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P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
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Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Military Abuse Questions

Military abuse can be a result of a commanding officer abusing his/her authority or a fellow soldier who is being a bully. Regardless of the situation, you need to know your rights and what steps to take to end the abuse. If you need legal insight to military abuse, the Military Experts can answer any questions you may have regarding military abuse and the laws against abuse. Below are five of the top military abuse questions answered by the Experts.

How can a person speed up the prosecution of a soldier for child abuse?

A soldier's commander holds the ability to prosecute the soldier for any criminal activity. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) the commander is the only one who has this authority. If you think the process is taking too long, it may be due to an investigation. The only way to speed the prosecution up, you could speak with the soldier's commanding officer and express your concern with the situation. If you don't make any headway speaking to the commanding officer, you can contact your congressional representative and discuss the matter with him/her. However, the decision to prosecute is up to the soldier's commander.

Where does a soldier go for help when they have been wrongfully abused in the military?

You have two options if you feel like you have been wrongfully abused. Your first option will be to ask for an audience with your commanding officer and the second option is Art. 138, UCMJ.

If you are having issues with your command, you should take your concerns to your battalion commander. The battalion commander is in a position to repair most issues that arise in the platoon. However, if your commander is involved in the situation, you can turn to Art. 138. Which is quoted here per UCMJ:

Article 138 is one of the most powerful rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), but it is one of the rights least known and least used by military personnel. Under Article 138 of the UCMJ,"any member of the armed forces who believes himself (or herself) wronged by his (or her) commanding officer" may request redress. If such redress is refused, a complaint may be made and a superior officer must "examine into the complaint."

Article 138 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) gives every member of the Armed Forces the right to complain that he or she was wronged by his or her commanding officer. The right even extends to those subject to the UCMJ on inactive duty for training.

Matters appropriate to address under Article 138 include discretionary acts or omissions by a commander that adversely affect the member personally and are:
  • In violation of law or regulation
  • Beyond the legitimate authority of that commander
  • Arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion, or
  • Clearly unfair (e.g., selective application of standards).

How would a person file a Congressional Complaint on a military unit for physiological abuse of power?

You can contact your congressional representative by mail or phone. You will need to contact your congressman which resides over your district. You should also make contact with both of your senators. You need to inform all parties of the abuse that you are experiencing and give the appropriate details. More than likely, you will speak with a staff member if you call but your information will be handed over to your Congressman or the Senator who will follow up on your information by contacting the military.

Should a person get a restraining order on someone who is verbally abusive?

A restraining order will protect you from having to deal with verbal abuse, as long as you are not a participant in the abusive actions. You may want to consider the stipulations of the restraining order and if the situation really requires the order. Once the order has been placed, you will have a hard time removing it if you later decide that it is unnecessary.

What can a sailor do if their supervisor hurt their career due to sub standard evaluations?

If your supervisor has not given you a fair evaluation, you can take the issue to the Board of Corrections for Naval Records (BCNR) and appeal your record. You are allowed 3 years to appeal your record. The BCNR can determine if your record should be changed and if they think you should be promoted, they have the power to give you the promotion. When preparing your request, you may ask the attorneys at the Naval Legal Service Officer (NLSO) to assist you.

No one should have to deal with abuse, especially in the military. The stress of being in the military is hard enough without the added pressure of abuse from other service members or superiors. If you are in an abusive situation and need answers, you can ask the Military Experts. The experts will offer a solution to you individual situation in an effective and efficient manner.

Ask a Military Lawyer

P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 11990
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
11181181
Type Your Military Law Question Here...
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Military Lawyers are Online Now

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Military Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

P. Simmons
Military Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 11441
Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
Allen M., Esq.
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4035
Lawyer and current JAG officer.
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 1149
Licensed attorney and former Navy JAG serving ashore, afloat and at the OJAG

Recent Abuse Questions

  • I was married to a WWII vet for 29 years. We married in 1980.

