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  • Am I wasting my time?

    First off, thanks in advance for taking a moment to read this. I'm sure this is the 11th bazillion post inquiring about automatic DQ. I'll post the good stuff about me first and then my reason for concern.

    Bottom Line Up Front - I retire from the Army in a little less than 2 years and would love nothing more than to pursue a second career in Law Enforcement. I've been blessed to serve with and amongst some of the most professional, highly specialized units/organizations and have been given immense positions of trust and responsibility. Here are some of the highlights:

    - Ranger qualified Senior NCO
    - 3 years working Homeland Defense and Defense support to Civil Authorities
    - 3+ years as a Senior Ranger Instructor (Mountain Phase)
    - 2 years Airborne Rifle Company 1SG (year in the rear and a year downrange)
    - 2 years Heavy Weapons Platoon Sergeant
    - NCO of the year 82nd Airborne Division
    - NCO of the year 18th Airborne Corps
    - SAMC Inductee
    - Current and active Security Clearance based on a Single Scope Background Investigation (would rather not specify on here)
    - Associates Degree
    - Distinguished Honor Graduate US Army Ranger School
    - Jumpmaster of the year
    - Master Rated Jumpmaster
    - Pathfinder Qualified
    - Sniper Employment Officer Course
    - 5 Deployments totaling 39 months in combat (Afghanistan and Iraq)
    - 2 Bronze Stars
    - 2 Meritorious Service Medals
    - 11 Army Commendation Medals
    - Numerous other useless pieces of colored cloth, shiny pieces of metal, and schools...

    Ok, so onto the reason for my worry about a second career: A couple years ago I was charged in the military (never arrested) with sexual assault - unequivocally a false accusation. After a grueling 10 month time period/investigation, the accuser was presented with irrefutable evidence that she was lying and had completely fabricated the entire claim and finally admitted to the prosecutor and CID that it was a made up story.

    The next day, all charges were dropped. My battalion commander called me in that day and apologized for the professional and personal hell I had gone through. I was never court martialed, no Article 32 hearing, and never arrested as a result of these charges BUT the fact remains I was charged with a significant crime - albeit erroneously.

    So as my tenure in the military comes to a close, I very naturally want to pursue a second career in LE and continue to work with consummate professionals. Given the fact that I went through this ordeal, am I putting my hopes on a fruitless venture? If it matters, my current security clearance was applied for and granted AFTER this ordeal.

    Thanks in advance for your replies...Standing by.

  • #2
    First of all, thank you for your service to this great nation.
    Your situation is unique, but you state that you were never arrested, but were charged and the investigation lasted 10 months. In my unremarkable enlistment, I was never charged with anything, but would like to think that the investigation would have preceded any official charge.

    I would have to ask: Who handled the investigation? Were you processed and fingerprinted by MPs or CID? What did this investigation consist of? How was it documented?

    The main piece of military documentation that a potential l.e. employer looks at is your DD-214; specifically, the character of your discharge. The documentation of this matter is key; this doesn't sound right. I would never recommend that you omit any relevant information during the application / background process. If you were charged, it will be a HUGE hurdle to get over.

    “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

    Miyamoto Musashi

    “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

    George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

    Comment


    • #3
      As a former MP, are you positive your were "charged"? You may have been the subject of an investigation and "accused" of the crime but if you were "charged" with a crime you would have documentation to that effect. When charges are dropped, the subject, ie you, would be given documents showing that charges were dropped and that the proceedings are done. Charges are never filed until after the investigation is completed but you may, however, just been accused with no charges ever filed.

      I know it's sounds like I'm repeating myself but you need to be sure on what the status and situation was. If it was "charges", you may have a little bit of a hurdle but I don't see anything that will completely hold you back. If you were only "accused" of it and no charges filed, I would still disclose it, but I don't see a hurdle being there.

