The service member (Respondent) facing separation at an administrative board has specific rights, including:
- The right to submit an oral or written statement on the Respondent’s own behalf. The Respondent may also testify on his own behalf or remain silent;
- The right to request the attendance of witnesses at the hearing;
- The right to appear in person before this board, with or without counsel;
- The right to challenge any voting member of the board when it is felt that the member cannot render a fair and impartial decision;
- The right to submit any answers, depositions, sworn or unsworn statements, affidavits, certificates, or stipulations; and
- The right to question any witness who appears before the board or to have their advocate question the witnesses on their behalf.
When the administrative board convenes, it considers all the evidence (both for and against the Respondent). In one or more closed session deliberations, the board then votes on (1) whether the evidence supports the alleged misconduct; (2) whether to recommend retention or separation, and (3) if the board votes to separate, whether the characterization of service to recommend for the discharge will be Honorable, General, or Other Than Honorable (OTH).
Unless the service member hires an attorney, the military discharge basis and characterization will likely follow the service member for the rest of their life. For that reason, it is very important that individuals facing administrative discharge be represented by a lawyer experienced in military law and discharge board litigation. William Cassara has more than two decades of experience in this and other key areas of interest to service members. If you have been notified that your command seeks to administratively discharge you from the military, your career is on the line and you should call Mr. Cassara today at (888) 288-3347.