If Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Marines Want To Avoid The Brig, They’ll Need A Staunch Military Court Martial Defense
Now, fortunately for Puller, Miramar is also home to the Naval Consolidated Brig that has no shortage of good Marines and Sailors who failed to put up a proper defense and simply let the military justice system roll over them. So he’d get to see all the “real” Marines he wants out of Miramar. It remains true that proper behavior does not equal a good Marine and bad behavior does not equal a bad Marine.
In 2004, Captain Brent Morel was the platoon commander for 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion operating out of Al Anbar Province, Iraq. On April 7th of that year, he was leading a convoy through an insurgent infested region when a withering ambush was sprung upon his Marines. Without hesitation, he immediately ordered the surviving vehicles into a flanking position as he sized up the situation.
It became clear that the only way out of the kill zone was to take the fight directly to the enemy. Leading a charge of Marines across a field and up a berm, the insurgents were shocked by the ferocity of the counter attack. Many were killed while others simply just ran away. However, Morel could see his Marines were still taking fire and as such, he left the safety of the berm and continued the attack.
It was during this final charge that a machine gun found its mark on Captain Morel and he was mortally wounded. For actions that day, Captain Morel was awarded the Navy Cross and the eternal respect of every recon Marine to see him in action that day. What many don’t know is that Morel was an enlisted Marine prior to his time as an officer, and as the reports from those who knew him then would testify, he knew how to raise hell in a manner that would make Chesty proud.
- Morel’s enlisted exploits were in keeping with the finest traditions of the Marine Corps, though not always UCMJ compliant. Yet, there is not a single soul to have worn the uniform that would say Captain Morel was nothing but the consummate Marine and textbook combat leader. That’s the duality of Marine Corps culture and one command’s struggle to get right. That’s why at MCAS Miramar today, you’ll find unsat Marines walking free across the airfield and good
What UCMJ Charges Can You Fight Out Of MCAS Miramar?
The simple truth is that if the military justice system can charge you for it, then you can fight it. In fact, if you don’t fight it then you are inviting disaster upon yourself. The only way to secure the best possible outcome for yourself, which included total exoneration, you have to do what Captain Morel did during that deadly ambush. The only way to survive is to take the fight straight to the heart of forces seeking to destroy you. At Bilecki Law Group, we take on some of the most serious cases and then take that fight right to the heart of the military justice system. Below, you’ll find just some of the charges we defend and we think you’ll quickly see that we don’t scare easily.
- UCMJ Article 120 or Article 134 (Sex offenses) .
These cases can include rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, sexual assault of a minor, indecent viewing, indecent recording, forcible pandering, indecent exposure, and other Article 120 and Article 120(c) offenses. As the military has rightly tried to reign in its problem with sexual assault, there have been some unintended consequences that have had devastating effects for good Marines.
The current culture is such that an allegation is being treated as objective fact and commands are clamoring to outdo one another to show how tough they are on this very real problem. The result is that good Marines are having their careers and lives ruined because they are too scared to put up a fight. Listen to us closely, if you are innocent or feel the full story is not being told, you have to fight. If you don’t fight, the military justice system will use you as their sacrificial example to strike fear into the hearts of others.
- UCMJ Article 121 (Fraud and Larceny) .
We defend cases such as conspiracy to defraud the military, BAH fraud, OHA fraud, extortion, larceny, wrongful appropriation, and more. Southern California is not a cheap place to live and young Marines trying to take care of their families will sometimes fall into the trap of committing BAH fraud.
We see this far too often and in many cases, it is a genuine mistake. It shouldn’t be the end of one’s career and the answer for such a young Marine is certainly not taking all of his pay and allowances. A good defense here can secure you the best possible outcome and keep more money in your pocket for your family.
- UCMJ Article 128 (Assault and Violent Crime) .
We represent service members facing charges including murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, assault, and cases involving self-defense and defense of another. Personally, we think what Puller was really referring to in his brig Marines comment are Marines who like to drink and fight. That’s part of Marine Corps tradition and something tells us he got in a few himself during his enlisted days.