      There is almost always more to a story so I'm basing this solely on what information you have provided.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the quick reply. To answer your questions and clarify a couple things: Army CID handled the investigation. I was completely blindsided by this one day when I was called into the commander's office and asked to close the door. He explained to me that he needed to read me my rights because someone (wife of another guy in the same unit) had made a complaint of sexual assault against me -absolutely blindsided and dumbfounded. Realizing the gravity of the accusation and knowing DoD's stance on these things I immediately invoked my rights and said I wasn't making any statement until I consult with an attorney.

        At this point I wasn't formally charged with anything although CID was going to investigate these claims and a special victims prosecutor had been assigned. I was temporarily suspended from my duties (standard stuff during an investigation) and basically given a desk job. For the next 10 months I wasn't privy to any information other than having been told that this woman and (her husband) had written statements. Around the 10th month, my attorney approached me with the idea of taking an exculpatory poly. Keep in mind I had not been formally charged with anything at this point.

        The prosecutor told my attorney's that if I was willing to take a poly and passed then this wasn't going to go anywhere. My attorney's suggested I take an independent poly and I did - passed with flying colors. Next day I go see CID - Prints are taken, and I take the poly. The poly guy was a piece of work. Said I failed his poly. Got in my face yelling and throwing papers etc... Really strange experience I might add. In any event, when he got done playing tough guy he says "Go talk to your attorney and get out of my office!"

        Sooooo, couple days after that poly I'm called back into the commander's office where he goes onto read me my rights again and formally charges me. Explains that this is going to go to a general court martial. NOW - at this point, because I am formally "charged" I finally get to see what ever evidence CID and the prosecution has. So through my attorney I get the evidence and it is a whopping (read - sarcasm) single sworn statement from her and her husband claiming I had raped her during some random time period over a year prior. At last I was able to refute these claims. In fact, the time period she specified (a random 10 day window of time she claimed this happened - she couldn't remember which day) her husband and I were both over 3 hours away on some training. Ridiculous.

        About this same time, two more guys from the unit came forward with damning proof that she was lying (she readily admitted it to them). So once the prosecution found this out, they confronted her and she cracked - admitted it was all phoney, that she and her husband had lied and that I had never touched her in anyway shape or form. 10 months of absolute hell and for what? A single written statement and not a shred of any evidence what so ever...

        So, hopefully that answers your question about the nature of the investigation and being charged. Again, never arrested nor confined and zero residual fallout (beyond personal anguish). In fact, I got two Army Commendation Medals less than 3 months after the charges were dropped. My retirement in two years is completely unrelated to this. Simply coming up 20 and punching my ticket. Discharge will be honorable and nothing of this would be reflected on my DD-214. That being said I would absolutely bring this up on my application and BI (if I was even able to get that far with this). Heck I had fully disclose this during an exhaustive single scope background investigation for my current security clearance.

        Again, I'm just trying to get a feel for whether or not I'm putting focus and effort into a career field that would be a no-go. Beyond this ordeal my record is pretty exemplary. Couple speeding tickets (over 8-10 years ago) and some minor juvenile stuff. No drugs, DUIs, DV's, or any other red flags. Thoughts?

        Comment


        • #5
          I doubt you have a disqualification here-----------------------but you do need to disclose the incident and be prepared to give your investigator as much information about the incident as possible

          I see you were fingerprinted------------------------somewhere, someplace that fingerprint card in on file and will bite you in the arse if you don't tell the investigator about it. Background Investigators HATE to find surprises.

          Be aware that many police administrators might take a pass on you JUST BECAUSE of this accusation. The problem is, and yes it might not be "fair", if by chance something happens down the line and you are accused of a similar situation----------your prior record of accusation would be a PR nightmare for the agency.
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

          Comment


          • #6
            Hmm. It must admit its a bit odd that your commander would be the one filing charges. Not saying it didn't happen just strange. With a suspect of a sexual assault, a prosecuting attorney, CID, the prosecution and CID are the ones to make the charges and they are the ones who "read your rights". It really sounds like your command was trying to get into the middle of it but that's really neither here nor there. It happened and that can't be changed.

