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Thread: Article 15 UCMJ

  1. #1
    123rich is offline Junior Member
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    Article 15 UCMJ

    Hello everyone.....

    I am currently at a cross road and I am unsure of what to do. I currently live on Fort Knox, KY where I am a Heavy Equipment Transporter with the US Army. I have been in the Army for almost 10 years and I have devoted everything I have to doing my job to the best of my abilities. I served in OIF, Bosnia, and busted my but during it all.

    My problem is, I conducted On The Job training with the Army's Criminal Investigation Command or CID, in hopes to join thier ranks as a Special Agent. I completed 8 months of the OJT time, I have been accepted into the program and I should get a school date some time next week so I can begin training. After my 8 months of OJT I had to return back to my original Company. My first line supervisor that I currently fall under goes against everything I was taught about being a Soldier and mostly a Non Commisioned Officer. He is a terrible leader, he makes no attempts to mentor, train, or help with personal or proffesional matters with our young Soldiers that we have. If there is one thing that I hate the most, that would be a terrible NCO. I have faith in the NCO Corps and I live by the creed to the best of my abilities but he probobly does not know what it even means. My Company is scheduled to deploy back to Iraq within the next few months for the 4th time and I have frantically been trying to train these Soldiers to prepair them for what is in store.

    With frustration setting in because of the actions and the non actions of this Squad Leader I may have said something to him that I will regret. He asked me one moring if I had a problem with him, I had told him yes I do. He then asked me what my problem with him was, and I told him I thought he was A piece of $hi% Squad Leader. He then blew up, I have 7 Sworn Statements from different ranks of the Company that witnessed his behavior.

    I was properly counseled by this Squad Leader in which he recommended UCMJ action be taken against me for disrespect and threatning demenor. The Counseling was pretty much a lie, and the witnesses who read the counseling also said it was a lie.

    As far as disrespect, I do not feal that is the case. He asked me what my problem was with him, as an NCO myself I felt obligated to let this NCO know what his faults are.

    As far as me threatining him in any way, that never happend. Now he did threaten me and that is what the 7 Sworn Statements are for.

    Now I am at that crossroad, I have not been officially told I am getting an Article 15, but my Platoon SGT said it will probobly happen. Well I have a few choices, I can accept the Article 15, appeal it if I do not agree (which I wont because I do not belive I did anything wrong), request redress under Article 138 if I disagree with the appeal. Or I can take my chances with a Special or General Court Martial.

    After serving for 10 years, it would be very hard to start my life over if I was discharged from a Court Martial. Although I do belive I would win the Court Martial, it still would be taking a big chanc.

    Anyone have any suggestions? Thank you.
  2. #2
    canyonFF is offline Junior Member
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    man i don't know what to tell you big sarg. I am almost certain that if you request a CM they can stop it and punish you administrativly. Which may be a oral reprememand or maybe worse. And if you seriously don't want to accept an Art. 15, then don't. It would probably never go to CM. As they are very costly. Seriously though, if you have proof and witnesses that say HE threatened you, I would go talk to a lawyer off post, and ask if you could file charges against this guy. You can sue another member of the army, if only to avoid punishment yourself. If the command sees that your serious about trying to get this guy legally, they are going to step in. And one of two things is going to happen, he's going to get really pissed and push harder in which it goes to a REAL court with a REAL jail and he's going to have to prove he didn't do anything, and it's going to blow the situation apart and higher up's are going to step in to settle it peacefully. Or he's going to say "Oh ****, I may not have bit off more than I can chew." and drop his pursuit. It just depends though I think. Probably No one in the command is happy you so "tactfully" stated your dissapproval, asked or not, but they may not think it so bad to press for a Art. 15. I mean he's going to have to convince the commander to even bother with it. But I think if you even hint at bringing in civil lawyers the situation is going to repair itself. Cause that would make the command look really bad if they allowed a leader to stay incharge of people who lies and threatens them. Which they arn't going to let themselves be viewed as dumb. Some one is going to take him aside and say "If your even the slightest in the wrong, you may wanna stop." So he may get relieved for cause. But if that happens, then you may never get promoted again due to politicing. i.e. right or not, NO 1sg is going to promote someone who got nother NCO relieved, but you could fight that aswell. So I'm not telling you to go do it today. Talk with the civil lawyer, then ask to speak with the CO and let him know that you are seriously thinking about pressing assult charges, and it may stop it right there. Just think about it though. TALK TO people SGT! what are you a 5 or 6? you said "your pltsgt", so I'm assuming he's a 7 and your talking about "your firstline supervisor" so he's a 6. So your what? E5? (although i have known 12 year e-5s and less than 10 year e7s, hell, i would've been a 2year E5). I'm just saying that if you don't want the Art. 15 and you seriously have papers that say he was in the wrong, then dont take it.