Look, if some Army guys come up on Miramar and start talking trash to the Marines, there is going to be a fight. Just like if some Marines rolled up at Fort Hood and started talking trash, there is going to be a fight. Fighting is inseparable from enlisted culture in the military and as such, we shouldn’t be ruining careers over this. Unfortunately, when an object such as a chair or beer bottle gets involved, the charges can escalate quickly. Don’t let the prosecution make an example out of you just because you defended Puller’s honor when some Army dog said Audy Murphy was more badass.
- UCMJ Article 112a (Drug Crimes) .
We defend cases involving drug possession, drug distribution, drug importation, drug manufacturing, drug trafficking, positive urinalysis cases, tampering with urinalysis cases, and more. These cases often involve illegal controlled substances such as marijuana, LSD, methamphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy, molly, opioids, analogues, and more.
Look, at some point the United States Military is going to have to reconcile the fact that marijuana is legal in some form in over 30 states. We’ll celebrate the Marine that is puking in formation from excessive alcohol use at the end of liberty, but crucify the Marine who popped on his urine test for being at the wrong party that weekend. You can fight these charges and don’t let the prosecution fool you into thinking your career is over without a fight.
- Punitive Articles of the UCMJ 77-134 (Military Specific Offenses) .
These include charges such as fraternization, unauthorized absence (AWOL), disobeying a lawful order, conduct unbecoming an officer, and much more. The worst thing about the punitive articles of the UCMJ is how they inconsistently enforced from command to command.
A behavior or action that caused you zero trouble out at Cherry Point will somehow have you standing tall in front of the UCMJ at Miramar. There is just no consistency and good Marines who want to comply, just find themselves struggling to even keep up. Some of the charges we see under the punitive articles are just plain silly and need to be fought for the sheer principle of the matter.
How To Fight And Win Against Misuse And Abuse Of The UCMJ?
For Miramar Marines, the presence of the Naval Consolidated Brig is a stark reminder of how bad things can get. It’s a reminder that the military justice system does not exist for the purpose of justice. It exists to preserve order and discipline within the ranks and for that to work, they need some of those brig beds filled. They need to make an example out of someone in order to strike fear into the hearts of others. That’s why they will take a seemingly innocuous charge and throw max punishment behind. It’s not fair. It’s not justice, but you can fight it.
Founder and namesake, Tim Bilecki, spent years inside the military justice system as a senior defense counsel. He knows that the military justice system is rigged against the defense and he fights like hell to save good Marines from the worst of it. Bilecki puts together a defense so aggressive, it’s almost a sin not to call it an offense. He will shred the prosecution’s witnesses on the stand to the point the courtroom almost has to look away.
Bilecki holds back nothing because he knows that the military justice system will take everything from you if we let them. That’s your career, your retirement that you’re six months away from claiming and even your freedom. If you are currently under investigation or facing court martial, reach out to us and we’ll shoot you straight on what you are facing. You have to press the attack and you have to fight your way through the prosecution’s kill zone. Men like Captain Morel are a shining example that the best of us don’t always follow the rules and Captain Morel would make Chesty proud in any scenario. If you’re facing court martial, reach out to us and get us into the fight. We take the fight to the enemy, and we fight to win.
FAQ'S About California Military Legal Defense
Drug crimes, mainly possession, use, and distribution, have long been a problem in California, especially with the confusion of its legalization in the state. Sexual assault charges remain incredibly high, as do assault charges and fraud against the government.
Bilecki Law Group are court martial lawyers who have defended service members against all offenses under the UCMJ in California. If you’ve been accused of any crime under the UCMJ, contact our law offices immediately for a confidential consultation.
We travel to California every year to represent our military clients. We can also send support staff such as investigators and forensic specialists should the need arise. We often travel to Fort Irwin, Twentynine Palms, Travis Air Force Base, Edwards Air Force Base, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, MCRD, San Diego and others.