JAG stands for Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and we provide information regarding the defense and prosecution of disciplinary measures as provided in the Constitution of our community.
How Disciplinary Action Works
- See also: Constitution, Article VIII
If your commanding officer believes that you’ve done something Out Of Character which is grossly in violation of our community standards, you may be disciplined according to the Constitution. There are a number of different charges on which discipline may be levied, and you will find them listed in the Constitution article linked-to above.
In turn, your commanding officer will decide on the type of discipline to levy, also listed in the article linked-to above. These can range from a private letter of discipline, to expulsion from the group.
You will be notified by e-mail of the infraction you committed, and the discipline to be levied. Depending on the severity, your access to the group may be removed temporarily or permanently, dependent on what type of discipline was levied.
Disciplinary measures will be recorded on your permanent file with the group.
Appealing a Disciplinary Measure
If you believe the disciplinary measures levied against you to be unfair or inappropriate, you may have the right to appeal.
If you were expelled — or willfully retired — from the group and wish to re-enter, your only option for appeal is to the Executive Council. Click here to see your options or scroll down to the next sub-heading.
If you were expelled for anything other than an attempt to rejoin the group using the clandestine creation of an apparently unrelated identity, then proceed to immediately below.
If you are below the rank of captain, your appeal will be handled by a Committee of the Captains Council. The process is as follows:
- You will need to file the Appeal Form.
- A representative of the Captains Council will e-mail you, and ask for appeal statement. Your appeal statement is a document containing whatever evidence you wish to present in your favor. For example, if you were disciplined for intentionally deceiving your Command Officer, you may wish to present evidence that shows why you believe this charge is false. In turn, the commanding officer who disciplined you will also have an opportunity to provide an Appeal Dossier, which is a document containing all of the evidence to support their charges and disciplinary measures.
- You will then receive a copy of the commanding officer’s Appeal Dossier. You will have the opportunity to review what evidence they wish to present against you, and in turn, you will be allowed to write a rebuttal to this information. Your Commanding Officer will also create a rebuttal to your initial appeal statement
- The discipline file, appeal statement, appeal dossier, and rebuttals will then be compiled into a “Summary Appeal Dossier” (SAD).
- Appeal Tribunal (AT) will be formed. It will consist of three to five members of the fleet (no more than 1/3 or 1/5 commanding officers, and no one from your vessel), and it will be facilitated by a member of the Captains Council. The AT will review the SAD, as well as the charges and disciplined levied. The AT will be directed to discuss this information and, within 10 days, use a poll to answer the following question: was the discipline valid? And, were the disciplinary measures appropriate?
- Once the Tribunal has completed their work, the representative of the Captains Council will review the outcome, prepare a report for the Captains Council (detailing all of the information provided so far, giving a summary of the AT discussion, and providing the exact details of the vote), and then make a recommendation on whether the Captains Council should, or should not follow the AT’s decision.
- Captains Council members then have 72 hours to object to the recommendation the representative submitted. If no objection is heard, the recommendation stands as-is, and appeal is closed.
No matter what the outcome, you will be notified upon the closure of the appeal as to the outcome. You will not be provided with the names of the officers on your AT, so please, do not request them.
If your discipline has been reduced or discarded, you will have the opportunity to move to a new vessel in the fleet, with a new commanding officer, or you may stay on your current vessel. The disciplining commanding officer has the right to refuse your continued service on their vessel, but this will not be seen as a disciplinary act.
If you are captain rank or above, your appeal will be heard by the Executive Council. The process is as follows:
- You will need to file the Appeal Form.
- The JAG officer will e-mail you the evidence against you and direct you to the relevant entries in the CON. You will be asked if you would like an advocate to assist you in putting together an appeal. (An advocate will act as a copyeditor to assist you in position your appeal and ensuring it focuses appropriately.) You will be asked to draft your appeal.
- Once you have read the evidence against you and drafted your appeal, you will email it to the JAG officer to be passed on to the Executive Council for consideration.
- The Executive Council will review your appeal and respond in a timely fashion with a decision to uphold the disciplinary action or overturn the disciplinary action.
Attempting to rejoin after expulsion
If you were expelled from the group, the Constitution gives only one option for re-entry, which is detailed in Article V, Section 12:
A member expelled for cause or deemed retired by operation of sections 5 and 6 above shall at all times have the opportunity to place before the EC either directly or indirectly, however practicable, a petition for re-entry, which shall contain in addition to any other information offered an explanation of why the reasons resulting in the earlier termination have either ceased or shall not repeat themselves. The EC shall act on the petition within 20 calendar days and resolve the matter by majority vote. In such vote, the commanding officer of the petitioner at the time of his leaving the UFOP shall also have a vote. If said commanding officer is not available, any commanding officer who wishes to do so may comment upon said petition but shall not take part in the vote. The EC must make every effort to identify and inform said officers of this opportunity. A majority of EC members (including the commanding officer) must vote for the vote to be binding, and a majority in favor will effect reinstatement of the petitioner. The petitioning member shall be notified of the decision in writing within five days of the issuance of same, either directly or by the most expedient method available. The reinstatement, if allowed, may be full reinstatement of the character at the departing rank, a lower rank, or as a new character identity, as the EC dictates in its discretion.
You should prepare a letter per the Constitutional article above, and use the General Contact form to the Executive Council to submit your letter.