            I don't see any issue up front. Just disclose it like you have done and you should be fine. The investigator will probably look into it and as long as what you say is true, should be all good. But to add a caveat, each agency will look at things different. What we might say is no big deal, they may. You might be told "no" a few times and that's normal. Just stay with it.

            And a Happy Veteran's Day to you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
              I doubt you have a disqualification here-----------------------but you do need to disclose the incident and be prepared to give your investigator as much information about the incident as possible

              I see you were fingerprinted------------------------somewhere, someplace that fingerprint card in on file and will bite you in the arse if you don't tell the investigator about it. Background Investigators HATE to find surprises.

              Be aware that many police administrators might take a pass on you JUST BECAUSE of this accusation. The problem is, and yes it might not be "fair", if by chance something happens down the line and you are accused of a similar situation----------your prior record of accusation would be a PR nightmare for the agency.
              Iowa #1603 I appreciate your response and candor on the issue. I would absolutely discuss this in full with the BI. The PR angle you mentioned is one of my concerns especially if and when I'm on the stand and getting grilled by a defense attorney who's client I arrested. Ugh... This whole experience and the potential implications for future career paths is just...Nauseating.

              Again, thank you.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by eaker995 View Post
                Hmm. It must admit its a bit odd that your commander would be the one filing charges. Not saying it didn't happen just strange. With a suspect of a sexual assault, a prosecuting attorney, CID, the prosecution and CID are the ones to make the charges and they are the ones who "read your rights". It really sounds like your command was trying to get into the middle of it but that's really neither here nor there. It happened and that can't be changed.

                I don't see any issue up front. Just disclose it like you have done and you should be fine. The investigator will probably look into it and as long as what you say is true, should be all good. But to add a caveat, each agency will look at things different. What we might say is no big deal, they may. You might be told "no" a few times and that's normal. Just stay with it.

                And a Happy Veteran's Day to you.
                Yeah I really can't speak to the nuances of my command vs CID/prosecution preferring charges. In retrospect it did seem kinda odd. Regardless, charges were preferred but fortunately the charges were dropped before the Article 32 hearing and court martial. Thanks for your opinion on this. Happy Vets Day to you as well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RLTW35 View Post
                  Iowa #1603 I appreciate your response and candor on the issue. I would absolutely discuss this in full with the BI. The PR angle you mentioned is one of my concerns especially if and when I'm on the stand and getting grilled by a defense attorney who's client I arrested. Ugh... This whole experience and the potential implications for future career paths is just...Nauseating.

                  Again, thank you.
                  Actually what you are describing isn't a PR problem but COULD be more like a BRADY problem

                  Google Brady vs Maryland.................

                  While you don't have a conviction that would automatically trigger Brady, the "arrest" and charges COULD be brought up by an unscrupulous defense attorney
                  Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                  My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                    I doubt you have a disqualification here-----------------------but you do need to disclose the incident and be prepared to give your investigator as much information about the incident as possible

                    I see you were fingerprinted------------------------somewhere, someplace that fingerprint card in on file and will bite you in the arse if you don't tell the investigator about it. Background Investigators HATE to find surprises.

                    Be aware that many police administrators might take a pass on you JUST BECAUSE of this accusation. The problem is, and yes it might not be "fair", if by chance something happens down the line and you are accused of a similar situation----------your prior record of accusation would be a PR nightmare for the agency.
                    As always, Iowa is spot-on.
                    Originally posted by eaker995 View Post
                    Hmm. It must admit its a bit odd that your commander would be the one filing charges. Not saying it didn't happen just strange. With a suspect of a sexual assault, a prosecuting attorney, CID, the prosecution and CID are the ones to make the charges and they are the ones who "read your rights". It really sounds like your command was trying to get into the middle of it but that's really neither here nor there. It happened and that can't be changed.

