How do you rebut a GOMOR?
We are often asked what is the best approach to respond to a reprimand that you disagree with? Whether or not you committed the actual misconduct, that’s also called a rebuttal, or are you going to rebut the evidence against you? One thing that we always caution at the very outset is against making any statements of fact that can be contradicted by other evidence. In other words, don’t lie. Don’t misrepresent. When you’re responding to a letter of reprimand, there can be intricate ways of responding that are factually accurate, but also do not admit to guilt, understand that there is a way to do that, but you need to be very careful the other way that you rebut a letter of reprimand or a GOMOR is by obtaining substantiating evidence that corroborates your version of events. That is a fancy way of saying is your word is not enough.
There could be text messages. There could be emails. There could be statements and affidavits obtained from other individuals who are backing up what it is that you are saying. The third kind of category that we always talk to people about is obtaining letters of character. That seems to be the most common way that people want to rebut the reprimand. Understand at this stage, those sometimes don’t carry very much weight and they definitely won’t carry very much weight if they are not individualized or in the right format in the military, it matters. And so if you have people who turn in sort of these very hash put together, memoranda in support of you, it’s not gonna look good for you if they aren’t even following the correct memorandum format. And if they all look the same, if they’re all cookie cutter, if they all are just sort of a fill in the blank. So how do you rebut a general officer memorandum of reprimand? You first and foremost, do not make any statements, a fact that are false and you do not lie. You also need to do more than rely on your own word, because you’re saying this didn’t happen. That is you need to seek assistance to obtain outside information. That’s going to back what you are saying. And then lastly, you wanna consider memoranda of support that are individualized and speak to your professionalism through them.
Jocelyn Stewart is a UCMJ court-martial attorney who specializes in defense of allegations of sexual assault for all branches of the military worldwide.
Contact the Law Office of Jocelyn C. Stewart at 1-888-252-0927
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