A member who receives an "adverse personnel action," which includes letters of counseling, memoranda of reprimand, and negative officer and enlisted evaluation reports, may be facing the premature end of his or her career. Adverse personnel actions may result from command-directed investigations (e.g. "AR 15-6"), from Inspector General investigations, from non-judicial punishment ("Art. 15," "Captain's Mast," "Office Hours"), or at the direction of the member's commanding officer. Members who are going to receive, or who have received, adverse personnel actions may challenge the action on factual and procedural grounds. Members who disagree with the action taken should utilize every procedure available to refute the allegations and/or challenge the procedures by which the adverse action was taken. Such actions can destroy a member's career.
A member may challenge an adverse action in a variety of ways according to the military department and the specific procedure used to issue the action. In most cases, the member will be afforded an opportunity to submit a rebuttal statement along with evidence in support of his or her position. A member also may appeal the adverse action to the Board for the Correction of Military Records, described above. In some cases, pursuing judicial review of the adverse action is possible without first applying to the corrections board. Any negative consequences from an adverse action, such as withdrawal of advancement or promotion and/or loss of pay and benefits, may be challenged along with the adverse action itself. Adverse actions also may result in separation proceedings against the member.