Over 500+ Successful Court Cases & Counting: See Reviews ➔
500+ Successful Court Cases & Counting: See Reviews ➔

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Fort Jackson
Court Martial Defense

Fort Jackson, South Carolina, serves as a foundational training ground for the Army, blending diverse backgrounds as it prepares recruits for Basic Combat Training. It's a setting where many soldiers start their military careers, sometimes encountering UCMJ challenges along the way.

Few Soldiers Think They’ll Ever Need A Court Martial Defense After Leaving Ft. Jackson

Not everyone realizes it, but Ft. Jackson is not only where over 50% of Soldiers receive their basic training. It is also where 100% of modern Army drill instructors receive their qualifications to wear the revered Campaign Hat. With those two facts in hand, Ft. Jackson has essentially become the birthplace of the modern American Soldier. Whether it is a Soldier or a new Drill Sergeant born out of Ft. Jackson, it is safe to say that neither one could foresee the need for a staunch military court martial defense in their future. However, one thing is certain in the Army and that is you know not how your career is going to end.

Let’s just take Ft. Jackson alumni and Medal of Honor recipient, Desmond Doss, for example. You might recognize that name as his story was featured in the movie Hacksaw Ridge. Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist, refused to kill an enemy soldier or even carry a weapon. He made these objections known from day one, but continued to insist on serving. At the height of World War 2, it is likely that the Army believed they had a dud on their hands. However, the future would hold something very different for Doss and the legacy of Ft. Jackson.

As a conscientious objector, Doss continued to insist on serving and eventually was given a billet as a medic. Little did the Army know that they were saving the lives of countless men by keeping Doss in the fight. By the time he arrived on Okinawa, Doss had already received two Bronze Stars with a “V” for exceptional valor. On Okinawa, he is credited with saving the lives of between 50 and hundred soldiers. All this while being wounded 4 times and having 17 pieces of shrapnel in his body from kicking away a grenade that landed near his men. For these acts, he received the Medal of Honor while refusing to carry a weapon. So new Soldiers and Drill Instructors hear this. You don’t know how your career is going to end and sadly, for some, that will include the need to fight off a military court martial.

Few Soldiers Are Ready For A Fight With The UCMJ

When we take on a new case at the Bilecki Law Group, we are always fascinated to hear about how one’s military career begins. For many if not most in the Army, that journey begins at Ft. Jackson. The tragic part is that they had no idea and nor did they ever intend to have a major fight with the UCMJ.

A new recruit didn’t realize that after multiple deployments during GWOT and a service record to salute, they’d get wrongfully accused of sexual misconduct. A newly minted Drill Sergeant who looked forward to forging the next generation of Soldiers, didn’t realize that a recruit who never should have made it past the recruiter would make allegations of abuse that would upend a career.

Desmond Doss is the positive end of the spectrum when it comes to the unpredictability of one’s career. However, that unpredictability can swing wildly in the other direction. By far and large, the soldiers we defend had no idea their military career could come to an end in this manner. Thankfully, if we have anything to do with it, their career will live on. If you are reading this right now, you may be the Soldier who found yourself where you never thought you would be when you left Ft. Jackson.

The Reasons You Need a Staunch Military Court Martial Defense

As it pertains to the Bilecki Law Group, we are a boutique law firm that specializes in at-trial court martial defense. Meaning, we are happy to take the fight to a court martial and we’ll explain more on that in a bit. In the meantime, let’s tackle a few of the charges we routinely defend for soldiers out of Ft. Jackson and beyond.

  1. 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. Nearly 60% of women Soldiers receive their basic training at Ft. Jackson and 100% of female Drill Instructors. However, it is often surprising to many that men still make up nearly 1/3rd of sexual assault victims. If a Soldier of any gender is assaulted, they deserve justice. If a Soldier of any gender is wrongly accused, they too deserve justice. Justice is supposed to be blind and we fight for those accused under these articles accordingly.
  2. 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. When new recruits join the Army, they do so under the impression that the military will issue or provide everything that they need. While there is some truth to that notion, what the Army deems you “need” is very different from what an individual thinks they need. Oftentimes, good Soldiers pushed to the financial limit make a poor decision and that’s not how they saw their career ending. Other times, a lost piece of gear has to be blamed on someone and that might be you. Either way, you need to fight for the career you wanted when you started.
  3. 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. If there is one great travesty to come out of Ft. Jackson it is that a new Soldier who just 8 weeks ago was a kid in high school, now feels invincible. While this bravado is helpful in combat, it is less than helpful when out on leave. Full confidence and often some liquid courage, a young soldier gets in a fight that goes south in a hurry.
  4. 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. Recruits who hit Ft. Jackson come from all across the country and as such, they have a range of backgrounds when it comes to illegal substances. Not all of those cultural understandings are mitigated forever after just 8 weeks of basic training.
  5. 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. Now, though the UCMJ wasn’t codified in its current form until 1950, Doss could have easily found himself on the wrong side of the UCMJ.
    The nation was in the middle of a global war and the military didn’t have a lot of time for men who didn’t want to hurt a fly. Yet, Doss now owns the nation’s highest military honor and he is both a military and Hollywood legend. Tell me if you could have predicted that when he came through Ft. Jackson and then ask yourself, can you predict the end result for anyone.

Where and Why the Bilecki Law Group Fights the Military Justice System

For the majority of our existence, the Bilecki Law Group has fought for the careers of good men and women in just about every clime and place an American Soldier can take a gun. This is still true, though we have recently begun to specialize on the Eastern seaboard and Southeastern portion of the United States. This puts Ft. Jackson right in the middle of our AOR.

However, people fly the Bilicki Law Group to every corner of the world because we specialize in the military court martial trial defense. We are not the law group you hire if you just want to sign a plea deal and go quietly into the night. We are the law group for the Soldier who finds himself where he or she never thought they would be and they are a little pissed about it.

Facing a court martial is not how you thought your career would come to an end and it does not have to be. If you find yourself under investigation or facing a military court martial, all you have to do is reach out and we’ll give you a free consultation. We’ll tell you exactly where you stand and what you have to do to fight back. Ft. Jackson is the birthplace of so many military careers and it does not have to be the graveyard for yours. If you are willing to fight, then so are we. Reach out and let’s see what we can get done. You might just be surprised at what is possible, regardless of how daunting your situation seems.

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Timothy James Bilecki

Military law attorney

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