Are you or a loved one facing ROTC or Academy disenrollment? Cadets and Midshipman may face this action if their military superiors believe that the Cadet or Midshipman breached their ROTC contract by doing one of a number of things, including committing misconduct, failing to uphold the honor code, or becoming unfit for military duty.
If this happens to you or a loved one, you (they) are entitled to a hearing at which you may personally appear and present your case. The Air Force and Army call these “Disenrollment Hearings” while the Navy/Marine Corps refers to them as “Performance Review Boards.” Much like a very informal trial, you will hear the evidence collected against you and have the opportunity to present evidence in your defense. At stake at these hearings is your ability to receive a commission, the possibility that you may have to repay scholarship money already received, and the potential to be ordered to serve your active duty time as an enlisted member.
SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO ASSIST ME WITH ROTC DISENROLLMENT?
Probably. While an attorney’s speaking role at a hearing will be more limited than at a criminal trial, an experienced lawyer can GREATLY assist you in preparing for the hearing, to include:
- File review, to ensure all relevant documents are included;
- Drafting of a legal memorandum to provide to the hearing officer (or board) in advance of your hearing date. This will likely include all of the information your lawyer would offer at your hearing, to ensure the information is included;
- Identify, speak with and help prepare witnesses to speak on your behalf, and finally;
- Help prepare you for your critical statement to the board.
The rules and procedures and the standards used by the Services in making these determinations are complex. In addition to the steps outlined above, an experienced attorney can assist you in making sure you not only comply with them, but that you place the strongest package possible before the Board.
WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER HIRING AN ATTORNEY TO ASSIST ME WITH ROTC DISENROLLMENT?
As soon as possible! Some hearings may literally take place only a few days after you are notified that it will happen! For that reason, if you are concerned that you may face such a procedure, it’s vitally important that you obtain legal serves as soon as possible.
HOW DO I LEARN MORE?
The services instructions on disenrollment hearings can be found here:
Army Regulation 145-1;
Navy Service Training Command Instruction 1533.2A
Air Force Instruction 36-2011.
Please also feel free to reach out to us at KML for a free consultation on these matters.
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