MILITARY OFFICER SEPARATION BOARDS
WHAT IS A BOARD OF INQUIRY?
Boards of Inquiry are the statutory method used by which the military services separate or “eliminate” an officer from military service.
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 officer, 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 as to 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 experienced military counsel to represent you.
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WHAT DO BOARDS OF INQUIRY DO?
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 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.
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!
SHOULD I HIRE AN EXPERIENCED MILITARY LAWYER TO HELP ME AT A BOARD OF INQUIRY?
The BOI process can have dramatic impacts on your career and your future as a civilian. For this reason, we encourage you to obtain experienced counsel to assist you BEFORE you make any decisions. After participation in hundreds of BOIs over two decades as an active duty attorney, either as the government attorney, the officer’s defense attorney, and as the 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.
“My top Captain across all designators and commands. Best JAG I have ever known!” Navy Rear Admiral, 2019
And you need experienced counsel NOW! Click here to read about why it is so important to get counsel as soon as you can.
At King Military Law, we know what’s on the line. We understand the importance of thorough, meticulous preparation and we’ve mastered the art of winning. Please give us a call if you think we can help.
King Military Law: Decades of Experience in YOUR Corner–When Experience Matters Most