How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Allen M., Esq. Your Own Question
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq. , Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 18630
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
Type Your Military Law Question Here...
Allen M., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a long story and question to ask of you. I have been

Resolved Question:

I have a long story and question to ask of you.

I have been in the military for almost 18yrs. I was stationed as a Commanding Officer of a ship from 2009 - 2012. During that timeframe, I was ranked as the "best CO" in my area with extremely strong evaluations. After, I left for graduate school, earned a masters degree over the course of a year, and arrived at my new assignment in Jun 13. In Dec of 2012, I received an email from my previous command that my command climate was being investigated due to a complaint. I complied with the email and contacted the investigating officer with my contact info. The investingating officer told me that he had been given two weeks to conduct the admin investigation. After 2 months of not hearing anything, I contacted a lawyer. The lawyer filed a letter stating that he was representing me and attempted to contact the legal staff at my previous command. We are now at the 7 month mark and they willl not allow me to participate in the investigation. I haven't seen or heard anything official but I'm hearing that i am being given an alcohol incident for an alleged incident dating back to Dec 11. I'm also hearing informally that the original complainant lodged 22 various complaints of harrassment against me and my command. I've also heard that the report says that all of the charges are unsubstantiated. All of this is through "back channels" as the investigating officer has never contacted my for a statement on anything.
It now appears that the investigation is over and my previous command is moving forward with an alcohol incident (that didn't even involve the complainant). Don't know the details of the allegations, but I can tell you its very much a "he said/she said". No police involvement, no fight, no abuse to my sailors. I believe the charge is from alledgedly being too intoxicated at a bar. If i receive this, this will be my second documented alcohol incident and the policy states I must be processed for discharge.

Here's my question. What are my legal rights? Does my previous command have the authority to assign an alcohol incident to me since I am no longer in there chain of command? WIll I ever get a chance to speak to the allegations? Just because I am "processed" for discharge, does that mean I WILL be discharged? Can you explain the Board of Inquiry and if I'm entitled to one? Thanks.

I have a lawyer but just wanted to hear a second voice.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I have nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines, including JAG.


1. Yes, your previous command can note the incident even though you are not in their chain of command. You were in their chain of command when the incident occurred, or at least, when the incident that they are alleging occurred. They will, however, need the cooperation of someone in your current chain of command in order to do anything more than simply documenting the incident.


2. Yes, you'll get a chance to speak to the allegations in some forum. For the incident to have any effect on your career, it has to go into some sort of permanent file, be that a performance report, Letter of Reprimand, or some greater level of legal action. You aren't entitled to speak to the issue until they actually choose a course of action and then, that is when your ability to rebut their statement takes effect.


3. No, just because you are processed that does not mean you'll be discharged. With your career, you would legally be entitled to a board hearing before you could be considered for discharge. You would have representation by counsel and the opportunity to rebut any evidence in a trial-like process before you could be discharged.


4. A board of inquiry or court of inquiry, under Article 138 of the UCMJ, is just a formal process for you to question the actions of command. However, the disciplinary process and investigatory process of a command are not subject to that sort of inquiry. This is because any disciplinary action to be taken comes with it's own due process. A board of inquiry simply provides the means for a person to question discretionary practices of a command where the decision don't have their own due process built in.


For instance, you could do a court of inquiry concerning how people were selected for certain schools that would help their career. You can't do it for how a Captain's Mast was processed though, because that process has its own due process built in.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for the info. Just a follow on to make sure I have this right. My former command can conduct an investigation, document everything, and make recommenations, but my current command is the one who will need to act on those recommendations. The former command will not be able to put an adverse administrative letter in my record, it must come from my current command?

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 3 years ago.

Yes, that is generally correct. Your current command is the only command with jurisdiction to rate you, counsel you or initiate any administrative/legal actions against you.


Now, your former command can place a letter in your record, because that is not a jurisdictional matter.

Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 18630
Experience: Lawyer and current JAG officer.
Allen M., Esq. and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 3 years ago.
And just to clarify, while they wouldn't need your current command's cooperation to write up something for your record, they would need their cooperation to have it filed in anything more permanent than a local filing.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • P. Simmons

    P. Simmons

    Military Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
< Last | Next >
  • P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Military Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
  • Allen M., Esq.'s Avatar

    Allen M., Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Lawyer and current JAG officer.
  • Marsha411JD's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed attorney and former Navy JAG serving ashore, afloat and at the OJAG
  • Lawrence D. Gorin's Avatar

    Lawrence D. Gorin


    Satisfied Customers:

    Military & Family Law. 30+ years experience. USFSPA pension division expertise.
  • LawHelpNow's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Relax. Let's work together. Practical solutions.
  • rcampione's Avatar


    Military Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Military lawyer - 5 years to the present
  • JAG Defense's Avatar

    JAG Defense

    Military Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    CAPT, JAGC, USN (Retired); Former Military Judge; Specializing in Security Clearance Adjudications

Related Military Law Questions