An adverse action is an administrative tool used by the Armed Forces when members of the Armed Forces fail to comply with certain acceptable standards. It is intended to correct undesirable conduct. Some examples of adverse actions include:
- A letter of reprimand
- Discharge action
- Letter of counseling
- Demotion action, among others
Once you receive an adverse action letter, you shouldn’t ignore it.
What good does responding to an adverse action letter do?
When you receive an adverse action letter, you have a limited time to give a written response, and you should take the opportunity.
Why is this so important? Depending on the situation, an adverse action could stall your military career, negatively affect you if you are being considered for a promotion and even lead to a reduction in rank or an “other than honorable” discharge.
A well-written letter of response allows you to provide additional information that could explain the situation you were in and mitigate (or even eliminate) any fallout. Your response could keep you from an involuntary separation or allow you to obtain a dishonorable discharge.
How can an attorney help with your response?
A well-versed attorney will also consider the circumstances of your case and advise accordingly on the best way forward. This may include helping shape your written response in a way that is clear.
Remember: What you write in your response could end up being the only favorable information that’s in the file before your superiors, so you need to make sure that you are both complete and compelling.
Receiving an adverse action letter may seem like the end of an otherwise promising time in the Armed Forces. However, by taking informed steps of action, you could protect your interests and conclude the matter positively without necessarily derailing your career’s progression.