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Navy Command VIOLATED Constitutional Rights Of Sailor When He Asked To Talk To Attorney!

Navy Command VIOLATED Constitutional Rights Of Sailor When He Asked To Talk To Attorney!

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

Did a Navy Captain destroy a sailor’s career simply because the sailor wanted to talk to an attorney?

Or stated another way

By exercising his right to talk to an attorney, did a sailor bring down the wrath of his Captain and get his entire career destroyed?

Or stated another way

Is this really the US Navy, and not the Russian Navy or the Chinese Navy or the North Korean Navy, where the act of exercising what little rights you have can get your career ruined? So where do we really live?

So here’s the story. And it’s not about skirting punishment. It’s not about avoiding responsibility for one’s own actions. It’s about fair and equal treatment under the law, whether it’s the US Constitution or Navy regulations. It’s about preventing a couple of people, in command authority, from acting with personal animosity towards a sailor, derived from expressing his constitutional right, thereby destroying that sailors career path. Given dozens of other sailors with similar situations were treated differently and allowed to continue their career path to the United State Naval Academy, the Navy, our elected officials, JAG and private legal advocates, should work to remedy the situation, especially considering today’s environment where the Navy will not meet its recruitment goals for enlisted personnel or officers.

Here we go. A 17-year-old high school senior takes the Navy ASVAB test and scores high enough to get into the Navy Nuclear Power Training Command. Nuke School. There are 3 schools, 6 months at each school. Graduates the first school, A school, with distinction. Gets a 3.2 GPA in the second school and decides he wants to go the United States Naval Academy. Submits his application. Finishes a full month ahead of the class schedule in the third school, Prototype School, ahead of hundreds of fellow students. Gets shipped to his first duty station, a submarine in Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam in Hawaii. Once in Hawaii, while still in quarantine due to Covid, learns he is accepted into the Academy but has to first go to the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Rhode Island with other prior enlisted sailors.

After a few months of performing non-essential jobs, not related to his Nuke training, he is given a commendation by the Submarine Commander for his work ethic, before he leaves for Rhode Island. Once at NAPS, the Naval Academy Preparatory School, which is the Navy feeder school for the USNA, he is placed in all three advance classes, Math, Physics, and Chemistry. Only 10% of the students are in the advance class. Now the school year passes, nearly to graduation. He even takes the test to validate Physics One, to not have to take the course at the Academy, and passes. Graduation is one month away.

Now here is where the story starts to get really interesting.

Our sailor is 21 years old. A 19-year-old student talks him into buying alcohol and bringing it back so they can watch the final four college basketball tournament. And, he gets momentarily stupid and does so. The next class day, both students self-report the alcohol related incident to their chain of command.

Now, lest you think this is a unique violation, just a few months earlier more than a dozen students were disciplined for various alcohol violations, drinking off school grounds, drinking on school grounds, providing alcohol to a minor, etc. etc. All of those students except one were disciplined through an adjudication, which is the lowest form of disciplinary action and does not go into a sailor’s record. Just stays in the preparatory school records. The Naval officer interviewing the various students about our sailor’s violation recommended an adjudication.

Now, the next disciplinary level is a Captain’s Mast, so called because it’s held by the Captain, and that type of hearing stays on your record throughout your naval career.

Now here’s where the Command at NAPS, the Naval Academy Preparatory School, starts to violate constitutional rights.

Our sailor in the story says he wants to talk to an attorney before making an oral or written statement. When Command hears about that request, after our sailor signs the paperwork for an adjudication hearing, the senior chief tells our sailor, verbatim, “if you want to involve lawyers, it’s not going to be an adjudication”.

Now I ask you, is that not a punitive statement? Is that not restricting constitutional rights? Do we, as US citizens, have the right to speak to counsel before providing a statement? Yes! Isn’t that what the 5th Amendment guarantees? Due Process under the Constitution? But that’s not what NAPS Command is doing. If you go talk to, go see, involve an attorney, you will be punished in a harsher manner. Flip it around. If you don’t involve an attorney, we will punish you less?

By this time, our sailor is intimidated and fearful of his career. So he does not involve a lawyer for the hearing. Well guess what? NAPS Command changes the disciplinary action to a Captain’s Mast anyway. We’re going to punish you any way we want.

Now, this is first of many violations committed by the Command at NAPS, the Naval Academy Preparatory School, in regard to this sailor. Eventually, the violations spill over to the actions of the Superintendent at the Naval Academy itself.

But don’t worry, we are not going to leave you in the dark. In our next video, we will tell you about the Captain’s Mast itself and the disparate treatment of our sailor by NAPS Command. And we’ll name names as well. And then we’ll tell you about the appeal process and how NAPS Command and the United States Naval Academy Superintendent violated regulations to continue illegally punishing our sailor. No other sailor was treated as harsh, as extreme. Many of those sailors had more problems but they did not have their career path ripped apart.

Given how both NAPS and USNA Command have acted in the entire process, I would not be surprised to learn that there were other instances in the past where these two Commands violated a sailor’s rights, whether administratively or constitutionally. Send this video to military friends and family who have been wronged by the Command at either NAPS or USNA. We are taking action to remedy the unjust results of those Commands actions, and we want to hear from you. Contact us at [email protected].

Now, full disclosure, you see my name Ray Hrdlicka. I’m the host of Attorneys.Media. I’m also the father of that sailor, Grant Hrdlicka. This is not simply about a parent protecting their kid. It’s about ensuring the fair and equitable treatment of these students, military students, who volunteered for service, by following the Constitution and the Navy’s own regulations. It’s about preventing the intimidation from and ego of Navy personnel, in command authority, from purposefully destroying a sailor’s career.

Neither Grant or I ever want to, or will, diminish military service, or in this case, the Navy, in general. Our actions are not intended to discredit the Navy. Grant would not have chosen the Navy as a career path if he, and our family, did not believe in the institution, the value, the tradition, the service to country. On the contrary, he wants to be an integral part of the Navy and attend one of the country’s best institutions, the USNA. He wants to ensure there is a level playing field, that he is treated in the same manner as other students in similar situations. He wants to ensure that personal animosity from command, simply because Grant expressed his constitutional right to speak to an attorney, does not influence decisions that will destroy a sailor’s career. If other student violations had been treated the same as Grant’s situation, we would move on. All things being equal. But it wasn’t!

Two Questions.

Is this what you want in leadership in the Navy? Especially at a place, a school, that supposedly is designed to develop leaders?

Is this the example the Navy wants to portray to sailors who want to be officers?

Thank you all. Look for Part 2 in the coming days.

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