World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Letter of reprimand

Article Id: WHEBN0010652690
Reproduction Date:

Title: Letter of reprimand  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: USCGC Vigilant (WMEC-617), Helen Gandy, Jonathan Idema, West Loch disaster, Chester W. Nimitz
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Letter of reprimand

A letter of reprimand is a United States Department of Defense procedure involving a letter to an employee or soldier from his or her superior that details the wrongful actions of the person and the punishment that can be expected. A Formal Letter of Reprimand is one in which a copy of the letter is kept on record.

In military contexts, a formal letter of reprimand can be career ending,[1] even without prescribed punishments, because it makes it difficult to secure advancements in rank or to enjoy the respect of one's peers.

In legal contexts, a letter of reprimand is sometimes called a letter of admonition. It is the lowest form of attorney discipline under the Code of Professional Responsibility.

United States Armed Forces

The Manual for Court Martial, R.C.M. 306(c)(2), states:

Administrative action. A commander may take or initiate administrative action, in addition to or instead of other action [e.g., non-judicial punishment (Article 15 or "NJP") and court-martial] taken under this rule, subject to regulations of the Secretary concerned. Administrative actions include corrective measures such as counseling, admonition, reprimand, exhortation, disapproval, criticism, censure, reproach, rebuke, extra military instruction, or the administrative withholding of privileges, or any combination of the above.

The order of severity for formal written administrative action is:

  • a letter of counsel (least severe),
  • a memorandum of concern,
  • a letter of admonishment,
  • a letter of reprimand.

A letter of reprimand may be issued in lieu of punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A formal letter of reprimand is placed in the service member's permanent personnel record.


On September 25, 2008, the United States Department of Defense announced that six U.S. Air Force and two U.S. Army generals and nine colonels had received letters of reprimand, admonishment, or concern because of the mishandling of fuses for nuclear weapons which were mistakenly shipped to Taiwan. Two U.S. Air Force major generals were asked to stay in their current position; the others either retired, planned to retire, or were removed from their position. Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz met with each officer personally before issuing the letters. He noted they committed no offense under the UCMJ, but "did not do enough to carry out their leadership responsibilities for nuclear oversight. For that they must be held accountable."[2]


  1. ^ Zuchino, David (May 29, 2010). "U.S. report faults drone crew, command posts in Afghan civilian deaths". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  2. ^ The Associated Press. "Military cites poor oversight in mistaken shipment of warheads to Taiwan". MSNBC, Thurs., Sept. 25, 2008, accessed 2008-09-26.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.