A general officer memorandum of reprimand (GOMOR or sometimes “GOMAR”) is an official written reprimand from a General Officer (GO). Soldiers are flagged with an AA code (Adverse Action) while the GOMOR is being processed. The flag should be lifted after the filing determination. Where the GOMOR is filed is very important. A “local” filing determination means the GOMOR is essentially a written counselling that is destroyed when Soldier makes the next PCS move or two years pass. If the GOMOR is “permanently” filed at HRC, it can lead to other adverse actions, like an administrative separation (“Chapter”) process, separation through the QMP process, and it will trigger a grade determination. For more information about grade determinations, please review this post.
A general officer memorandum of reprimand (GOMOR or sometimes called “GOMAR”) is an official written reprimand from a General Officer (GO). It is not a legal (UCMJ) punitive action, but it can have serious consequences that very much can feel and act like punishment. Any GO can give any Soldier a GOMOR, regardless of where that Soldier is assigned and who the general officer is. It is possible to get more than one GOMOR for the same thing if two different GOs want to reprimand the Soldier. What really matters is where the GOMOR is filed. A “local” filing determination means the GOMOR is just a written counselling, but if the GOMOR is “permanently” filed at HRC, it can lead to other adverse actions, like administrative separation (“Chapter”) or separation through the QMP process. A GOMOR in the official file will also trigger a grade determination, which can administratively reduce any service member (enlisted or officer) for purposes of retirement and retirement pay.
A General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand (“GOMOR” or sometimes “GOMAR”) can have drastic consequences depending on whether or not it is rescinded, and of not rescinded (torn up) where it is filed by the issuing General Officer. A “local” filing determination means the GOMOR is essentially a written counselling, and nothing more. However, if the GOMOR is “permanently” filed, it goes in the Soldiers’ Army Military Human Resources Record (AMHRR, formerly known as the “OMPF”). This official filing can trigger other actions, like initiation of an administrative separation (“Chapter”) process or the QMP process. If the member is permitted to serve until retirement, the derogatory information of a GOMOR in an official file will trigger a grade determination, which can cost the member hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of their retirement.
Once the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (AFOSI, or just “OSI”) feels they have enough evidence to establish probable cause, they will forward their investigation to the legal office for review. Probable cause is an exceptionally low standard, often seen as little as 15% proof. Normally a finding of probable cause will be the base legal office for the unit of the accused Airman. An attorney in that legal office, usually a judge advocate called the “Chief of Military Justice,” will review the case and give recommendations to the Wing or Squadron commander (depending on how serious the matter is). After this step, the command will decide what action, if any, to take against the Airman.
Once CID feels it has enough to establish the someone committed a crime, they will present that evidence to a judge advocate, usually the unit Military Justice Advisor (MJA). The MJA will issue a legal opinion called an “opine” as to whether there is probable cause – meaning evidence reasonably shows the Soldier committed the crime. If there is probable cause, the case will then move to the “disposition” phase, meaning the command will consider possible adverse action against the Soldier, who has now been “titled” as the “Subject” of the CID case.
The process of administrative separation, especially for alleged misconduct, has a tendency to cause panic. Even from that initial verbal or written counseling that the service member is heading for this military employment firing action, it can elevate anxiety. That is completely understandable. However, in most cases, there is nothing inappropriate about what the command is doing. The process can take some time, and even if you are entitled to an administrative separation board to determine if you should be fired, in most scenarios you have an obligation to begin the process of clearing. For more detailed information about the propriety of pre-clearing and to help you learn more about whether what the command is asking of you is appropriate, please review the information contained in this post.
In many instances, there are specific topics that your chain of command cannot discuss with you. The primary example is if members of your chain of command want to question you about your alleged misconduct. This requires you to politely decline and to direct the chain of command to your legal representative.
However, there are plenty of times when you are required to or should communicate with you chain of command. This is a nuanced field. For more detailed information including examples of when you may refer your command to your lawyer and when you should not, please review this informative blogpost.
A Letter of Reprimand or LOR is the most severe form of an administrative disciplinary action the command can pursue. The following are in order of severity from the least severe to the most serious: Record of Individual Counseling (RIC), Letter of Counseling (LOC), Letter of Admonishment (LOA), and Letter of Reprimand (LOR).
The LOR itself is administrative in nature and is intended to be used to correct substandard behavior, though it can often feel like punishment. Given the possible harmful second and third order effects of receiving an LOR on one’s career, it should not be taken lightly. With an LOR, you have a right to respond. Service members wishing to consider responses that will be most helpful should contact experienced counsel.
An LOR is a Letter of Reprimand. LORs are quality force management tools used by supervisors, superiors, and commanders to improve and correct subordinates’ behavior to address perceived unsatisfactory performance, departure from military bearing or professionalism, misconduct either on duty or off duty, etc. These tools are supposed to be used to correct behavior rather than to punish behavior.
An LOR is more severe than a Record of Individual Counseling (RIC), Letter of Counseling (LOC), or Letter of Admonishment (LOA). Being given any of these administrative disciplinary actions is not any evidence of guilt of any offense.
The seriousness of the alleged departure from standards, in addition to the member’s previous disciplinary record, should be taken into consideration when determining what type of action the command or supervisors should take. The standard of proof for these adverse actions by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that it is more likely than not that the alleged misconduct occurred. This preponderance standard is often referred to as 51% proof.
ADC stands for Area Defense Counsel. The ADC at an Air Force or Space Force installation is responsible for providing legal defense advice, counseling, and representation to Department of the Air Force service members. The ADC is equivalent to a public defender for Department of the Air Force service members.
The ADC assists and represents Department of the Air Force service members facing adverse administrative or disciplinary actions. These adverse actions include, but are not limited to, Letters of Counseling, Letters of Reprimand, Non-judicial punishment (or Article 15s), Unfavorable Information Files (UIF), administrative demotion or separation actions, and referral evaluations. The ADC also becomes assigned to aid Department of the Air Force service members facing criminal judicial proceedings, such as, an Article 32(b) preliminary hearing or court-martial.
The ADC offers their services free of charge to Department of the Air Force service members. The ADC team is not assigned to any local command or installation where they are located.
Learn more about how much experience an ADC has here.
Being a former service member herself and working exclusively on military cases, Ms. Stewart has amassed experience to help in the following areas of the UCMJ:
When faced with the decision of hiring a UCMJ specialist, Ms. Stewart’s former clients explain all that is necessary about her commitment to their case and her expertise in handling the toughest legal battles. Learn more about her unique abilities in the words of her clients, peers, and military judges.