Principles of Disciplinary Process

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Throughout the disciplinary process, there are some principles which must be preserved. The accused may:

  • Hear and view the accusation(s) in full along with supporting evidence
  • Present evidence and, if appropriate, witnesses in the volunteer's defense
  • Ask questions or request an advocate to advise the volunteer on the disciplinary process and to act on the volunteer's behalf in any proceedings
  • Exercise their Article 31b rights (e.g. Right To Remain Silent, RsMO 40.112).
  • Subject to the requirements of the Service, of chain of command, and of the disciplinary process, protect the confidentiality of the matter until and unless a formal statement is entered into the volunteer's personnel record or other formal action is enacted.

Article 31B Rights (RsMO 40.112)

From :

  • Article 31 Rights include the general nature of the suspected offense. Legal specifications are not necessary, lay terms are okay. You must be specific enough so that the suspect understands what offense you are questioning him/her about (RsMO 40.108).
  • The suspect's right to remain silent (RsMO 40.112).
  • The consequences of making a statement.
  • Although it is not necessary that the advisement be verbatim, it is best to read the rights directly from a rights advisement card or as directed/available in your branch of service.

Even though Article 31 does not include a right to counsel (that comes from the Constitution) it is listed on the rights advisement card & must be included when reading a suspect his/her rights (RsMO 40.114).

I am __________, (first sergeant of the) _________, _________ (military installation). I am investigating the alleged offense(s) of ___________, of which you are suspected. Before proceeding with this investigation, I want to advise you of your rights under Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. You have the right to remain silent, that is, to say nothing at all. Any statement you do make, either oral or written, may be used against you in a trial by court-martial or in other judicial, nonjudicial or administrative proceedings. You have the right to consult with a lawyer prior to any questioning and to have a lawyer present during this interview. You have the right to military counsel free of charge. In addition to military counsel, you are entitled to civilian counsel of your own choosing at your own expense. You may request a lawyer at any time during this interview. Have you previously requested counsel after advisement of rights? (If the answer is yes, stop. Consult your JAG Office before proceeding).

If you decide to answer questions during this interview, you may stop the questioning at any time. Do you understand your rights? Do you want a lawyer? (If the answer is yes, cease all questioning). Have you already consulted an attorney about this matter? (If the answer is yes, stop questioning). Are you willing to answer questions? Do you understand that your are free to end this interview at any time?