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The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

Can a leader without permission to search look through my windows at my home without my permission…basically spying on me?

Here is the short version: Soldier was released from work to go snowboarding. Decided to stay home with pregnant wife and made up an excuse that he was taking the spouse to the doctor when really he was just staying home with her as she is on bed rest. An NCO came to his on post housing and looked through his windows without notifying the Soldier he was there. The NCO then called the Soldier and the Soldier told him he was at the hospital. When confronted about it the Soldier admitted to what he did but raised the concern about a violation of his, his wife's, and his 1 year old sons privacy. 3 weeks later he was counseled the only thing the counseling said was he lied to NCOsand when questioned he admitted. He was also flagged but never counseled for the flag or given a copy of the DA 268 ( removal of favorable action request) the question is. Is this soldiers rights being violated.

Battlefield Deception Guide - From Alexander the Great to Norman Schwarzkopf

It all depends on the actions of the NCO.  If the NCO saw the Soldier in his home through a window while pulling up in his car or walking on the sidewalk/standing on the porch in front of the house, then there is no issue.  If the NCO walked into the yard, up close to a window, to “search” for the Soldier, then there may be an issue of intruding on the Soldier and his family’s rights.  This would be a decision for a judge to make if the case ever got that far.

If this Soldier is a good Soldier, with very little or no other disciplinary issues, then I believe a counseling statement for false official statement (lying to the NCO) is sufficient.  He was given the afternoon off to go snowboarding and ended up deciding to spend it with his 1 year old child and his pregnant wife who was on bed rest.  I see this as a non-issue.

The lying to the NCO is the issue at hand.  If the command decides more than a counseling statement is required, I would recommend a Summarized Article 15 at the most.  This accomplishes two things.  1) The Soldier realizes he screwed up; and 2) the command is protected from the potential “rights violation” issue because the Soldier is not entitled to counsel from an attorney at TDS.

While it is required to counsel a Soldier who is being flagged; per AR 600-8-2, failure to counsel the Soldier does not negate the legitimacy of the flag.

Once the final punishment is complete, the command needs to make sure they remove the flag.  The command cannot leave a flag in place as punishment.

Hope this Helps!

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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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