What is a GOMOR?
GOMOR is short for General officer Memorandum of Reprimand, a type of administrative censure issued in writing to members of the Army. A GOMOR can be given for any type of misconduct or substandard performance. It is an administrative censure unique to the Army.
Who can issue a GOMOR?
A GOMOR can be given to an enlisted Soldier by a Commander in the Soldier’s chain of command, a School Commandant, or a General Officer. A GOMOR can be given to a commissioned or warrant officer, by a Commander in
their chain of command, a designated rating chain member, or a General Officer. For officers, GOMOR’s are most commonly issued by the Commanding General (CG) over the officer.
What type of evidence is needed before a GOMOR can be issued?
Generally, there needs to be some type of investigation (CID, 15-6, IG) documenting the Soldier or officer’s misconduct and/or substandard performance. The issuing authority must believe by a preponderance of the evidence that the indiviudal committed the misconduct alleged. Preponderance of the evidence means the allegation is more likely than not true. One way to think of it is that the issuing authority must believe by at least 51% that the conduct did occur.
How can a GOMOR impact an Army career?
No Soldier wants a formal letter explaining how their behavior or conduct was deficient. Beside the negative stigma of a GOMOR there can be very serious career consequences when a GOMOR is filed in a Soldier’s OMPF. The GOMOR can either be filed “locally” or placed in the member’s OMPF. Locally filed GOMORs are destroyed after three years or upon PCS. Locally filed GOMORs cannot be viewed by promotion boards and generally do not have as large of an impact on a Soldier’s career as a GOMOR filed in a Soldier’s OMPF. GOMORs filed in a Soldier’s OMPF have long lasting and serious consequences. GOMORs filed in the OMPF can be viewed by promotion boards and Human Resources Command (HRC). The GOMOR will stay in the Soldier’s OMPF for the duration of their career unless appealed or removed. Further, a GOMOR in a Soldier’s OMPF can be grounds for denial of promotion, denial of reenlistment, or administrative separation (for officers called “show cause” or “elimination”).
What rights does a Soldier have with respect to a GOMOR?
If a GOMOR is issued to the Soldier, the Soldier has the opportunity to submit a written response. Generally, there are two types of responses. The first type is where the Soldier refutes the allegation of misconduct by asserting actual innocence or that the investigation does not prove the misconduct by preponderance of the evidence, thus asserting the standard to issue the GOMOR has not been met. The second type of response is where the Soldier offers matters in mitigation and extenuation; that is, an explanation as to why the misconduct/substandard performance occured and why the GOMOR is too harsh of an admonitiion and should be withdrawn or filed locally. Again, the Soldier must be respond in writing, normally within 7 days unless an extention is granted or other time period is specified by the issuing authority.
Do I need an attorney to respond to a GOMOR?
if you received a GOMOR, you hopefully have previoulsy at least engaged the base legal assistance attorney or Trial Defense Service during the course of the investigation. It is essential that Soldier receive legal advice and assistance from an experienced military law attorney when drafting the GOMOR rebuttal submission. The rebuttal is best (and perhaps only) opportunity to reduce or stop the impact of a GOMOR on a career. An experienced military law attorney knows how to attack investigations and what types of evidence in mitigaiton and extenuation can be persuasive to the commander who issued the GOMOR. While the Army legal assistance attorneys provide limited assistance to Soldiers who received a GOMOR, a civilian military law attorney retained by the Soldier provides the full scope of representation and will often write the rebuttal.
What happens after the rebuttal to the GOMOR is submitted?
The issuing authority is required to consider the written submission and determine whether the GOMOR will be withdrawn and destroyed, only filed locally, or filed in the member’s permanent record (OMPF).
What if the commander decided to place the GOMOR in the OMPF?
There are four ways to address a GOMOR filed in your OMPF. The first method is to request the General Officer who directed it be permanently filed to order the GOMOR be removed. There is no formal procedure to request the issuing commander remove the GOMOR, however, your request for removal should be in memorandum format and include relevant evidence of rehabilitation and excellent performance. Absent unusual circumstances, commanders do not often choose to remove a GOMOR that he or she issued from the OMPF. The second method is to request the Department of Army Suitability and Evaluation Board (DASEB) to move it to the restricted fiche portion. These appeals are generally restricted to E6 and above. Requests for transfer to the restricted fiche require that the Soldier show that the intended purpose of the GOMOR has been served and that the transfer would be in the best interest of the Army. Transfer requests must be made at least one year after the imposition of the GOMOR and at least one evaluation report has been completed. The third method is to appeal the GOMOR to the DASEB and ask it be removed from your OMPF. Removal of the GOMOR is much more difficult than transfer to the restricted fiche. To remove the GOMOR, you must show by clear and convincing evidence that the allegations are untrue or unjust. The burden is on the Solider to convince the DASEB to remove the GOMOR. Finally, if the Soldier can appeal to the Board of Corrections for Military Records (BCMR) by filing an application. The burden is on the Soldier to show that the GOMOR is manifestly unjust or improper. The problem with the BCMR is that it often takes more than a year to get a decision, and the impact on a Soldier’s career has already occured at that point.
How can Korody Law help me?
Attorney Patrick Korody has close to 20 years practicing military law. He has submitted written rebuttals on behalf of clients throughout the world in more than 500 cases including GOMORs, Letters of Reprimand, Administrative Separations (enlisted), Show Cause/Officer Elimination (probationary officers), Security Clearance Letters of Intent to Revoke, and various other military administrative and disciplinary actions. He has established himself as a premier military defense attorney. He offers a free case consultation and can be reached at (904) 383-7261.