PSA: Military Separation Boards: 2 Mistakes

Messy military lawyer. Today’s public service announcement involves military administrative separations.

The two most common mistakes that I see in administrative separation boards is that when you receive the notice of your separation, all you’re doing is responding. Yes, I want my board. You’re missing an opportunity for advocacy.

You 100% need to be responding with a formal memo with attachments, responding to that notice of administrative separation or that notice of elimination. If you’re an officer telling the authority why they should be canceling the board, if you’re contesting the misconduct, if you don’t do that, you’re wrong. If you just check, yes, I want my board, that’s probably all that the defense office is telling you to do.

That’s a mistake.
Respond in writing, asking for them to cancel it.

Does that mean they’re going to cancel it?
But guess what?

That becomes an exhibit at your board and the board members get it.

Second biggest mistake that I see in administrative separation boards is that when the government sends the “readahead” packet to the board members, you are not sending, your advocate isn’t sending the packet that you want with all of your exhibits. You’re missing an opportunity for advocacy…times two.

Build the exhibits.
Build the long game.

Messy military lawyer.

Jocelyn Stewart is a UCMJ court-martial attorney who specializes in defense of allegations of sexual assault for all branches of the military worldwide.


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