- Letter of reprimand
A letter of reprimand is a letter to an employee or
soldierfrom his or her superior that details the wrongful actions of the person and the punishmentthat can be expected. A formal letter of reprimandis one in which a copy of the letter is kept on record.
militarycontexts, a formal letter of reprimand can be careerending, even without prescribed punishments, because it makes it difficult to secure advancements in rank or to enjoy the respect of one's peers.
In legal contexts, a letter of reprimand is sometimes called a "letter of admonition". It is the lowest form of
attorney disciplineunder the Code of Professional Responsibility.
United States armed forces
The Manual for Court Martial, R.C.M. 306(c)(2), states:
Administrative action. A commander may take or initiate administrative action, in addition to or instead of other action taken under this rule [e.g.,
non-judicial punishment(NJP), court-martial] , subject to regulations of the Secretary concerned. Administrative actions include corrective measures such as counseling, admonition, reprimand, exhortation, disapproval, criticism, censure, reproach, rebuke, extra military instruction, or the administrative withholding of privileges, or any combination of the above.
A letter of reprimand may be issued in lieu of punishment under
Article 15of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A formal letter of reprimand is placed in the service member's permanent personnel record.
A letter of admonishment is less severe than a letter of reprimand, a memorandum of concern is less severe still; and a letter of counsel is the least severe formal written administrative action of this type.
September 25, 2008, the United States Department of Defenseannounced that six Air Force and two Army generals and nine colonels had received letters of reprimand, admonishment, or concern because of the mishandling of fuses for nuclear weapons which were mistakenly shipped to Taiwan. Two Air Force major generals were asked to stay in their current position; the others either retired, planned to retire, or were removed from their position. Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartzmet with each officer personally before issuing the letters. He noted they committed no offense under the UCMJ, but "did not do enough to carry out their leadership responsibilities for nuclear oversight. "For that they must be held accountable." [The Associated Press. "Military cites poor oversight in mistaken shipment of warheads to Taiwan". MSNBC, Thurs., Sept. 25, 2008, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26892774/; accessed 2008-09-26.]
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