Drill Sergeant Removal Process

Drill Sergeant Removal Process

July 5, 2021

The Drill Sergeant removal process in the Army is governed by AR 614-200, specifically paragraph 8-25.  Attorney Barry explains the process below.

Brigade Level Commanders may remove Drill Sergeants from the Drill Sergeant Program for any of the following reasons:

  • Arriving unqualified to DS school - Soldiers that do not meet course prerequisites, including body composition requirements
  • Failure to pass APFT
  • Temporary medical reasons that will prevent the Soldiers from completing the course in the specified time
  • Administrative issues, which include emergency leave that would require the removal of a DS candidate from the program, execution of a declination of continued service statement, separation due to end of term in service, promotion to MSG, or approved reclassification.
  • Failure to maintain high standards of military appearance, military courtesy, bearing, conduct, and/or professionalism
  • Infractions of training policies or violations of the UCMJ
  • Lack of proper motivation, provided individual counseling has been unsuccessful, including failure to enter or complete drill sergeant school
  • Medical reasons, including pregnancy, when condition prevents the Soldier from performing drill sergeant duties
  • Hardship or family problems that prevent the Soldier from performing drill sergeant school

Typically, when an incident occurs requiring an investigation, drill sergeants will be temporarily reassigned.  This is technically the beginning of the drill sergeant removal process.  Once the investigation is complete, or once the Command has enough information to make an informed recommendation,  the drill sergeant in question will be informed, in writing, of the Command's intent to remove him/her from drill sergeant duty.  In said notification, the reasons why will be cited and the drill sergeant will be provided the evidence against him/her. The drill sergeant in question will have the opportunity to submit a rebuttal.  Furthermore, if the drill sergeant is disqualified because of a Type III offense, he/she may request "adjudication." Typically, it is in the Drill Sergeant's best interest to do so.

Army Directive 2018-16 provides additional information, specifically the "Types of Offenses."

Type I Offenses, which are automatic disqualifiers and cannot be appealed if they resulted in a finding of Guilty in a court of law or a finding of Guilty at a Field Grade Article 15, are as follows:

  • Possessing, distributing, or viewing child pornography
  • Forcible sodomy or bestiality
  • Any offense punishable under Article 120, 120a, 120b, and 120c of the UCMJ or any attempt to commit any such acts; similar civilian offenses
  • Prohibited activities with a subject of recruiting efforts, future Soldier, or initial entry trainee that fall under DoD Instruction 1304.33
  • Domestic violence or child abuse; violent crimes; similar civilian offenses
  • Previous separation from any Service for any Type I offense listed above
  • Any conviction that requires an individual to register as a sex offender

Type II Offenses, which are also automatic disqualifiers but can be appealed, are as follows:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Prostitution or pandering
  • Sexual activity with a subordinate or fraternization of a sexual nature
  • Conduct in violation of the Army's policy regarding participation in extremist organizations or activities or criminal gangs
  • Any special or general court-martial conviction or any civilian criminal felony conviction (other than a conviction for Type I offenses)
  • Any criminal offense involving a child or children (other than Type I offenses)
  • Extramarital sexual conduct or inappropriate relationship in violation of AR 600-20, paragraphs 4-14 or 4-15 (other than sexual activity with a subordinate or fraternization of a sexual nature)
  • Wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual images
  • Illegal drug use or possession or distribution
  • Initial enlistment waivers for derogatory information related to any Type I offense
  • Type I offenses for which the Soldier was NOT convicted in a court of law or found Guilty at an Article 15 (Field Grade)
  • Alcohol abuse (as defined in AR 600-85)

Type III Offenses, which are not automatic disqualifiers, can be adjudicated, and can be appealed, are as follows:

  • Relief for cause NCOER or OER while in current grade or in the past 5 years
  • Previous separation from any Service for any Type III offense
  • Initial enlistment waivers for derogatory information (not related to an offense listed under Type II)
  • Assault (other than categories listed under Type I)
  • Larceny, fraud, or robbery
  • Burglary
  • Prohibited activities with a subject of recruiting efforts, future Soldier, or initial entry trainee that fall under DoDI 1304.33, enclosure 1, paragraph 1a(1)(d-n)

If ultimately removed from the drill sergeant program, the drill sergeant in question can appeal the removal adjudication, unless it is a Type I Offense.

Any Soldier who is notified that their Command has started the drill sergeant removal process should consult with a Military Lawyer.  Typically, the Military Lawyers available for the drill sergeant removal process are very new to the Army and new to being a lawyer (Legal Assistance Attorneys).  Soldiers going through the drill sergeant removal process can hire a Civilian lawyer to assist them.

This Article was written by Attorney Matthew Barry.

Contact him today for a free consultation.