The Navy’s Push to Separate More Officers at Boards of Inquiry

Enlisted service members go to administrative separation boards (adsep boards for short).   Officers have “show cause proceedings,” also known as a Board of Inquiry (BOI for short).  There is a stark difference between enlisted and officer boards – a vote for retention, regardless of the misconduct, for an officer is binding on the military.  For […]

Positive Military Drug Test – Getting Your Own Testing Done

Despite all of the reliability issues at military drug labs over the years, the careers of otherwise honorably serving members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard are ended every day based on positive urinalysis results.  The characterization of service for most of these involuntary separated “due to drug abuse” members […]

Federal Drug Crime Mandatory Minimum Sentences

When it comes to drug offenses, federal mandatory minimum prison sentences can be hammers.  Many drug distribution offenses under federal law have a 10 year mandatory minimum – even for a single transaction! The most important two factors when it comes to federal sentencing for drug offenses are type and quantity.  Type is important because […]

False Positives At Military Drug Labs

I recently wrote about the false positive results being reported by Navy Drug Screening Laboratory Great Lakes here.  The military urinalysis program began in 1974 after several studies established there was widespread drug use among the force in the Vietnam era.  I started handling these cases in 2006 and have compiled a list of the […]

Hazarding a Navy Vessel

I’ve been contacted to discuss the collision involving the destroyer USS Fitzgerald off the coast of Japan on June 17, 2017, which resulted in the loss of 7 Sailors’ lives when their berthing flooded. Though early reports have indicated that the merchant vessel ACX Crystal abruptly changed course, then collided into the starboard side of USS […]

Military Medical Quality Assurance Investigation (QAI)

A Quality Assurance Investigation (QAI or QA Investigation) involving a military medical provider is most commonly an investigation to determine whether the provider is clinically incompetent, though it can also be used to investigation professional misconduct or impairments, including mental or physical impairments.  Such investigations are often triggered by missed or incorrect diagnoses, near miss […]

UNLAWFUL COMMAND INFLUENCE – CAAF SETS ASIDE BUT AUTHORIZES A REHEARING

CAAF decided the Air Force case of United States v. Boyce on Monday, May 22, 2017.  A deeply-divided court held that the conduct of senior Air Force officials created an appearance of unlawful command influence (UCI) in this sexual assault case.  And while the court finds no prejudice to Boyce, the majority “conclude[s] that an objective, disinterested observer […]

Supreme Court Invalidates Indemnification Provisions For Military Retirement

Any smart divorce lawyer representing a military spouse always seeks to add indemnification language to military retirement pay division orders – the order that divides the servicemember’s military retirement.  The indemnification aims to reimburse the spouse for any reduction in military retirement pay caused by the election of VA disability pay.  The provisions normally provide: […]

Are Military Sexual Assault Courts-Martial Influenced by Military Authorities?

There is no military sexual assault epidemic.  The military is just like the civilian world when it comes to sexual assault.  Colleges have similar rates of reports as the military for college age persons (in the military, junior enlisted folks).  I’ve seen my fair share of alcohol facilitated sexual assault reports to local Florida authorities. […]

Another False Positive At A Military Drug Lab

My folder dedicated to false positives and misconduct from the military’s urinalysis drug laboratories just got a few pages thicker.  As noted in this memorandum to the Navy’s Criminal Law Division (Code 20), Navy Drug Screen Laboratory (NDSL) Great Lakes has identified at least three false positives for methamphetamine and amphetamines.  To my knowledge, NDSL […]