West Point Conduct Investigation

West Point Conduct Investigation

April 3, 2022

West Point Conduct Investigation.

A West Point Conduct Investigation is governed by USCC Reg 351-1 (not available to the public).  These "investigations" are convened after a Cadet has been determined to be deficient in his/her conduct and remediation efforts have either failed or are not considered appropriate.  A Conduct Investigation is different from an Article 10 Board, Standard Misconduct Hearing, and Formal Misconduct Hearing.  A Cadet may be found to be deficient in conduct for the following reasons (not all-inclusive):

  • Violation of Conduct Probation
  • Exceeding the six-month demerit allowance
  • Two Article 10 Boards for alcohol policy violations
  • Three Field Grade Article 10 Boards
  • Receiving an "F" grade for Military Development
  • Failure to successfully complete the Special Leader Development Program

A West Point Conduct Investigation is appointed by the Commandant after recommendations from the chain of command, through the Brigade Tactical Officer (BTO).  A Conduct Investigation is conducted by a Captain promotable, or higher.  This individual is called an Investigating Officer, or IO.   The IO will review all documents provided by the chain of command as well as schedule a hearing.  At said hearing, the Cadet in question gets to present additional evidence, call witnesses, make a statement, and make argument (opening and closing).  At the end of the hearing, the IO will make findings as to whether the Cadet is deficient in conduct and one of the following recommendations:

  • Separation
  • Suspended Separation
  • Turn-Back
  • Conduct Probation
  • Retention
  • No Further Action

If the IO determines that the Cadet is not deficient in conduct, then the case is closed out.  If the IO determines that the Cadet is deficient in conduct, the IO's complete report is presented to the Commandant.  If the Commandant recommends that the Cadet be put on probation, then the case is closed out.  If the Commandant makes any other recommendation, his recommendation and the IO's report is then presented to the Superintendent.  The Superintendent will then make a final decision, or recommendation to the Secretary of the Army Manpower and Reserve Affairs (for separations). If separated, a Cadet may have to pay back a substantial amount of money through a process called recoupment.

Unfortunately, a Cadet is not entitled to be represented by a lawyer at a Conduct Investigation, despite the serious consequences that can result.  A Cadet can, however, have a lawyer assist him/her in preparing evidence, witness questions, and argument.  It is recommended that a Cadet retain an experienced counsel to assist if notified of an impending West Point Conduct Investigation.  Cadets can retain Civilian Counsel. While Trial Defense Services will be available, their lawyers are often over-worked and inexperienced.

This Article was written by Attorney Matthew Barry, a 2008 West Point Graduate.

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