If there is an allegation of misconduct or substandard performance of duty against a commissioned officer, the separation authority has the option to direct that the matter be considered by a Board of Inquiry (BOI). A BOI is comprised of three officers senior in rank to the respondent. The Board’s primary responsibility is to determine whether there is a basis for separation/retirement from the Service, and, if so, whether the officer should be separated/retired and the character of the discharge/retirement.
The BOI hearing is adversarial in nature, meaning that it resembles a court-martial, with each side calling witnesses and presenting evidence. The respondent officer has the right to a detailed military counsel and may hire a civilian defense lawyer at their no expense to the government. The respondent also has a right to review the evidence against them, to present a defense and/or matters in extenuation and mitigation, and a right to present evidence to demonstrate a potential for future honorable and valuable service in the military.
Ultimately, the Board will substantiate or unsubstantiate the allegations and decide whether the nature of the allegations warrant separation or retirement from the Service. If the Board decides that separation is warranted for an officer that is not yet eligible for retirement, the Board must assign an appropriate characterization of service; Honorable, General (Under Honorable Conditions), or Other Than Honorable. For a retirement-eligible officer, the BOI may recommend retirement at the grade in which the officer last served honorably.
If you are a military officer and have been notified of a pending investigation or that you will require to show cause for retention at a Board of Inquiry, it is critical that you retain an experienced, knowledgeable military defense attorney to safeguard your rights and your future. Having spent three years at the Pentagon handling officer disciplinary matters for the Marine Corps, Brandon Barnett has the experience you need for your case. Contact Mr. Barnett today for a free evaluation of your BOI case. Call 817.993.9249 or use our online form.