Article 10 Board at West PointMarch 28, 2022
Article 10 Board at West Point
An Article 10 Board at West Point is governed by USCC Regulation 351-1 (not available to the public). These Boards are commonly referred to by Cadets as "Company Boards," "Regimental" or "Reg Boards," or "Brigade Boards." The Commandant can also convene a Board.
The name "Article 10," comes from the 10 Cadet Articles that govern Cadets' conduct. Article 10, the final Article, states the following: "Under the authority of the Commandant, USCC, commanders within USCC may impose punishment upon cadets within his or her command." For those familiar with the Army, Article 10 punishment is similar, but not the same as, Article 15 punishment.
Before any punishment under Article 10 can be administered, a "preliminary inquiry" must be conducted. This inquiry is regulated by AR 15-6 (Army Regulation 15-6), explained more at this link. An inquiry will collect evidence, including statements, police reports, text messages, emails, etc. and make findings about what did and did not happen. After an inquiry is conducted, the Commander (TAC) in question will make a recommendation as to what level of punishment is warranted, if any. Cadets should consult a lawyer before discussing their alleged conduct with anyone, but especially with their TAC or an investigating officer.
USCC Regulation 351-1 provides the following guidance, although not all inclusive, for what level certain accusations should be handled at:
- Brigade Level (Type I Offense): Sex/drugs/alcohol related, hazing, incident involving civilian law enforcement agency, race/religious discrimination related, unauthorized POV, CAC alteration, fraternization, disrespect towards staff/faculty, dishonored checks, and failure to report major regulation violation
- Regimental Level (Type II Offense): Improper documentation, TAPS not in barracks, late to accountability formation greater than 3 hours, absent for movement, less than 7 class absences, appearance reflecting poorly on West Point, assaults without injury, disruptions after TAPs, absent from duty at Regiment level or higher, dangerous/unauthorized items in room, OPP and violation of limits, and failure to register POV/parking violation for the 3d time.
- Battalion Level (Type III Offense): Failure to submit an assignment one time, TAPs not in Company, late to accountability formation up to 3 hours, missed routine formation up to 3 hours, between 4-6 class absences, turning in an assignment late up to 4 times, major or multiple uniform and appearance infractions, barracks inspection, improper conduct/gestures, disrespect towards another Cadet, absence from duty up to 3 times, unauthorized items in room, borrowing a vehicle without authorization, violation of reduced privileges and 2d parking violation
- Company Level (Type IV Offense): Failure to submit an assignment, TAPs not in room, late to formation up to an hour, missed up to 3 routine formations, missed up to 3 classes, turning in an assignment late up to 4 times, minor appearance infractions, room unprepared for inspection, obscene/profane language, absence from duty up to 3 times, failure to sign out, and first parking violation.
Cadet Commanders and Company Tactical Officers (TACs) can imposed Summarized Article 10s (Company Boards). Company TACs and Battalion TACs can impose Company Level Article 10s (Company/Battalion Boards). Regimental and Brigade TACs, as well as the Commandant, can impose Field Grade Article 10s (Regimental and Brigade Boards). The following punishments can be issued at each level:
- Summarized Article 10s: Admonition/reprimand, 10 demerits, 10 extra duty tours (hours), withdrawal of privileges for 7 days and restriction for 7 days
- Company Article 10s by Company TAC: 20 demerits, 20 extra duty tours (hours), withdrawal of privileges for 30 days, 14 days restriction, reduce a CPL and below to one lower rank
- Company Article 10s by Battalion TAC: 30 demerits, 30 extra duty tours (hours), withdrawal of privileges for 30 days, 30 days restriction, reduce a SGT and below to one lower rank
- Field Grade Article 10s by Regimental TAC: Admonition/reprimand, 35 demerits, 80 extra duty tours (hours), withdrawal of privileges for 60 days, 45 days restriction, reduction to one or more lower ranks
- Field Grade Article 10s by Brigade TAC: Admonition/reprimand, 35 demerits, 100 extra duty tours (hours), withdrawal of privileges for 90 days, 60 days restriction, reduction to one or more lower ranks, and forfeiture of 60% net pay
- Field Grade Article 10s by Commandant: Admonition/reprimand, 35 demerits, 120 extra duty tours (hours), withdrawal of privileges for 120 days, 90 days restriction, reduction to one or more lower ranks, and forfeiture of 80% net pay
If offered a Summarized Article 10, a Cadet has the right to demand a formal Article 10. Additionally, Cadets receiving a summarized Article 10 have the following rights:
- Examine all available evidence
- Present his/her case to the imposing Commander
- Call and question witnesses
- Submit matters in defense, extenuation and mitigation
- Appeal within the Cadet Chain of Command
Typically, Cadets receiving a summarized Article 10 will have 48 hours to prepare a response after being notified. It is imperative that Cadets facing a Summarized Article 10 ask for additional time to collect evidence and prepare. After the Cadet presents his/her side and all evidence, the TAC will determine if the allegations are true on a more likely than not standard (preponderance of the evidence, or 51%).
Cadets receiving a Formal Article 10 have all of the same rights as a those facing a Summarized Article 10, except that they can also request a spokesperson to assist them at the proceeding.
Of note, a Cadet cannot be separated from West Point through the Article 10 process; however, the conduct that was the subject of an Article 10 can also be used to convene a Standard Misconduct Hearing, Formal Misconduct Hearing, or a Conduct Deficiency Board, all of which can result in separation from West Point and Recoupment of Federal Funds.
Any Cadet facing an Article 10 Board at West Point risks potentially severe consequences. As discussed above, a Cadet is entitled to due process. This includes reviewing the evidence and preparing a case in defense and/or mitigation. Cadets should have an experienced lawyer review the evidence and help prepare a Defense. Cadets can retain Civilian Counsel to assist.
This Article was written by Attorney Matthew Barry, a 2008 West Point Graduate.