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ADC - LOR/LOA
Published November 17, 2006
AREA DEFENSE COUNSEL BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La.
FACT SHEET ON LETTER OF REPRIMAND AND LETTER OF ADMONISHMENT
1. The purpose of this letter is to explain the nature and purpose of a formal Letter of Reprimand (LOR) and Letter of Admonishment (LOA), as well as your right to rebut the allegation(s) made against you. Although you are not technically entitled to legal counsel for these actions, if our workload permits, this office will assist you in the preparation of your rebuttal, if you desire to submit one.
2. WHAT ARE A LETTER OF REPRIMAND AND LETTER OF ADMONISHMENT? An LOR and an LOA are administrative disciplinary measures available to Commanders and Supervisors under AFI 36-2907. It is solely an administrative action and is not evidence of guilt of any particular offense. They are designed to improve, correct and instruct subordinates who depart from standards of performance, conduct, bearing and integrity, either on or off duty, and whose actions degrade the individual and unit's mission. They can be verbal or in writing. A reprimand is more severe than an admonishment and indicates a higher degree of official censure. If in writing, these letters must state what you did or failed to do (citing specific incidents and dates), what improvement is expected, that further deviation may result in more severe action, that you have 3 duty days to respond and that all supporting documents you submit will become part of the record.
3. WHAT HAPPENS TO LORs AND LOAs? They may be placed in an Unfavorable Information File (UIF), an official record of unfavorable information, for a period of one year under AFI 37-138 and AFI 36-2907.
4. WHO CAN GIVE AN LOR OR LOA? Any commander or supervisor can give an LOR/LOA. However, only your unit commander or higher level commander may determine whether any LOR/LOA will be placed in an Unfavorable Information File (UIF).
5. WHAT CAN AN LOR/LOA BE GIVEN FOR? Simply stated, just about anything. An LOR/LOA need not state an offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This means that a case of "poor judgment" on your part could possibly be a basis for a reprimand or admonishment Often times even though an offense punishable under the UCMJ has been committed, a first offense will be handled administratively through these lesser punishments.
6. WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS? If your commander is going to have the LOR/LOA placed in your UIF he must advise you of this. He must also allow you to rebut or address the allegations in the LOR/LOA, within 3 duty days. Include a brief but thorough explanation of the incident and attach any supporting documents you have. We recommend that you seriously consider responding to the LOR/LOA, even if you did the act alleged, if you have any extenuating or mitigating information to provide to the commander about the incident. Although it may not be enough for the LOR/LOA to go away, your statement will be attached to the original LOR when it is placed into your UIF, and this may be helpful to you when other people review your UIF. We also recommend that you keep a copy of the LOR/LOA and your response, since occasionally the responses do not make it into UIFs.
7. CAN I APPEAL AN LOR/LOA? There is technically no appeal from a LOR/LOA. The only way it can be "thrown out" is for the commander to reconsider the action. The Inspector General or Equal Opportunity Office may be able to help you if you feel there has been discrimination involved or if you feel the action to be grossly unfair. Remember though that unless you have a fairly substantiated case against your commander, the IG and EOT people are going to be reluctant to advise your commander to withdraw the action.
8. HOW SERIOUS IS AN LOR/LOA? Obviously, it is not something to be taken lightly; however, it is administrative and will not remain in your records permanently (only for one year or less). However, if you receive additional reprimands, all may remain until one year passes without additional incidents. Commanders are required to review UIFs periodically and the presence of reprimands or other unfavorable entries may have adverse consequences in assignments, promotions, special duties, and so forth. If you have received several of these actions, this alone could be a basis for your involuntary separation from the Air Force with a less than honorable discharge.
9. If you desire to request additional information about a letter of reprimand, contact our office at 781-8355, and we will be happy to assist you.
SAMPLE LOR/LOA/LOC RESPONSE
MEMORANDUM FOR (PERSON WHO ISSUED YOU LOR/LOA/LOC)
FROM: (Your rank and name)
SUBJECT: Response to (Letter of Reprimand, Letter of Admonishment, Letter of Counseling)
1. I have consulted with my appointed defense counsel, Capt ____________, concerning the (LOR, LOA, LOC) dated ____________ and ask that you consider the following response when making your decision (to maintain the LOR/LOA/LOC, to file in UIF/CR, to withdraw the LOR/LOA/LOC).
2. (Facts and circumstances surrounding the incident--what happened, how it happened, why it happened. Discuss all the relevant facts and be as detailed as possible).
3. Explanation of your guilt or innocence--if you're guilty explain why you did it and apologize for your mistake. Also explain what you can do to resolve the behavior so it does not happen in the future. If you're innocent, explain why there's a misunderstanding.
4. Duty performance--summarize your contributions to the unit and the Air Force. If you've received any awards or outstanding evaluations, discuss and attach them for the commander's review. If you have any character statements from fellow employees or supervisors, attach them also. Review you PIF and personal files for any positive information and include it.
5. Thank the person who gave you the LOR/LOA/LOC for their time and consideration given to your response. Ask that your response be filed along with the LOR/LOA/LOC if the LOR/LOA/LOC is filed in your personnel files.
YOUR NAME, Rank, USAF