Legal Issues for the Commander,
ARMED FORCES STAFF COLL NORFOLK VA
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Every commander in todays military forces is well aware of his ultimate responsibility for achieving unit readiness to ensure that the command is able, willing, and prepared to perform its mission, both in garrison and in combat. Inherent in this responsibility is the authority of the commander to assess unit readiness by inspecting areas, equipment, and personnel under his command. Frequently, however, a commander is criticized for allegedly violating the legal rights of subordinates in exercising his inspection authority. Until recently, disagreement, indecision, and the absence of any clear rules among military judges and court have only aggravated the commanders frustration. All too often a commander perceives himself to be confronted by a maze of inconsistent and self-defeating legal restrictions affecting his inspection authority. The purpose of this article is to examine the legal rights of a commander to inspect his command and the competing privacy rights of individual Service members in light of recent developments in military law. It is written with the commander in mind and is intended to assist him in removing the frustration and confusion surrounding his inspection authority.
- Sociology and Law