News

July 6, 2018
 

GOMORs and Social Media – How to stay out of trouble

By Capt. Sergio L. Suarez
Fort Irwin Legal Assistance Office

In the current political climate, it is important to remember that social media can be an avenue which may lead to some trouble. For example, posting negative or contemptuous words against an elected official may run afoul of Article 88 of the UCMJ. This article prohibits disrespectful or condescending statements against Federal and State officials. While this may not lead to a court-martial, it can be grounds for non-judicial punishment or administrative action such as a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand (GOMAR).

A GOMOR is a memorandum to reprimand conduct which may be punished under the UCMJ, code of conduct, or post regulations. GOMORs are significant since they can become part of your Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). A GOMOR may be filed locally or permanently. A GOMOR filed in your permanent file can severely damage your chances of promotions and may even lead to trouble during re-enlistment.

If you receive a GOMOR, you have seven days to file a “rebuttal”. A rebuttal is a written statement which can be used to deny, rebut, or explain mitigating circumstances for the GOMAR.

The Legal Assistance Office is here to explain the procedures behind the filing of a GOMOR and provide guidance on how to draft your rebuttal.  Prior to seeing a Legal Assistance Attorney, it would be helpful to document a complete description of the events surrounding the GOMOR. If you cannot make the seven-day suspense, we can help you in your request for an extension. Once a GOMOR is filled in you OMPF, it is presumed to be administratively correct. This means the burden of proof rests on the soldier to provide clear and convincing evidence that the allegations are untrue or unjust.

Don’t forget: Think Before You Post!

Please be mindful that this article is only meant to provide general information. Every scenario and case has its own unique details and intricacies that are best explained during a one on one consultation with an attorney. If you would like to schedule an appointment, you may contact the Fort Irwin Legal Assistance Office at 760-380-5321. Located in Building 230, the hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Thursdays, 1-4 p.m.

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