Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni was first built in 1938 by the Japanese government. It was used by its air force during World War II before ultimately becoming an important springboard for aircraft in the Korean War. After a brief period of control under the Royal Australian Air Force, the United States Marine Corps took over the facility in 1952.
Today, it houses a number of commands, including Marine Aircraft Group 12. If you have been notified of pending disciplinary charges while serving at MCAS Iwakuni, contact attorney and retired Marine Corps judge Patrick J. McLain today.
Military Discipline at MCAS Iwakuni
There are two forms of military discipline at MCAS Iwakuni: nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial.
Nonjudicial punishment (NJP) is a type of administrative proceeding initiated by your commanding officer. Known informally as “office hours” in the Marine Corps, a conviction in an NJP will not be reflected on your permanent criminal record. However, the consequences can impact your career and life significantly. Even convictions for minor offenses could lead to separation proceedings in some cases.
Unlike a criminal trial, a judge does not oversee an NJP. Instead, your commanding officer presides. While you have the right to appeal, the case will be heard up the chain of command as opposed to a dedicated appellate court.
The most important decision you will make regarding office is hours is whether to agree to the proceedings or reject them in favor of a formal court-martial. A trial by a court-martial may bring stiffer penalties, but it also offers strict rules of evidence that can work in your favor. This decision could have a major impact on your career, and you should only make it after consulting with an experienced attorney.
Trial by Court-Martial
A trial by court-martial differs from office hours in that it is a formal criminal hearing. A conviction at trial by court-martial is reflected on your permanent criminal record and will follow you after your military career comes to an end.
These trials are similar in many ways to civilian criminal proceedings with a judge overseeing the case. There are strict rules regarding the introduction of evidence and witness testimony as well. If convicted, you are entitled to file an appeal. In some cases, an appeal is triggered automatically. Throughout the process – from trial to appeal – you have the right to hire the civilian defense counsel of your choice.
Common Military Offenses at MCAS Iwakuni
Any violation of the UCMJ could result in nonjudicial punishment or a trial by court-martial. However, some charges are more likely to come up in one type of proceeding or another. Examples are listed below.
Common Military Offenses
- Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
- Drunk on duty
- Destroying government property
Common Court-Martial Offenses
Some common penalties that could result from either office hours or a trial by court-martial include restriction, loss of pay, extra duties, and loss of rank. For more serious cases in a trial by court-martial, you could also face punitive discharge and/or confinement.
Call Experienced MCAS Iwakuni Civilian Defense Counsel Today
You have the right to defend yourself at either an NJP or trial by court-martial. To put your strongest defense forward, contact retired Marine Corps judge and attorney Patrick J. McLain right away.