AR 27-10 states:
3–12. Statute of limitations
Nonjudicial punishment may not be imposed for offenses which were committed more than 2 years before the date of imposition. Computation of this 2-year limitation is in accordance with the UCMJ, Arts. 43(c) and (d). The period of
limitations does not run when the Soldier concerned is absent without authority; fleeing from justice; outside the territory where the United States has authority to apprehend; in the custody of civil authorities; or, in the hands of the enemy.
Reasons for Delay
- Perhaps the case is rather involved or contains extenuating factors and the command is waiting for additional information.
- The legal team may be overwhelmed or shorthanded.
- The paperwork may have been lost.
Regardless of the reason the Command has a responsibility to execute the Article 15 process in a timely matter to ensure good order and discipline.
Items to Consider
You have several options available to you. These include:
- Calling the JAG office and anonymously asking the a hypothetical case.
- Making an appointment with JAG to discuss the issues
- Speaking with your chain of command on open door policy in attempt to resolve the matter.
You might also consider the following…rather than trying to get out of the Article 15 consider owning up to the offense if you in fact committed it. After speaking with JAG go to the Article 15 hearing well prepared
- Be prepared
- Consider preparing a written statement
- Be humble, professional, factual, and unemotional
- Be able to explain matters of extenuation (a partial excuse or reason as to why things happened) or mitigation (a reason why punishment should be less severe)
- Have a witnesses present who can speak about the event or your character and performance.
- You can use your service record and character in your defense…if you have been a relatively good or outstanding Soldier this can work to your benefit.
- How does your chain of command handle Article 15 punishments: do they throw the book at Soldiers for all offenses or do they listen to what the Soldiers have to say and modify punishments accordingly. I would encourage you to have a discussion with your Platoon Sergeant and 1SG prior to the Article 15 hearing and try to establish an understanding of how the chain of command handles these issues.
- Finally regardless of the results hold you head high, leave the Article 15 hearing and execute all of your punishments in a positive and professional manner. This will count immensely to your credit in the eyes of the chain of command.