Messy Military Lawyer. Today’s public service announcement involves your DNA.

If you are a former service member or a civilian, and you had your DNA inputted into the repository known as CODIS, which stands for the Combined DNA Index System, you have the right to petition to have it removed. If you were never convicted of any offenses, maybe you were never brought to a court martial. Maybe you were just given NJP or Article 15 captain’s mast. Maybe you were just given a reprimand. Maybe you were given an admonishment. Maybe you even went to a court martial, but you were acquitted of all the offenses.

If any of those applies to you, you have the right to petition to have your DNA removed from CODIS in accordance with DOD instruction 55050.14. You have the right to have it removed. Understand that the purpose behind CODIS is multiple, right? It allows for state and local crime labs to compare DNA profiles from that crime scene evidence and from convicted offenders. If you’re not convicted, they don’t have the right to have your DNA. You can petition to have a removed. 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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