Although many readers of this blog might reasonably believe that it is impossible for active-duty military servicemembers, veterans and military dependants to bring legal claims against the federal government for personal injuries suffered through the negligent acts or omissions of government actors, that is not true.
Some readers of our blog might reasonably think that military and civilian law never intersect, that is, that there is never any interplay between the treatment accorded a servicemember under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the civilian court system.
Fundamental fairness in the American legal system requires that juries in criminal trials be fairly selected, with jurors being free of taint as regards prejudicial views against a defendant that might unlawfully influence a judicial outcome (indeed, Article VI of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution refers to a defendant's right to an "impartial jury" in all criminal prosecutions).
It seems altogether logical that workplace-related discrimination claims in the military would not be materially differentiated from claims brought in the civilian world.
What do you do if you're a military servicemember who is on the receiving end of harassing behavior being dished out by a commanding officer?
It is a fair bet to say that few military members looking for an easy way out of their service obligations following enlistment choose to apply for discharge as a conscientious objector.
Imagine this obviously frightening and even harrowing scenario: While perusing your DD Form 214 and other discharge-related documents following termination of your military service and while readying your resume for civilian employment, you find one or more material errors that convey adverse personal information.
You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney …
Any current or former military servicemember knows well the reaction that an armed forces branch department or unit has when its members learn that an IG (Inspector General) visit is forthcoming.
The answer to the headline question posed above is that, yes, an informal military Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) determination may be appealed by a servicemember who disagrees with findings that materially affect his or her military career.