Commentary

August 23, 2013

Secretary of Defense memorandum on integrity of military justice process

This memorandum reiterates my expectations and those of the President regarding the integrity of the military justice process. Every military officer and enlisted member of the Department of Defense is to be made aware of its contents.

Military justice is an essential element of good order and discipline, the indispensible ingredient that allows our Armed Forces to be the best in the world. Central to military justice is the trust that those involved in the process base their decisions on their independent judgment. Their judgment, in turn, must be based purely on the facts of each individual case, not personal interests, career advancement, or an effort to produce what is thought to be the outcome desired by senior officials, military or civilian.

Service members and the American people must be confident that the military justice system is inherently fair and adheres to the fundamental principle of due process of law. Everyone who exercises discretionary authority in the military justice process must apply his or her independent judgment.

Military judges, commanders, convening authorities, criminal and administrative investigators, staff judge advocates, supervisors, Article 32 investigating officers, trial counsel, defense counsel, members of the court-martial panels and witnesses in military justice cases are among those included in this mandate.

Senior military and civilian leaders in the Department have an obligation to establish the standards of conduct expected of all military personnel. Drug abuse, sexual assault, hazing and other criminal misconduct are not acceptable; senior leaders have made that clear and will continue to do so. But those comments are not made with the intent to indicate in any way what should or should not occur in any case. As Kathryn Ruemmler, the Counsel to the President, emphasized, “The President expects all military personnel who are involved in any way in the military justice process to exercise their independent professional judgment.”

To be clear, each military justice case must be resolved on its own facts. Those who exercise discretionary authority in the military justice process must exercise their independent judgment, consistent with applicable law and regulation. There are no expected or required dispositions, outcomes or sentences in any military justice case, other than what result from the individual facts and merits of a case and the application to the case of the fundamentals of due process of law.

Please ensure this message is widely and immediately disseminated throughout your organizations. The integrity of the military justice process is too important to risk any misunderstanding of what the President and I expect from those involved in it.

Thank you.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

BLUE BORDER MESSAGE / SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE COMPLETED

At a court martial on 25 March 2015, a Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, was tried for committing sexual acts on multiple occasions by causing bodily harm. The 2LT pled not guilty, but was found guilty to the charge of sexual assault. On 27 March 2015, the 2LT was sentenced to a dismissal. The sexual assault...
 
 
Earth-Day-poster

Army Earth Day 2015: Sustain mission, secure future

STAND-TO! Celebrated each year on April 22, Earth Day started in 1970 as a grassroots effort to create an awareness of the Earth’s fragile environment, encourage environmental stewardship, and ultimately, develop environmenta...
 
 

Army Volunteer Corps shares philosophy on volunteerism

Special to The Scout Volunteering is a defining part of the American experience. From the Minutemen at Lexington to today’s all volunteer force, the Army relies on the fundamental connection between volunteerism and citizenship. The strength of the Army lies in its Soldiers, and the strength of Army communities lies in the talents and contributions...
 

 

APRIL IS ALCOHOL AWARENESS MONTH 2015 Fort Huachuca Safe and Sober

Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. Alcohol is a primary factor in the four leading causes of death for young people 10 – 21. More than seven million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent on or has abused alcohol. Alcohol was involved in...
 
 

Month of Military Child recognizes young family members for service

WASHINGTON – To highlight the year-round contributions, courage and patriotism of the military community’s youngest members, the Defense Department observes April as the Month of the Military Child, a Pentagon official told DOD News. Established by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in 1986, the month recognizes some 1.9 million U.S. military children ranging in age from...
 
 

April 2015 Month of the Military Child Proclamation

Whereas, since 1986, Army installations around the world recognize the sacrifices and applaud the courage of military children by celebrating the Month of the Military Child throughout the month of April; and Whereas, each day, military children undergo unique challenges, which they face with resilience and dignity beyond their years, and Whereas, it is essential...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin