The response is provided based on the information you shared. It is not legal advice nor should this information be used to make a decision. It is highly recommended you speak with your chain of command, IG, and/or JAG before making any decisions.
Soldiers have a duty and responsibility to be at their appointed place of duty, on time, in the right uniform, with the proper equipment. Being occasionally late is understandable. However, using the excuse that they did not have a ride is unacceptable.
In the past I have seen units provide government transportation like a hummer or bus depending on the number of individuals that require transportation. The vehicle is parked in the unit area and has a designated driver for the day usually the duty driver.
If a Soldier cannot be at work on time then the leader should look at using conducting corrective training. Training could consist of: having the Soldier write an essay on why it’s important to be on time, and/or have them give you a 5-10-minute class on the importance of being on time. Should they continue to be late consider recommending the commander suspend their pass privileges until such time as the Soldier can be on time. If the Soldier continues to be late you can consider the Article 15 process but ensure you really understand the unintended consequences of such an action and only use this as a last resort. Make sure you formally counsel the Soldier throughout the process and fill out the assessment portion of the 4856 (counseling form). The follow up should take place anywhere from 14-30 days after the date of the counseling.
Off topic but somewhat related….let’s look at this from another perspective. To be effective in the military a Soldier must be able to drive military vehicles. What I have done is the past is make it mandatory for Soldiers to obtain a military driver’s license so they could drive vehicles assigned to our squad and/or platoon. If they did not pass the test for the military license their pass privileges were revoked by the commander until they passed the test. The Soldier will receive sufficient training in the driver’s course that they can then get a civilian license (but you cannot force them to do so).
Keep in mind once the Soldier obtains a civilian license, they will still need a car. Talk with your Soldier about making good financial choices. The last thing you need is to correct this issue by having the Soldier get a license and then buy a car they cannot afford.
I recommend you watch our YouTube Videos on Corrective Training. Our channel is MENTOR MILITARYThe direct link to the video is: https://bit.ly/2OogSjx There are two videos on this playlist.