    I can't believe something as miniscule as this is actually being considered for Art. 15.
    Last edited by canyonFF; 07-17-2005 at 12:14 PM.
  3. #3
    badapple40 is offline Senior Member
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    Demand trial by court martial. I don't often tell people to do that, but in this case, I feel it is warranted. If you beat the charges, he looks like the jerk, and I have a feeling you may do just that.
    The giving or taking of any advice given in this forum does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and any readers of any posts acknowledge that they are not in any type of attorney client relationship with the poster.
  4. #4
    123rich is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for your replies everyone. I was just notified this morning that I have to go see the CO at 1700. I guess then I will find out his intent then go to JAG and so fourth. I do think I will go for the Court Martial and I will keep you posted.
  5. #5
    123rich is offline Junior Member
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    Well 1SG gave notified of the CO's intent to give me an Article 15 today. He made it quite clear that he does not agree with the CO's decision, I guess he did convince the CO to drop 1 of the charges that this Squad Leader attempted to put on me.

    This Squad Leader had also told the CO that I got in his face and attempted to provoke him into a fight. Under Article 117: Provoking speeches or gestures. I never did that so it really didn't matter to me. But he refused to charge me with that.

    So now I go to JAG at 0745 tomorrow morning. I will have all of my Sworn Statements and see what happends there. I have 48 hours to decide on a Court Martial or Article 15. So far I am very much so leading towards a Court Martial with a civilian Lawyer.

    Thanks everyone..... I'll keep you posted.
  6. #6
    Shay-Pari'e is offline Senior Member
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    I can't speak for BA, but I agree with his opinion, and strongly suggest private messaging him and see if he can give you further direction.
  7. #7
    123rich is offline Junior Member
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    Well I spoke with TDS this morning. I spoke with a Lawyer who has yet to have a trial go to court. He has only been working Trial Defense for 2 weeks now and he seems to think I only have a 5-10% chance of beating this in a Court Martial.

    The bottom line is, under Article 91 it says:

    ART. 91. INSUBORDINATE CONDUCT TOWARD WARRANT OFFICER, NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER, OR PETTY OFFICER

    3) treats with contempt or is disrespectful in language or deportment toward a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer while that officer is in the execution of his office;

    And he said that is all that applies. Not weather or not I was provoked into taking the actions I did nor regardless of what his history in the Military is. Just the fact that I displayed insubordinate conduct toward a noncommissioned officer.

    I then went strait to IG afterwords because not only is the CO trying to give me an Article 15 but he is doing nothing to this SSG for his actions. I told him everything, I supplied him with Sworn Statements from creditable NCO's and a W-01. IG told me it was ludicrous. He is a MAJ and he told me he could not tell me what he would do if he was my CO but he will tell me after all action has been taken against me. He was noticalby upset.

    He told me he was a CO of a Tanker Company and he gave many Article 15's and he went to say more but he then stopped himself and said he couldn't say anymore. Just come see me when this is all done. So I said ok and went on my way.

    It just so happend, my CO was in the waiting room while I was on my way out. The MAJ told me he was there, he was there because he is a new CO here on Fort Knox and he had to recieve his IG briefing and it just so happend to be at the same time I was there. lol
    He told me he would speek to my CO about this but also said he could not give any personal or professional feelings or advice to him about it. But he did say he would make it clear of how he fealt indirectly.
  8. #8
    123rich is offline Junior Member
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    Well I just got home from the civilian lawyers office. He told me this probobly would not go to trial. But he would charge me some where abouts $8000 if it did not go to trial and anywhere from $9500-$13000 if it did go to trial.

