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THE CENTURION

A series of pertinent — and impertinent — observations on military law

The VA  continues to put the wrong foot forward with military members.  According to Military TIMES, Army Reserve Major Haines walked into the VA  clinic in Ft. Wayne, IN for her  regularly-scheduled PTSD therapy.   The receptionist told the major that her appointment had been canceled.  The reason? The staff was too busy  to treat her; they were attending Mental Illness Awareness Week!

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In another VA misadventure, National Journal reveals that the VA hopes to curtail the right of military personnel to review their  medical records. According  to the Journal, VA officials want to change the rules concerning when warriors can see some of their medical data .  Why?  Supposedly, the troops might “become violent”  if they see negative comments…perhaps becoming  so aggravated that they “take out their anger out on local VA officials.”    Whoa!   Sounds pretty far-fetched.  Are we saying that these patriotic Americans will go ballistic over some honest, objective medical statement? There’s gotta be a better way…..perhaps via the PEBLO or VA Medical Service Coordinator.

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We celebrate  a victory for our Navy client JK, whose UOTHC discharge was upgraded to general.  JK engaged in minor drug use as a young man in the Navy.

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How close will future military law track an extreme shift in burden of proof in rape allegations?  We’re thinking of the California University rule of thumb that the male must have continuous, sober consent of his partner throughout all stages of intercourse. We do not understand how this standard works if both parties are heavily intoxicated,

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 Two great lawsuits, if somebody wins the lottery and wants to litigate:  [1] Montgomery Bill payments.  We say there’s military overreaching  in cases where an individual is booted from the service with a UOTHC.   There, the Federal government keeps not only the money which the military  put into the Montgomery Bill, but also the monies paid in by the  military member.  By what right??   [2] The Officer Grade Determination Act process. We see it as severely flawed   This is the procedure which determines retirement rank for officers under a cloud.   The problem:  This process occurs in the ‘back room” with no record, no standard of proof, no attorney present for the individual, no right to a hearing.   Hardly seems to comport with standards of Due Process.


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