Memorandum of Reprimand
Georgia Military Law Attorney
This section addresses frequently asked questions on issues involving memoranda or letters of reprimand. The content is here is general in nature, and it is recommended that you contact our office with specific questions you have regarding your matter. We have the expertise to assist you with a rebuttal of your reprimand or with appealing the filing of a reprimand already filed in your official military file.
What is a letter of reprimand and where can it be filed?
A Letter of Reprimand (LOR), sometimes referred to as a Memorandum of Reprimand (MOR), is an administrative censure or “chewing out” given to a Service Member for a failure to comply with regulations or established standards. For Army personnel, pursuant to AR 600-37, Unfavorable Information, Chapter 3, a letter of reprimand may be filed either locally in your Military Personnel Records Jacket (MPRJ) or in your Official Military Personnel File (OMPF).
The decision to file a LOR in a Soldier’s MPRJ can be made by the Soldier’s immediate commander, higher command in his chain of command, school commandant, or an officer exercising General Court-Martial jurisdiction over the Soldier. Letters filed in the MPRJ may remain for up to three (3) years or until you are reassigned to a new General Court-Martial jurisdiction, whichever is sooner. General Court-Martial jurisdictions fall roughly along installation command lines.
Regardless of the issuing authority, a LOR can only be filed in a Soldier’s OMPF by order of a General Officer senior to the respondent or by direction of an officer having General Court-Martial jurisdiction over the respondent. Letters filed in your OMPF are permanently placed in the performance fiche and may adversely affect your military career in the future. Moreover, the LOR is also placed in your MPRJ as long as it remains in the performance fiche. Soldiers can appeal to the DA Suitability Evaluation Board and request removal of a LOR, although regulatory provisions limit how soon you can submit such a request (typically not before one year has elapsed since the time the LOR was filed).
How do I respond to a letter of reprimand?
Since the LOR is unfavorable information, in accordance with AR 600-37, you are entitled to reply to the allegations asserted against you before the filing decision is made. You may make a written statement to deny, rebut, explain or mitigate the allegations in the LOR. You are supposed to be afforded a “reasonable time” to prepare and submit your response, although some commanders will only allot the Soldiers 3-5 days from the date of receipt by the Soldier. You certainly have the right to submit evidence in your own behalf, including matters in defense, mitigation, and/or extenuation. In addition, you may request a particular filing determination.
Our office specializes in drafting well-written, powerful rebuttals for Service Members. While we cannot offer you the guarantee that your LOR will be withdrawn, or even filed locally in the MPRJ, you should consider leaning on our knowledge and experience handling these matters for Service Members across the globe. A letter of reprimand has been filed in MPRJ.
Can I appeal?
No formal process exists for removing a LOR from your MPRJ. However, at any time, you may request its removal by the commander who ordered the filing. Your appeal should be in memorandum format and should include any documentation supporting your request.
A letter of reprimand has been filed in my OMPF. Is there anything I can do to get it removed or transferred?
The procedure for this is described in AR 600-37, Chapter 7, which describes the procedures for requesting the Department of the Army Suitability and Evaluation Board (DASEB) to remove the LOR from your OMPF, or to transfer the LOR from the performance record to the restricted portion of your OMPF.
How do I go about asking for my LOR to be removed from my OMPF?
Once a LOR is filed in your OMPF, it is presumed to be administratively correct. Thereafter, the burden of proof rests with you to provide evidence of a clear and convincing nature that the allegations are untrue or unjust and warrant removal. Appeals that merely allege an injustice or error without supporting evidence are not acceptable and will not be considered.
Appeals are normally restricted to Soldiers in the grade of E6 and above, officers and warrant officers.
How do I request that my LOR be transferred from my performance fiche to my restricted fiche?
Only Letters of Reprimand, Admonition, or Censure may be the subject of an appeal for transfer to the restricted fiche. Such appeals may be made on the basis of proof that their “intended purpose has been served” and that transfer would be in the best interest of the Service. As with removal, the burden of proof rests with the Service Member.
Appeals for transfers may be made if at least one year has elapsed since imposition of the letter AND at least one evaluation report, other than academic, has been completed.
As with appeals for removal, requests for transfer appeals are normally restricted to Soldiers in the grade of E6 and above, officers and warrant officers.
I’ve never written an appeal before. How do I get started?
You have the right to seek the free advice of your local Legal Assistance Office. However, as is true with many free, public benefit organizations, you may find it difficult getting an appointment and/or frustrating having no choice in deciding who will be detailed to assist you. Consider calling on the experience and know-how of Military Attorney Scot Sikes. Scot has a proven record of obtaining successful rebuttal and appeal outcomes for his many clients over the years. With your career in jeopardy, you deserve to give yourself the best shot at a successful rebuttal or appeal submission. Contact us today for a no-obligation consult regarding your matter.