put together the best response for your situation.
Finally, a Soldier can appeal the filing of a GOMOR to the Department of the Army Suitability Evaluation Board (DASEB). The Soldier can request removal from the AMHRR or transfer to the restricted portion of the AMHRR. KMD has experience filing DASEB appeals and has a great track record of success. Even simply moving the GOMOR to the restricted portion of the AMHRR can have a profound effect on a Soldier’s career.
As one former client, a MAJ in the US Army, put it:
“I can’t thank you enough for the work you put into this appeal. While the GOMOR was not removed entirely, I’m greatly satisfied with the results. I’m able to continue with my career and begin to put this behind me. It’s been a very trying time in my life and career. There’s more I’d like to add but I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and emotions at the moment. Simply put, thank you Stephanie.”
Each service has its own methods of administrative counseling to correct behavior. For example, the Navy has counseling chits, a nonpunitive letter of caution (NPLOC), and a punitive letter of reprimand. The Marine Corps has a “6105” based on the paragraph of MCO 1900.16 (MARCORSEPMAN) requiring counseling before administrative separation. The Air Force and Space Force have letters of counseling, letters of admonishment, and letters of reprimand.
These counselings are designed to track the chain of command’s attempts to impose discipline and the servicemember’s deficiencies. They are written records that are later used for administrative separation or as matters in aggravation at a court-martial . They can also impact your ability to test or be selected for promotion, PCS, be selected for competitive training courses, or use certain benefits like tuition assistance.
Counseling is a system that is ripe for abuse. When the chain of command has personal motives, they can stack counselings to create a pattern of alleged misconduct that is an inaccurate representation of the truth. KMD has experienced many situations where a SNCO exaggerates conduct or imposes multiple counselings on junior servicemembers in one day, then claims it is an uncorrectable “pattern” and recommends administrative separation to the Commanding Officer.
These counselings can be particularly devastating for SNCO’s and Officers. However, a strong rebuttal can have the effect of withdrawing the letter or setting up the servicemember for later requests for removal from the OMPF or correction at the BCM/NR [HYPERLINK]. Strong rebuttals at the time of the counselings can also be beneficial if they are trying to use the counselings to administratively separate you.
Receiving an adverse evaluation can have a serious impact on your career, including affecting your promotion potential. Each service has a method for rebutting or appealing evaluations, and you’ll want to ensure your rebuttal is sufficient to fully document the problems with the evaluation/FITREP/OER/OPR to ensure the highest likelihood of success when appealing or requesting later correction through the BCM/NR [HYPERLINK].
Relief from Command
There are a variety of steps you can take if you have been wrongfully relieved from command. The services rarely ever issue a reason why someone was relieved of command, except to say “loss of confidence.” This has become a particular problem in the Navy, where the number of Commanding Officers relieved from command has reached astronomical proportions.
When you are relieved from command, you can take an aggressive approach by filing complaints with the appropriate authorities. You can also fight back on a Detachments for Cause or an adverse FITREP (Navy) or adverse OPRs and OERs (Air Force, Space Force, and Army).
SHARP Complaints, PAC Complaints, and EO Complaints
SHARP Complaints, PAC Complaints, and EO Complaints all have different regulations specific to the type of investigation, the procedures involved, and the particular service you’re in. These are high stakes investigations that involve a number of nuances that require a skilled military defense lawyer to help you navigate.
Substantiated allegations in these types of complaints can lead to mandatory administrative action against you, including administrative discharge. It is essential to retain the assistance of a military defense lawyer as early in the process as you can. At KMD, we help you navigate the investigation to seek the best outcome possible. If you are subject to administrative or punitive action, we help you respond so as to avoid those mandatory outcomes if possible.