The Coast Guard Court has issued this published opinion, which sets aside a CA’s action due to a deficient SJAR. United States v. Sanchez, __ M.J. ___, No. 1320 (C.G. Ct. Crim. App. July 29, 2010). Chief Judge McClelland wrote for a unanimous panel.
The SJAR noted the findings and sentence and the absence of previous convictions, referenced a previous NJP, and listed four negative administrative remarks. The SJAR failed to note the accused’s length of service, awards, decorations, positive administrative remarks, or evaluations. The TDC offered no objections or comments.
The Coast Guard Court held that the omission of the accused’s awards and decorations was error and that the error was plain and obvious, since R.C.M. 1106 requires that they be noted in an SJAR. The court further concluded that where the omitted information included two Coast Guard Achievement medals, two Good Conduct Medals, and a letter of commendation, the omission was prejudicial, thus satisfying all the prongs of a plain error analysis.