                    I don't see any issue up front. Just disclose it like you have done and you should be fine. The investigator will probably look into it and as long as what you say is true, should be all good. But to add a caveat, each agency will look at things different. What we might say is no big deal, they may. You might be told "no" a few times and that's normal.
                    This ^^ was sort of my point as well. As I posted before, I have never been subjected to UCMJ or any MP / CID investigations, so I have no point of reference. Conversely, I have done several background investigations and try to see things from that perspective.

                    Under these circumstances, I would try to see what my NCIC criminal history yielded as far as charges. If it comes back with no identifiable record through triple-I, you weren't charged, you were investigated.

                    “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

                    Miyamoto Musashi

                    “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

                    George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Don't take this the wrong way, and by no means am I belittling your accomplishments (which are significant), but the vast majority of police departments are not looking for master blaster, pathfinder, heavy weapons operatin' airborne rangers. Great stuff if you want to be a DOD contractor or work physical security and/or protection details; almost no one in the world of civilian employment cares. Your DD214 will get you the same civil service credit as the guy who did two years as an E4 supply clerk at Fort Knox. Hopefully your experiences will enable you to present yourself as a mature professional capable of making good decisions under stress -- that is where your career in the service comes into play, but you need to test well enough to get to the interview phase. A common mistake among veterans is that their application or resume looks like a packet that is being submitted to a promotion board; it is not. Always tailor your resume to the position you are applying for, be it for a police officer position or a cashier at Home Depot. Again, no disrespect intended, but your military career should be distilled down to one or two action paragraphs (supervised, lead, was responsible for, etc.) for almost any civilian job out there.
                      Last edited by just joe; 11-11-2014, 10:11 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've read your initial post and your subsequent replies. About all I can do is refer you once more to the very incisive replies of my colleagues. My personal observation is this. While I don't see an automatic DQ, I do some significant possible issues. It's entirely possible an agency would Non-Select you based on the charges and the circumstances you've mentioned.

                        This is not written in stone, but many agencies would simply choose not to employ you as a result of the incident you referenced. The Brady consideration is also very valid, and could loom large in a given department electing not to employ you.

                        Should you apply? I'd say yes. Fully disclose every aspect of the incident, much as you have here. Get a given department's perspective on your prospects with them. That certainly cannot hurt. Best of luck in any decision you make, and many thanks for your service.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          And most LE agencies DONT take resumes as part of the process.
                          Now go home and get your shine box!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                            And most LE agencies DONT take resumes as part of the process.
                            Very true. I should have been more specific. Since the police hiring process can be quite lengthy, the OP may find himself looking for other work in which resumes and cover letters are common or expected, so, in those instances, tailor your resume or cover letter for the job.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by just joe View Post
                              Don't take this the wrong way, and by no means am I belittling your accomplishments (which are significant), but the vast majority of police departments are not looking for master blaster, pathfinder, heavy weapons operatin' airborne rangers. Great stuff if you want to be a DOD contractor or work physical security and/or protection details; almost no one in the world of civilian employment cares. Your DD214 will get you the same civil service credit as the guy who did two years as an E4 supply clerk at Fort Knox. Hopefully your experiences will enable you to present yourself as a mature professional capable of making good decisions under stress -- that is where your career in the service comes into play, but you need to test well enough to get to the interview phase. A common mistake among veterans is that their application or resume looks like a packet that is being submitted to a promotion board; it is not. Always tailor your resume to the position you are applying for, be it for a police officer position or a cashier at Home Depot. Again, no disrespect intended, but your military career should be distilled down to one or two action paragraphs (supervised, lead, was responsible for, etc.) for almost any civilian job out there.
                              This is fantastic advice for any vet out there getting out and trying to pursue a LE career. Thanks for your insight and no offense taken.

                              Comment

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