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I'm pending disciplinary action from my command, and have no idea what to expect or how long until they decide.

Jacksonville, NC |
Filed under: Military law

I went UA back in January and hit deserter status, where I was returned back to my unit by chasers in late March. While I was there, they gave me an option of court-martial or NJP, which I took the NJP and got 45/45. A medical emergency back at home occured two weeks later, and again I took off (Ultimately, the same reason for both... The first time I would do over again, the second time not so much). My unit deployed on the second UA, although I had returned myself (2 weeks later) before they deployed.

I honestly don't know what is happening, when it'll happen, or what to expect. I'm just trying to get some sort of idea of what to expect. All I've heard is I will not be retained, but there are differing answers on the court martial vs NJP/Adsep outcome.

I'd give more info if I could.

The UAs were both due to my fiancee having an emergency brain surgery, confirmed by a Red Cross Message. My command denied emergency leave because she was not my wife, recruiter's assistance (with no field ops or work ups in the timeframe requested), and a 72-hour special liberty pass. I know that there is no defense for UA/Desertion or Missing Movement, but I'm hoping that there will be some mitigating circumstances that may help me here. I obviously am hoping for an adsep to avoid any criminal conviction. I'm definitely hoping for that, I just don't know where to go, who to talk to, or what to do to speed this process up. In the mean time, I've kept my nose clean, they've put me back on the original restriction I was on (I had completed roughly 12 days of it, and they put me on 36 days of it continuing), and I'm doing everything to the best of my ability to give them a reason to not court-martial me.

Attorney Answers 2


If you are a Marine at either Cherry Point or JAX, it's quite likely that this time they may decide to give you a court-martial; either a summary with administrative discharge, or a special.
The fact of the deployment is going to be considered an aggravating matter against you, especially if that meant you did not leave with and have not left to deploy.
I've seen anywhere from 30-90 days confinement and a BCD, for missing movement and UA such as this. There may be some negotiating room because of any special circumstances. That means you really have to get detailed information and documentation about the reasons for the absence to prove the medical issues. You'd have to at least explore the issue of medical necessity as mitigation or extenuation.;; 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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I agree with Mr. Cave. Recently, I consulted a young servicemember who was dealing with similar circumstances. I will give you the same advice. You need to retain an attorney as soon as possible who can negotiate with the command on your behalf. Do not waive your board if the command does not offer a General discharge. In the meantime, stay out of trouble. Good luck.

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Philip Douglas Cave

Philip Douglas Cave


Agreed that you should not waive a discharge board unless you are given a written conditional waiver for at least a GD. A person should almost never waive a board because it is held against you later if you try to upgrade.

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