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Senior leaders required to report off-base criminal convictions

10 Sep 2008 | Lance Cpl. M. Daniel Sanchez

Marine and Navy leaders convicted of violating off-base criminal laws above minor traffic violations must report it to their commanders by Sept. 13, according to a recent All Navy message.

The message, released Aug. 29, states that all active duty Department of the Navy officers and enlisted service members grades E-7 through E-9 shall submit the written reports within 15 days of the date of conviction, even if the sentence has not been imposed or the service member plans to appeal the decision.

Although reporting only applies to convictions that happened March 1 of this year or later, any conviction that happened between then and Aug. 29 must be submitted by Sept. 13.

AlNav 067/08 was released in compliance with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, which called for leaders from every service to report criminal convictions other than traffic violations that do not require a court appearance and for each military service to release branch-specific guidelines.

The reports must be submitted to either the service member’s commanding officer or equivalent summary court martial convening authority.

Reservist leaders who have been activated can submit their reports 30 days after the conviction or at the first drill period following the conviction.

While no punitive action has been defined in the message for leaders who fail to submit the reports or service members who do not report their convictions, Marines and sailors can be charged under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice for failure to obey an order or regulation, said Capt. E. Hall, air station judge advocate.

Also, Marines who sign documents stating that they don’t have any convictions are lying on official documents and can be charged for making false official statements, said Hall.

The message also calls on military commanders and law enforcement personnel to be watchful for service members who get in trouble in their areas of authority but don’t necessarily fall under their command.

If commanders know of a military member from other service branches that has been convicted, they should inform the member’s immediate commander or one of the offices listed in the message as the secondary point of contact.

For the complete list of contacts see AlNav 067/08. More information and guidance on this instruction is scheduled to be released in the near future.

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