Military investigations are most often conducted by individual officers who are not professional investigators. They are initiated in response to some complaint or concern brought to the attention of a commander. That commander becomes a “appointing authority” by ordering an investigation. The investigating officer (“IO”) will meet with a legal advisor and review a guide on what to do, but otherwise likely has no training or knowledge on how to conduct the investigation. This raises significant concerns about their ability to properly gather facts and arrive at a correct set of findings. The investigator will gather documents and interview people before preparing a report, which then goes through a legal review before being returned to the commander. That commander then serves as the “approving authority” and will sign off on the findings for that investigation. Because of this non-expert process, we encourage individuals under investigation to seek capable legal representation when they are the target of a complaint that triggers a command investigation.
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.