Letters of Reprimand

What are they?

Letters of Reprimand are a tool used by Commanders to punish servicemembers without providing much due process. After being issued a letter of reprimand, usually by a General Officer, the servicemember is given a short amount of time to respond. The servicemember has to convince the issuing authority to either rescind the letter of reprimand or place it in their local file. Their local file is simply their counseling packet, meaning that no one outside of their current unit will ever know about it. Importantly, letters of reprimand filed in a servicemember’s local file are not seen by promotion boards.

Letters of Reprimand that are filed in a servicemembers permanent file are almost always career enders. They will be seen by promotion boards and in today’s military, will most likely lead to promotion stagnation. Furthermore, and more immediately, letters of reprimand that are filed in a servicemember’s permanent file often lead to the administrative separation process. It is therefore important for a servicemember to respond appropriately to a letter of reprimand.

Why Representation Matters

Responding to letters of reprimand is a skill. The response must be written well, appropriately address the underlying allegations, and give the issuing authority a picture of the servicemember as a whole. Outside evidence and letters of recommendation can be powerful. An experienced attorney’s assistance is vital to success.

Servicemembers will have military counsel (public defenders) available to assist them with their response. The attorneys assigned to assist servicemembers in responding to letters of reprimand are generally very new to the service. Often times it is their first assignment in the JAG Corps.

Servicemembers have the option to hire their own civilian counsel. Hiring an experienced attorney can make all the difference.

Get Your Free Consultation

If you hire us you will immediately have an experienced, intelligent, and hard-working advocate to help you with your letter of reprimand. Contact us today for a free consultation.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.