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February 2016 Archives

What evidence is needed to win a discharge upgrade?

Although it may seem counterintuitive, having a discharge upgraded is actually a good thing. The term comes from Section 1553, Title 10 of the United States Code. The law authorizes a board to review the discharge of any former member of the armed forces, with the exception of those resulting from a general court-martial. 

What Double Jeopardy Means and What It Doesn't Mean

Most people have heard of the concept of Double Jeopardy, the principle that a person cannot be convicted of the same crime twice. Military service members often believe that means that they cannot be prosecuted by both the military and civlian authorites. That belief, however, is incorrect. Civilian criminal laws and the UCMJ are different sets of laws, even if they are often similar. Service members may and have been prosecuted under both sets of law.

Former sergeant appeals a suicide-related general discharge

In our last post, we discussed the frightening prospect of a war injury costing a service member his or her eligibility for VA benefits. This may seem unbelievable, as military benefits are supposed to compensate and care for America’s soldiers after their service. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a situation when a soldier would be in greater need of care than after a war injury.

Is losing a security clearance an adverse personnel action?

The Obama administration is calling for an overhaul of the federal security clearance system. The call may be in response to the recent government data breach of about 4.2 million records maintained by the Office of Personnel Management. The new approach shifts responsibility to the Defense Department for housing the sensitive information.

Can a war injury jeopardize your right to VA benefits?

A service member injured while serving his or her country should be entitled to medical and/or financial benefits. To the extent that some injuries are permanent and prevent the individual from working, adequate compensation should be provided until the service member is once again able to enter the work force. 

Charged with DUI Off Base

The U.S. military expects service members to maintain the highest standards of discipline, both on and off duty. If a service member is charged with a DUI off base by local law enforcement, local civilian authorities will likely handle the matter through the civilian criminal justice system. Article 111 of the UCMJ also makes it illegal to operate a vehicle while drunk, meaning that the military can also prosecute the service member. Often, though, civilian and military authorities will agree to let one or the other take the lead in prosecuting the case.

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