    He is one ****y lawyer. Within minutes inside his office he told me, "look, I do not need your money, I have pleanty of money, I'm rich" and then he took out 2 wads of money out of his wallet both wrapped with $5000 paper markers.

    Well needless to say, I am not using his services. I was expecting to have to pay any where from 1k to maybey 2k but definatly not 8k.

    I think I will be going with plan B. Take the Article 15, request an appeal, after the appeal comes back, request a Redress (in which they won't know what the hell I'm talking about) then if the matter is not resoulved within 15 days I will file an Article 138.
  9. #9
    canyonFF is offline Junior Member
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    Sgt, believe it or not, the civil lawyer gave you the best advice, much more that the inexperienced, as is generally the case, TDS Counselor. "It will probably not go to trial." Just as I said. Incase you don't know, or for someone that isn't familiar with, the punishments, I'll list, partially, the details regarding this charge, and the punishments applicaple for that charge.

    (3) Contempt or disrespect toward warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer. In that _____(personal jurisdiction data ) (at/onboard location), on or about __JULY__ 2005, [did treat with contempt] [was disrespectful in (language) ( deportment ) toward ], a ___NCO___officer, then known by the said_____ to be a ( superior) __NCO____officer, who was then in the execution of his/her office, by (saying to him/her, ___________, or words to that effect) (spitting at his/her feet) (_________)

    Maximum Punishments--
    (7) Contempt or disrespect to superior noncommissioned or petty officer. Bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 6 months.

    notice it says MAXIMUM!!!! That means that is the most you could get for that offense, but they could do with it whatever they want so long as it doesn;t exceed that mandate. They arn't going to nail you SGT, you have all the documents proving otherwise. At most, I would bet they give you a Oral letter of reprimand stating that you were infact disrespectful to the SSG when you said he "was a piece of **** squad leader." They arn't going to send you to jail over this sgt, they arn't going to discharge you for this sgt. They arn't going to bust you chaps over this sgt. I would also assume, that they already have that VERY letter written for when they ask you if you want to accept non-judicial punishment and you say "yes" and sign your name.
    Look, the 1sg is on your side, the W1 and 6 others are on yourside, and, evidentally, the IG is familiar with the case, and has actually spoken with this green C.O. about the matter prior to the punishment phase. No one will say it, but I bet IG "hinted" at just giving you an Oral letter of Reprimand and nothing more. It just isn;t warranted. And an OLR isn't ****, ecspecially at company level which you've led me to believe this is happening at, it's gone when either you PCS, ETS or switch companies within that Unit.

    The CO probably saw this as his "I don't take **** as a C.O." Art. 15. He's just letting the company know he will press almost anything and not let it slide. You should also realize that there is NO green little Cpt. running around any base that want's to be Investigated by the Inspector General, much less within a month of his acceptance of a Unit. So whether you accept the Art. 15 or not, I bet the most your going to walk away with is an OLR, which, I would think, is something you can live with. You are undoubtedly a respectable NCO, as is shown by other peoples actions. No one is going to burn you on this sgt, if for only the reason they realize you could come back just as hard.

    Hoping it all goes smoothly,
    Canyon
  10. #10
    123rich is offline Junior Member
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    Ya I know canyonFF. But as an NCO and I have been a Squad Leader when I was stationed at Fort Wainwright, I have sat in 4 Article 15 hearings for my Soldier's. And I must say all but 1 of those Article 15's in my opinion where not fair. The Soldier's always seemed to get a punishment that was to harsh for thier acts. I had a Soldier that neglected to urinate during a routine UPL. Now he was given like 5 hours to drink water, and do PT to attempt to speed up the process, but he could not piss. So the Soldier was escorted to the Hospital and was administered a cathoder. Now I thought he was going to piss hot but nope he was clean. But the Soldier still recieved a Company Grade Article 15 for failure to fallow a lawful order and the punishment was 14 days extra duty and 1/2 months pay. I thought that was BS the guy couldn't pee.

