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Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a non-commissioned officer (NCO) client represented by attorney Mike Coco (Of Counsel to the Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) was notified by the Board for Correction of Naval Records [BCNR] that the non-judicial punishment he received was to be removed from his records, which will return him to active duty in the Navy.

Our client received an Article 15 for alleged aircraft maintenance deficiencies, but he disputed the allegations.  However, because the client was out to sea, he was not able to turn down the Article 15 and demand trial by court-martial - thereby forcing the government to prove their claims against him in a judicial proceeding.  In the administrative Article 15 proceeding (Captain's Mast), his commander found him guilty of the offense, and reduced the enlisted NCO's rank.  Because of the rank reduction and his number of years of service, this meant the client had reached high-year-tenure (HYT), he would be discharged, and his distinguished Navy career would be over. 

After leaving active duty, the client retained our firm to appeal his discharge, and the client was represented by attorney Mike Coco.  Drawing on his previous experience as a military aircraft mechanic, Mike Coco was able to expose through the Maintenance Action Forms, diagrams of the aircraft parts at issue, the Technical Publications, and many witness interviews that our client had performed his required maintenance by the book and without defect. 

The BCNR ruled in favor of the client and the appellate relief was granted.  The Article 15 was removed from the client's Navy records which reversed the reduction in rank and HYT discharge.  The client will now be returned to active duty in his former pay grade, and he will receive back pay from the time he was originally reduced in grade. 

While the defense was successful in this case, it is important to understand that every case has different facts, and success in some previous case(s) does not guarantee success in any particular future case.  No military lawyer or civilian defense lawyer, including those who specialize in military law as we do, can guarantee the outcome of any military case. 

For more information about the military justice system, particularly cases involving Article 15 punishments, administrative discharges, or Boards for Correction of Military/Naval records, see:

We offer free consultations for a case you may be involved in.  Just call us. 
Thank you. 

By:  Attorney Richard V. Stevens
Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.

Blog postscript: I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) am a former active duty military lawyer (JAG). My perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon my experience as military defense lawyer and as a civilian criminal defense lawyer practicing exclusively in the area of military law and military justice. This blog addresses issues in military law, military justice, military discipline, military defense, court-martial practice, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other military and/or legal topics. Nothing posted in this blog should be substituted for legal advice in any particular case. If you seek legal advice for a particular case, please contact The Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland, National Capital Region (NCR), but the military defense representation is worldwide – when necessary, the attorneys travel to wherever the client is stationed around the world.

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