    I was married to a WWII vet for 29 years. We married in 1980. We divorced in 2009 because of documentable abuse. At the time of his death he was receiving Aid And Attendance. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and I had him cared for in my home until unable to do so any longer. The live-in nurse quit suddenly. At the time of his death he had been a resident in Tx State Veteran's home for about 5 months. My question: Is there any way I am eligible for survivor's benefits ?
  • My son is a Captian in the Marine Corps and is being charged

    My son is a Captian in the Marine Corps and is being charged with adultery and abuse from his wife through his command and in civilian court. He has a restraining order. and cannot see his daughter. We are in California. I think his wife is unbalanced and possibly suffering from postpartum phycosist.
  • I would just like to know if I have a case or not.I hereby

    I would just like to know if I have a case or not.I hereby respectfully ***** ***** you examine into my complaint of wrong. I was trying to file an Article 138 Complaint against my Chain of Command for harassment and manipulation. After doing further research, I’m unable to file because it involves Non-Judicial Punishments. I strongly believe that I was wronged by my Commanding Officer and SGTMAJ. I went from a motivated Corporal of Marines to a private in roughly 15 days. I want to start off by saying that I was sexually assaulted October 13, 2013. I haven’t been the same since the bump in the road. I developed a severe case of depression, Non-Combat PTSD, and Substance Abuse disorder (Alcohol). I'm currently taking 150mg of Zoloft for anxiety. I requested help from my Chain of Command and was sent to a Rehabilitation Center in San Diego California. When I was finally discharged, I was motivated and excited as every to get back to work. I walked a fine line until August 1, 2014. I was scheduled to rotate back to the States on the 2nd of August. An underage Marine went into my fridge and chugged 4 -5 beers and met up with us at the bar. After the bar, we decided to go to the E-club. Then the underage Marine was caught on his way from the restroom staggering. He was arrested and sent to PMO. I told them he wasn’t drinking and that he was with me all night. He wrote a statement for PMO stating that he had took the alcohol from the Smoke pit. He had written a statement to the SGTMAJ stating that him and I went up to my room and drank the alcohol together. There’s supporting evidence from the video cameras that shows that I never left the bar along with witnesses. During the command investigation, every month I had to report to the Commanding officer and SGTMAJ for my liberty risk hearing. After the hearing I would have to go to the SGTMAJ’s office where he would insult and belittle me by calling me stupid and discussing my sexuality in the presence of my Staff. He would even bring my mother into the conversations. I find that to be very unprofessional and disrespectful, and instead of my Staff NCO’s stopping the harassment, they would ignore it and sometimes laugh. During the investigation, none of my witnesses were called to make a statement. After the investigation was over, the underage Marine had to report to the Commanding Officer for his Non-Judicial Punishment hearing. He admitted to drinking on several occasions and having sex in the barracks. The Commanding Officer took half his pay for two months. I had an anxiety attack that night and the next morning I was told to report to the SGTMAJ’s office. It was an intervention with my Staff NCO’s and SGTMAJ. They were convinced that I was going to harm myself. The SGTMAJ then asked my leadership to leave the room. The SGTMAJ was being very humble one on one with me. He took me around his office and explained to me what everything meant. After the tour of his office, we sat down and he started talking to me. He told me if I admit to giving the Marine Alcohol, then I would lose one rank and I would be able to leave to go to my next duty section. He had me read the underage Marine's statement so I could match it to the best of my ability. I noticed they only had the one statement he gave incriminating me and not his initial one, and the one after. I didn’t want to admit guilt, but I didn’t want to make him angry. The next day before my hearing he pulled me away and reminded me what I should say and if I do it then there would be a good chance I wouldn’t lose rank. I trusted him and I did what he said. I was sentenced with 2 months half pay, loss of rank, and 60 Days Restriction. After the NJP trial he took me in his office and said that I had a clean slate with him and if I make the check-ins on time then I would be able to leave and be home for Christmas. 3 days later, I was NJP’d again. I showed up 20 min early for check-in, then I was sent away because I was early and I ended up falling asleep outside. I woke up and hour later. The SGTMAJ recommended I get admin separated and the Commanding Officer approved for a pattern of misconduct. Me showing up an hour late was enough for them to separate me from the Marine Corps. I honestly think that was clearly unfair and an abuse of discretion.The SGTMAJ threatened to call my Mother, and threatened me with brig time.I received my next NJP for missing a check-in a week later and again the SGTMAJ would have me report in and continue the cycle. I explained on numerous occasions that I’m taking sleep Medication. I went to medical and explained to them how I’m getting in trouble for the Zoloft they were giving me and how its negatively affecting me. They just told me it was the Commanding Officer's discretion. He insisted on letting me know that if I screw up then he would throw me in the brig and make sure I share a cell with the guy that sexually assaulted me. (There's more I need to add,I'm running out of charact)
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