    Now for the past year and a half I have sacrificed a lot, atleast a lot to me.

    - Feb 04 I made the cuttoff and was to pin on E-6 rank on in Mar 04
    - Mar 04 pinned on E-6 rank
    - Mar 04 requested administrative reduction in rank so that I could persue my carear in CID
    - Jun 04 reduced to E-5 per my request (it was a pain in the ass to get it approved) and I was told I would take that money back but they never did.
    - Jul 04 started OJT with CID
    - Apr 05 CSM made me come back to my Unit because he did not belive I would get a Branch release to go into the 31D MOS. That's what Branch was telling me to
    - Jun 05 receaved my Branch release documents
    - Jun 05 my CID packet was forwarded to the CID Command for Accaptance with a projected time of approval of Sep 05

    So you see, I am risking a lot. If I get any kind of Article 15 or CM, it's all gone. A letter or oral reprimand, that won't hurt anything so I pray they don't do any more.

    Thanks for your great advice, I will check back in tomorrow with the results.
  11. #11
    badapple40 is offline Senior Member
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    Do NOT accept the article 15. Go court-martial. For the love of God, go to a court-martial over this.

    You are making a HUGE mistake accepting the 15.
    The giving or taking of any advice given in this forum does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and any readers of any posts acknowledge that they are not in any type of attorney client relationship with the poster.
  12. #12
    123rich is offline Junior Member
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    I talked to the CO tonight for my Article 15 hearing. He is putting the case on hold for reasons of new evidence. ie... me talking to IG and he completely understood my position and backed me and all of the witnesses who wrote the sworn statements that he never even read and they were also present to speak on my behalf to the CO. The CO said the Article 15 is not done, just on hold until he can investigate further.

    Now clearly I was insubordinant towards my Squad Leader but I feal my actions are justified and with cause. Either way, I will still expecially now that it seems I have the commands attention and they are being vary causious, go ahead and hire an attorney and take it to CM.
  13. #13
    123rich is offline Junior Member
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    Well the CO must be Superman or something. Less than 24 hours later he coordinated with JAG, IG, and conducted a thorough investigation on the new evidence and decided he was going to give me the Article 15. Thier hearts dropped when I showed up with 11 witness and persons to speak on my behalf and then I opted for a CM.

    How much time does the CO have to tell me weather or not he is going to push it to the CM?
    Last edited by 123rich; 07-21-2005 at 04:56 PM.
  14. #14
    canyonFF is offline Junior Member
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    I have yet to find a DEFINED time that they have to act in. This is where the "right to a speedy trial" comes into. According to the MCM This is what you did:

    PART V
    NONJUDICIAL PUNISHMENT PROCEDURE
    Section 4 - Procedure, Section B.

    b. Decision by servicemember.
    (1) Demand for trial by court-martial. If the servicemember
    demands trial by court-martial (when
    this right is applicable), the nonjudicial proceedings
    shall be terminated. It is within the discretion of the
    commander whether to forward or refer charges for
    t r i a l b y c o u r t - m a r t i a l ( s e e R . C . M . 3 0 6 ; 3 0 7 ;
    401407) in such a case, but in no event may nonjudicial
    punishment be imposed for the offenses affected
    unless the demand is voluntarily withdrawn.

    man... I'm not reallying going to get into because rules say "see rules ___" then those rules say "See Rules ___." While this doesn't confuse me, it does take time to review and I'm not a lawyer, I don't get paid to look at this stuff. Basically the term used is "Prompt." So this disposition has to be expeditious. I'm not sure how much you know about the procedings, but he can still drop "any or all" of the charges at this point. You should know something in a timely manner.
  15. #15
    badapple40 is offline Senior Member
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    Hire a civilian lawyer -- if funds are "tight," hire the attorney I refferred you to (he's relatively cheap and a good bargain for the price paid).

    They'll probably prefer charges in the next couple days.
    The giving or taking of any advice given in this forum does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and any readers of any posts acknowledge that they are not in any type of attorney client relationship with the poster.

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