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I’m currently and IET soldier in AIT going through the

chapter process. It’s been a...
I’m currently and IET soldier in AIT going through the chapter process. It’s been a month since meeting with my commander along with a National Guard liaison to chapter me out but I haven’t heard from them since or even signed anything. What are my rights? I see many chapters kept here for months with no progress. I feel like no paperwork is getting done and I’m just being kept here.
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
3/12/2018
Allen M., Esq.
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,626
Experience: Lawyer and current JAG officer.
Verified

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance. (The system will automatically generate a phone call request to you. Unless I specifically state, during our discussion, that a phone call is possible, I intend to just use this chat format as I am not in a position to accept a phone call).

Unfortunately, that is not only possible but it is likely. There is no legally mandated or set period for a Chapter to take place. In terms of rights to a speed separation, you have none. Again, there is no set or mandated period of time for a Chapter, unlike a court martial which has speedy trial laws based on Constitutional rights.

You aren't being put through a criminal process. It is an administrative process that is entirely done at the discretion of commanders. Trust me, we in the JAG office don't like this. We actually have processing times or goals (often called metrics) which we are trying to meet based on direction from our higher level JAG's who decide promotions and assignments, and we have zero control over commanders. We can push and prod, but in the end they do what they want. When I've told commanders about my metrics before, they scoff and say "yes, that's your metric...I don't have one."

Now, not all of them do that, but the point is that the legal arm of the military acts just as advisers and when there is not a regulation that we can point to which forces a certain processing time, they are going to do what they want and how they want to do it. Filing an IG complaint or Congressional would have no effect, because the timing or even processing of a separation at all is entirely command discretion, so in response to both inquiries, the command would be able to legitimately say "I am following the law in the application of my discretionary functions."

I wish I could tell you differently here, but making noise is the absolute best way for you to guarantee you'll be there longer. I have literally heard commanders say "Snuffy is complaining? Put his chapter on someone else's desk for at least two weeks before I see it again."

You need to sit on your hands, let the process work and it will actually go faster than if you start pressing about the right to something that, in the end, you don't have a right to.

If you have any further questions or other facts that you would like me to consider, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a three, a four or preferably a five star rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Please DON’T rate my service until after you have asked any follow up questions that you have, so that I have the best opportunity to earn all 5 stars. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Allen M., Esq.
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,626
Experience: Lawyer and current JAG officer.
Verified
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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