A military or uniformed services career is a substantial asset that often represents years of hard work and sacrifice. Therefore, military and uniformed service members cannot be terminated without due process in most instances. For Officers, a Board of Inquiry provides a forum to contest a contemplated separation from the military or uniformed service. (Also, a Board of Inquiry may be convened for hearings on other adverse administrative actions; including, removal from command and reduction in rank). For Enlisted personnel, an Administrative Discharge Board (or Admin Board) provides a service member with a hearing before an adverse discharge can occur. If your command is attempting to end your military or public service career, you have rights.
At a Board of Inquiry or Administrative Discharge Board, service members are entitled to an attorney, have the right to review and present evidence as well as the right to present witnesses and cross-examine adverse witnesses. Both a Board of Inquiry or an Administrative Discharge Board is comprised of three service members who are senior in rank to the accused service member (called “the Respondent”). Board members must determine by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) whether the Respondent committed the misconduct alleged by the command; (2) if so, whether the Respondent be separated from the service; and (3) if so, whether the Respondent’s service should be characterized as: (a) Honorable; (b) General; or (c) Other Than Honorable. The characterization of your service determines eligibility for veteran’s benefits and can impact your ability to obtain future employment.
If you are facing a Board of Inquiry or an Administrative Discharge Board, your career is on the line and perhaps your future employment as well. An experienced military law attorney can help you to present the best defense possible to avoid an involuntary separation or negative discharge characterization. We have over 25 years of experience representing military and uniformed service members at hundreds of Boards of Inquiry and Administrative Discharge Boards. Contact us so we can get started helping you defend your career.