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My son is in the Army and is continually being

My son is in...

My son is in the Army and is continually being harassed/getting counseling statements for petty stuff that get overlooked for other soldiers. what can he do to file a complaint?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

He is in North Carolina

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to anyone in the chain of command about this?

I haven't but he has tried and only gets the run around

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

My son has been in the Army for 18 months but only has been training for 5 months of that time

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Answered in 48 minutes by:
3/12/2018
Allen M., Esq.
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,565
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).

Where he files depends on why he thinks he is being singled out. If based on race, religion or sexual orientation, he should file with the EEO on base, making a complaint of disparate treatment by his chain of command.

If he thinks that it is just general hazing against him, for some unknown reason not related to those previously mentioned forms of discrimination, he should file a complaint with the IG on base.

Now, he should do neither if she has not approached his chain of command about these issues first.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
He went to see legal services today and basically got "It doesn't matter" as a response to everything he was able to tell the lawyer about what's going on. The original AR 15 he got in October has been dropped and now they are threatening an AR15 for his room not passing inspection and for him being late for formation. Both he has explanations for - his counseling says he would get an AR15 if upon reinspection the room didn't pass again.... but there was never a reinspection. And he was late for formation because he received a text the night before that formation would be later due to inclement weather. Apparently the time was changed again in a text that came in while he was asleep so he did not see it until he woke up which was after the time he was to be at formation. He said he was already punished for that by having extra duties, having to show up at formation 30 minutes early for a week and writing an essay as to why he shouldn't be late. He's saying he can't be punished again under the "double jeopardy" rule. He has until Wednesday to build his case. He is so frustrated he just wants to tell them to "kick me out" since this isn't what he enlisted to do... face a bunch of harassment that has no bearing. What can he do/what should he do?

No, that's not right. He can be punished. Right now, the things he is doing are not considered legal punishment. They are considered training, so that does not create any "double jeopardy" situation here. He can perhaps argue that he has been punished some, with the extra duties, if they were not training type duties. Showing up early to formation when you have been late is remedial training, not an extra duty. Writing an essay on being late is not an extra duty, it is remedial training. Extra duty would be shoveling dirt, doing yard work, cleaning the floors, etc. Stuff that is just work, with no intention of teaching something.

While I can certainly see that he is being picked on, he has messed some things up from a legal stand point. He was being considered for an AR 15, but they dropped it, so he was already under scrutiny. He failed a room inspection, which is pretty hard to do in the military these days. He was late to a formation, even though I understand why.

The point is that he has garnered some attention from the chain of command, fair or not, and when that happens it is difficult to stand up under that much additional scrutiny. While I can agree that is a bit petty, this is the military and those issues do matter.

So, he can argue that he has already done extra duty if he did work unrelated to training. He can argue that his tardiness was not intentional, but based on a prior text that he received.

Finally, as I noted before, he can go outside the chain of command. Talking to legal, as he did, can be useful but they are just focused on his potential legal punishment. They aren't going to look deeper at a hostile situation from command. The IG can, which is why I recommended that before. If he feels targeted based on race, religion, etc., he can go to the EEO, which I also recommended before.

Allen M., Esq.
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,565
Experience: Lawyer and current JAG officer.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you. That information helps.
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