15-6 Investigation AppealJuly 19, 2021
15-6 Investigation Appeal.
15-6 Investigations can be appealed in very limited situations. The process is governed by AR 15-6, specifically paragraph 2-9. The formal name for such a request is a "request for reconsideration."
Any subject or respondent of an investigation may request reconsideration of a finding upon the discovery of new evidence, mistake of law, mistake of fact, or administrative error. New evidence is information that was not considered during the course of the initial investigation AND that was not reasonable available for consideration. The regulation specifically says that new evidence is NOT character statements nor anything that the subject of the investigation could have provided during the course of the investigation.
Importantly, a 15-6 investigation appeal is not allowed when the investigation resulted in an administrative, nonjudicial, or judicial action, or any action having its own due process safeguards. This would include GOMORs, Article 15s, Boards of Inquiry, Separation Boards, Referred OERs, Referred NCOERs, etc. Since an action like this almost always occurs after a 15-6 with an adverse finding, 15-6 Investigation Appeals are almost obsolete.
Furthermore, any appeal, or request for reconsideration, must be submitted within 1 year of the approval authority's approval on the investigation. The approval authority can hear appeals outside of this 1-year window, for good cause shown. Appeals are submitted through the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate/legal advisor responsible for advising the approval authority at the time that he/she approve the original investigation. If the approval authority has changed positions, his/her successor will be the decider for the request for reconsideration/15-6 Investigation Appeal.
It is difficult to win a 15-6 Investigation Appeal. However, that does not mean that the subject will not have success challenging a finding through the due process of a subsequent adverse action. For example, submitting a good GOMOR Rebuttal, or presenting a strong defense at a Board of Inquiry or Separation Board, can have the same effect as winning a 15-6 Investigation Appeal. Furthermore, there are more thorough processes to appeal adverse actions resulting from a 15-6 Investigation, such as a GOMOR Appeal, OER Appeal, NCOER Appeal, or applications to the Army Discharge Review Board and Army Board of Corrections for Military Records (ARBA).
Any Officer, NCO, or Soldier concerned about an AR 15-6 investigation should consult a Military Lawyer. JAGs available to assist with an investigation are typically inexperienced and overworked. Officers, NCOs, and Soldiers can retain Civilian Counsel to assist.
This article was written by Attorney Matthew Barry.