Hello again and thank you for your reply. That is fine, I don't need to know what ship he is on or whether he is at sea. I asked that question though because a servicemember who is attached to an afloat command does not have the legal option of demanding court-martial in lieu of NJP
). That is a provision of the law. So, unfortunately, your son cannot refuse Mast.
That said, he can and hopefully did provide his side of the facts. His CO has to find that my a preponderance of the evidence that he violated Article 112a
of the UCMJ. Quite honestly, as long as there are no evidentiary issues with the drug test itself, such as chain of custody
or why it was administered, the CO has the preponderance just by way of the positive results. Your son has the right to appeal the outcome of the Mast up to the GCM authority, who is the Admiral above his CO, but it is unlikely that his Mast will be overturned. Again that assumes that there are no drug sampling problems or a problem with procedure in the Mast itself.
Once there is an Article 15 for drug use, then per Navy instructions processing for administrative separation
is mandatory. Your son can submit his statement and any potential evidence that he has in objection to the separation, but again, in an effort to be honest here, it isn't likely to convince the separation approving authority that he should be retained. If he could get endorsements from his chain of command that says he should be retained, then they might, but not very likely. What your son has told you may be true, but this is not the first time his chain of command, or the Navy, has heard this defense. It takes a dosage level of cocaine to meet the minimum requirements for a positive test in the urinalysis and cocaine itself does not come in pill form. I can't really speak to the evidence or what proof he has of his position, I can only tell you what the law is and what he is facing.
Please feel free to ask any follow up questions that you might have. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.