If you are a flag or General Officer in the Armed Forces, you can expect to find yourself the subject of an Inspector General investigation at least occasionally—it goes with the territory. You almost certainly have one or more judge advocates assigned to you, but you must remember that those judge advocates do not represent you in your personal capacity. Ask your judge advocate whom he or she represents in a case where you have been accused of wrongdoing—the judge advocate will give you a well-rehearsed spiel to the effect of “I represent the United States Government, not you.” You cannot form an attorney-client relationship with your Staff Judge Advocate, and any information that you share with that Judge Advocate is not considered privileged.
If you find yourself named in an Inspector General investigation, you have a great deal at stake—you should retain private counsel who understands the system and who represents only you. If you have been nominated to a higher grade, requiring Senate confirmation, the Department of Defense (DoD) will probably send someone to assist you, especially if opposition to your confirmation has arisen. But you must remember that the person DoD provides represents DoD, not you. If you find yourself caught up in a congressional investigation or confirmation battle, you need competent and diligent counsel who will represent your interests. Tully Rinckey has the experience to assist you. To set up a consultation with an attorney, call 5182187100.
In many cases, officers’ security clearances are crucial to their careers. The loss of a security clearance – whether due to misconduct, financial, foreign influence, or alcohol or drug abuse concerns – can lead to reassignment, or his or her forced retirement.
In cases where an officer has received notice of the denial or revocation of a security clearance, we can carefully examine all the information adjudicators considered in making the determination and point out any inaccuracies. We can also raise mitigating factors, such as the passage of time and steps taken to address financial or substance abuse problems. Working with our attorneys can improve an officer’s ability to keep his or her security clearance.
Our attorneys represent military personnel before the Department of the Navy Central Adjudication Facility (DONCAF), the Department of the Army Central Personnel Security Clearance Facility (CCF), the Air Force Central Adjudication Facility (AFCAF), and the Coast Guard Central Adjudication Facility (CGCAF).
Officers need to treat Letters of Reprimand (LOR) seriously. They can profoundly impact their prospects for advancement, or even end their military careers. These letters, written by general officers, typically begin by stating that the receiving officer was found to have violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice or punitive regulation, neglected his or her duties or exhibited extremely poor judgment.
It is imperative that officers respond to an LOR and submit matters in extenuation and mitigation. The attorneys at Tully Rinckey PLLC’s military law practice can help officers prepare a response to an LOR, with the goal of having it withdrawn, dismissed or filed in their military personnel records jacket (MPRJ), where it will not be viewed by promotion boards or impact school selections. We will aggressively oppose the filing of a reprimand in an officer’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) or performance fiche (P-fiche).
To achieve this goal, our attorneys work to point out inaccuracies or mistakes of law in an investigation forming the basis of an LOR, raise mitigating factors or extenuating circumstances and point out the officer’s potential for advancement and ongoing value to the service. In instances where an LOR has been filed in an OMPF, our attorneys can represent an officer in filing an appeal with the applicable service board for correction of military records.
Commanding Officer’s may occasionally become involved with a congressional inquiry after a service member under his or her command files a complaint with a member of Congress. Most inquiries end with an explanation to the complainant detailing the military’s response to his or her grievance, but occasionally congressional inquiries uncover problems that warrant deeper investigation.
The attorneys at Tully Rinckey’s congressional investigations practice can assist officers in responding to congressional inquiries and investigations. We can prepare responses to congressional inquiries and advice officers of their rights. Officers need to remember that the consequences for failing to comply with congressional inquiries can be severe and include charges of contempt, false statements, perjury, and obstruction of committee proceedings.
Tully Rinckey PLLC can also represent officers who have received threats or experienced retaliation from their commanders because of their participation in a congressional inquiry. The Military Whistleblowers Protection Act of 1988 protects service members against retaliation for preparing or making communications to members of Congress, so long as such communications were lawful. The law (Section 1034, Title 10, US Code) prohibits the military from taking or threatening to take an unfavorable personnel action or withholding or threatening to withhold a favorable personnel action against a service member for preparing or making statements to a member of Congress.
If you are a flag or general officer in the armed forces, you can expect to find yourself the subject of an inspector general investigation at least occasionally—it goes with the territory. You almost certainly will have one or more judge advocates assigned to you, but you must remember that those judge advocates do not represent you in your personal capacity. Ask your judge advocate whom he or she represents in a case where you have been accused of wrongdoing—the judge advocate will give you a well-rehearsed speech to the effect that “I represent the U.S. government, not you.” You cannot form an attorney-client relationship with your staff judge advocate, and any information that you share with that judge advocate is not considered privileged.
If you find yourself named in an inspector general investigation, you have a great deal at stake—you may retain private counsel during this time and the military lawyers at Tully Rinckey PLLC understand the system and will represent only your interests.