You Are Charged with a UCMJ Offense, Now What?
First Set of 5 Tips1. Excellent Soldiers get the benefit of the doubt or at least don't usually get max'ed out at Sentencing. Think about that and act accordingly.
2. Stay positive and maintain hope. Both will take you a long way toward improving your life and receiving a more favorable result in the court-martial process.
3. Make it a goal to do more than any other Soldier in the unit without showing off or kissing up.
4. Keep up your military bearing and physical training.
5. Ask NCOs, or Senior Leaders you respect, to help you in your path to rehabilitation. Ask for extra things you can do to improve yourself. Again, don't do it if you are not serious.
Second Set of 5 Tips6. Make a list of witnesses relevant to the charges and Good Soldier character witnesses. Include their full name, rank, contact phone (plus cell if available) and email addresses. Give it to your defense counsel as soon as possible. Ask these witnesses to testify at your trial or write you a memorandum of support (if applicable).
7. Do not disrespect anyone. Show them you can follow orders. Staying humble will probably keep you out of most trouble.
8. Go to E-Learning in AKO and read books on leadership and success.
9. Go to E-Learning in AKO and read some books on team building.
10. Make a mental plan to improve yourself, jot down the outline of the plan, and execute it every day
Third Set of 5 Tips11. Study the Elements of the Charges (provided by defense counsel) and think about what evidence needs to be had to disprove the elements.
12. Maintain good relationships with the Chain of Command. Again, you want the command team to look pass the alleged misconduct and see a Soldier they want around.
13. Go seek a chaplain and befriend him/her. They can be of great help at Sentencing to lessen the punishment if they are willing to testify on your behalf. They may also write you a memorandum of support for the clemency request.
14. Contact your folks and try to gain their understanding, trust and support. You may need their help later.
15. Belong to the group of Soldiers that can help you get out of the bad situation, not make it worst. In other words, stay out of any kind of trouble.
Fourth Set of 5 Tips16. Set a long-term goal for your military career and beyond. Write it down and post it somewhere you can see it every day. It is never too late.
17. If you have a spouse, get him/her involved in the process of surviving this bad situation with self-respect, honor, and hope for the future.
18. Start writing an apology memorandum to the command, Soldiers in the unit, and the General who can give you clemency. Don't show it to anyone without showing it to your defense counsel first.
19. Save your money because you may forfeit pay at Sentencing.
20. Visualize some great reward for all the hard work you put into saving your career, money, and your freedom. Let the vision be your motivation.
Last Set of 5 Tips21. Start working on your Good Soldier Book. Things to include are the basics like awards, NCOERs, college courses, etc. and anything that shows you are an excellent Soldier.
22. Enroll in certain courses that can help you become an excellent Soldier. (Example: self-enrollment into ASAP.) Discuss with your defense attorney if any courses you are thinking of taking are appropriate.
23. Don't talk about your offenses to anyone except your defense counsel. "Anyone" includes friends, family, and other Soldiers in the unit. Statements made to them can be used against you.
24. If you have any questions, contact your defense counsel and maintain an open and honest communication.
25. Stay positive always but prepare for the worst. Be grateful for the time and opportunities you were given while serving in the US military and prepare for the next chapter of your life - be it in uniform or out.