Military investigations can be a confusing and complicated process. It is important to seek legal advice for anything that might lead to disciplinary action as early as possible – even if we’re just talking about an investigation at this stage. You don’t want to make any mistakes that could cost you a promotion or the ability to reenlist. The best thing you can do is get expert legal advice before talking to anyone involved in the investigation. When you have a legal issue, it’s important to get the right advice. Your lawyer should be someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in your specific area of law. The Wilkie Law Firm will provide all the resources and guidance you need to make the best decision for your situation. To schedule your free initial consultation, call 910-333-9626 today.
What Is a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand?
A GOMOR, or General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand, is basically what it sounds like. It is a letter that an army general officer sends to a soldier for bad conduct. This misconduct includes an extremely wide range of offenses, including DUIs and even sexual assault. The general sends the letter to an enlisted member or a commissioned officer within the chain of their command.
Is a GOMOR Issued for Civilian or Criminal Charges and Convictions?
Officers issue a General Letter of Reprimand for any and all types of misconduct, both civil and criminal offenses. Civilian offenses include DUIs and disturbing the peace of the community. Criminal offenses include rape and assault. In these cases, civilian courts have the ability to prosecute the offender. A GOMOR could be written as a response to an alleged action by an enlisted member. This happens when the military decides not to take the case to trial. The military maintains full discretion on what they do or do not choose to take to trial. They also retain the option of non-judicial punishments, which includes the General Letter of Reprimand.
What Information Regarding My Charge Will Be in the General Letter of Reprimand?
If you are being investigated for a crime, the General Letter of Reprimand will come from your superior officer and provide a description of what is being alleged against you. This letter will also include supporting documents that goes to both you and your military defense lawyer. Your legal team will then determine whether there are any other steps to take in order to best defend your case – for example, retaining forensic or evidence experts who might be able to disprove allegations made by an accuser.
Do I Have to Respond to the General Letter of Reprimand?
You should respond to any GOMOR you receive. Even if you believe it is baseless. If you don’t respond, this will generally be taken as an admission of everything within the General Letter of Reprimand. Then, the official record of the incident is that everything within the GOMOR is true. The worst choice you could make is to avoid responding to the letter.
What Happens After I Respond with a Rebuttal?
Whoever issued your General Letter of Reprimand will review the materials of your rebuttal. Before they issued your GOMOR, they will have reviewed their own supporting documents. They will read your response carefully and direct all relevant follow-up questions to your military defense attorney. After taking into consideration your rebuttal materials, the issuing authority makes a decision on whether or not the original GOMOR stands. The officer must truly believe that you committed the alleged offense if the GOMOR is to remain.
Who Makes the Final Decision and What Are the Outcomes from a GOMOR?
After receiving your rebuttal, the person who issued the GOMOR will review all of the materials you have provided and then determine if they should stand. Potentially serious consequences follow if the GOMOR stands. For example, your promotion or reenlistment opportunities might be denied. You could also face separation from the service as an officer or an enlisted member. Promotion boards usually view GOMORs that they have on file. Therefore, a GOMOR that you simply avoid responding to will look worse than a GOMOR with a rebuttal.
What Kind of Attorney Do I Need for a General Letter of Reprimand?
An early consultation with a civilian military lawyer can help you better understand the law and explore your options before making any decisions. Regardless of whether you’re accused of a relatively minor offense or a serious felony, an arrest could land you in jail. It could cost time and money, leave permanent consequences on your record and ruin your reputation. Aden Wilkie is the knowledgeable civilian military defense attorney that you need when facing a complex criminal case. While in the Marine Corps Mr. Wilkie advised a number of General Army Officers regarding the issuance and proper processing of GOMORs against soldiers. His assessment and strategic approach are straightforward, making him one of the best out there.
In some circumstances, the situation may call seeking a personal or telephonic audience with the Commander issuing the GOMOR to you. Such a meeting may make all the difference in a close call where a Commander is considering issuing you a GOMOR. For your free consultation, call 910-333-9626 today.
Located in Jacksonville, Wilkie serves the entire state of North Carolina as well as its surrounding states. He is also able to service any military installation located in the United States, but travel fees will apply. If you’re located at Fort Bragg, Camp Lejuene, or any other military installation, you need the Devil Dog Defender on your side ASAP.