What actions can be taken if a Soldier refuses to answer their phone or respond to messages after duty hours? | AskTOP.net - Leader Development for Army Professionals
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What actions can be taken if a Soldier refuses to answer their phone or respond to messages after duty hours?

TOP- I have an active duty Soldier that can never be reached after normal duty hours. When the Solider is needed sometimes, he/she never answers the phone and will come in the following normal duty day saying he/she didn't get the message. What regulation or policy does this fall under?

Just to make sure I was on track I reached out to one of our Legal SME’s.  His comments are below for your consideration and review.

Most units have a policy letter on recalls and the requirement to have some means of contact during off-duty hours.

Technically, if he is unavailable, fails to response to a recall, he may be charged with missing movement (if going to the field or deployment) or dereliction of duty if a call in for a urinalysis or something else.

Two thoughts to consider

 

1)  If the Soldier lives off-base counsel the Soldier, in writing, that living off-base is a privilege, even if he is married.  He can be moved into the barracks if he continues to be unavailable.  If he is living off-base and is not married, then have the commander revoke his pass privileges for off-base.  That will get his attention.

2)  Counsel, in writing, and require the Soldier to call/text his first line supervisor every two hours during off-duty hours.  This is not restriction, but does tie down the first line supervisor a little.  If the Soldier fails to check in, then they just violated UCMJ for failure to follow an order or directive.

I’m guessing someone told this Soldier if he doesn’t answer his phone, then he can’t be charged because he wasn’t aware of the order.  While that is true for charging “failure to obey an order” or “failure to be at appointed place of duty”, it does not cover “dereliction of duty” because it is every Soldiers duty to be available for recall.

Hope this helps.

Did you find this information helpful?  I appreciate your feedback!

TOP

posted on 03/30/2015 under Q&A
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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training..

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