Military Officer Separation Boards

What Is A Board Of Inquiry?

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Boards of Inquiry are the statutory methods used by military services to separate or “eliminate” an officer from military service. The Board of Inquiry could result in your military discharge or military separation.

The process differs slightly in each service but essentially begins with a report of misconduct or substandard performance. The officer is notified or ordered to “show cause” for retention, and a local commander convenes a Board of three officers, all senior to the officer notified. The Board then convenes a hearing at which the service is represented by a government attorney who will present evidence of why the officer should be separated. If you are ordered to “show cause,” you have a right to be represented by an active-duty military attorney free of charge at this hearing. You also have a right to hire an experienced military lawyer.

“Simply put Don, Kasheta and the rest of the KML team are amazing. They are worth every dollar and Don truly cares[.] He will work night and day for you and there is no one better than Don in this business. I was facing a Board of Inquiry for a situation that had gotten so far out of hand. Don pointed out so many flaws in my case and stopped my situation before it made it to a BOI. I called Don over 20 times a day and he always answered my calls, was patient, and [kept me] calm and grounded. My only regret is I didn’t call Don immediately at the first sign of trouble.” S. Swaminathan, 2022

What Do Boards Of Inquiry Do?

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During the hearing, the board must answer three questions. First, does the preponderance (e.g., 51 percent) of the evidence support the reason for separation? If so, does that reason merit separation from the military? If so, what type of military discharge should you receive? If you’re eligible for retirement, the Board will likely be ordered to make a “retirement grade determination,” which is a recommendation as to whether you should be retired at a lower rank than the one you then held. Most of these decisions are simply recommendations to the Separation Authority (usually a General or Flag officer) or even to the Service Secretary.

Should I Hire An Experienced Military Lawyer To Help Me At A Board Of Inquiry?

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The BOI process can dramatically impact your career and future as a civilian. For this reason, we encourage you to obtain experienced counsel to assist you BEFORE you make any decisions. After participating in hundreds of BOIs over two decades as an active-duty attorney, government attorney, military defense attorney, and Separation Authority’s attorney, Don will explain that EXPERIENCE MATTERS! As an active-duty O-6 JAG, Don sat on the working group that created and recommended the Navy’s latest BOI procedures. He knows what the Separation Authorities care about, what the Board members care about, and how to persuade them all.

THESE HEARINGS ARE REAL CHANCES TO CONVINCE THE BOARD THAT YOU SHOULD BE RETAINED IN THE SERVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE DOWNPLAYED OR WAIVED WITHOUT CONSULTING AN EXPERIENCED MILITARY ATTORNEY!

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