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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 19200
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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My son has been charged with violation of Article 80, making

Customer Question

My son has been charged with violation of Article 80, making a false statement, and 112a. He did not indicate on his enlistment paperwork that he had used marijuana while a teenager (per his recruiters advice to "speed things up"). Well someone turned him in after he's been in for 39 months now. He has NOT failed any drug tests, but they charged him with the 112a. He's been promoted twice in 2 years, and has an outstanding record i'm told. Anyway, he has to go to "Captains Mast". Jag said they are asking for a other than honorable discharge and RE4. I said he needs to make a statement , and say that the drug charge is not valid for him, it never happened in the Navy. And to ask if they must punish him to give him a General Admin and RE2 so he can reenlist. He LOVES the Navy and is heartbroken. What do you think?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Before a Captain's Mast, you have to understand that that is not a court. It is a single commander that makes the determination of whether or not to punishment him under that non-judicial punishment form. A discharge is NOT actually available in that forum. That would have to come later through a separate process, called an administrative discharge process, so the Captain's Mast is just the first part of the process.

He certainly can make a statement that he did not do any drugs and his drug offenses occurred before he joined, the service. However, while that may help with the punishment issue before Mast, it will be admitting to the Article 80 violation because he will be admitting that he submitted false paperwork to join.

I think his best option really is to maintain silence rather than giving additional evidence against himself.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

For him to get an Other than Honorable discharge, they'd have to put him through a board hearing and that would be more difficult for them to accomplish than the Captain's Mast, because it is more like a trial.

He could waive the board to get the General discharge, but his chances of getting an RE 2 are almost nil. If you join the service by giving a false statement to get in, they won't let you come back after you're separated.