“Ask The Barracks Lawyer" is your semi-regular column giving expert legal advice to military members. The Barracks Lawyer is Private First Class Evan Rodriguez - currently stationed at Separations Platoon, Camp Pendleton, CA. Rodriguez has achieved the rank of Corporal once, Lance Corporal three times, and Private First Class eight times.
DEAR BARRACKS LAWYER: I just joined the Marine Corps only a few months ago. I went to boot camp and now I'm at the School of Infantry. The instructors are always yelling at me and I really don't like it here. What should I do? -GOTTA GET OUT at Camp Pendleton, CA
DEAR GOTTA GET OUT: Hey bro, seriously, I know exactly what you are going through. That's some bullshit they are yelling at you. Listen, you don't have to take that stuff. Them yelling at you is clearly hazing and its against the UCMJ. First thing you do is go directly to your Commanding Officer -- don't let the Sergeants or Staff Sergeants try to tell you that you need to use the chain of command, that's a lie.
So when you go to your CO, tell him you want to request mast for hazing. If he doesn't take you seriously, you can always say that you were molested as a kid or something too. He'll probably give you some paperwork to fill out. Make sure you use better wording than "yelling." Try "the instructors are extremely combative" or they were "verbally hazing me."
If all else fails, say you refuse to train. If they try to kick you out with a bad discharge or something, don't worry about it. My buddy Eddie says that all you gotta do is write your Congressman and they upgrade it to Honorable. Just takes a couple weeks. Trust me.
DEAR BARRACKS LAWYER: I screwed up man. I was home on leave and I smoked some weed at a party. I know they are going to piss test us when we get back. Is there anything I can do? - IVAN DRUGO at Fort Lewis, Washington
DEAR IVAN DRUGO: Hey man, it's totally cool. You'll be fine man... listen. All you gotta do is drink a lot of Vitamin Water, Gatorade, and I think Tomato juice and that stuff will get flushed right out. My cousin John says that all you need to do is drink all that and brush your teeth a lot and you should be good.
If it doesn't work and somehow you end up popping on the test, don't sweat it. I popped once, went to court martial and everything. Those tests are only like 38% accurate so they can't really prove it.. plus you just have your JAG lawyer attack the guys that administered the test and say that they really didn't see you piss in the cup and they mixed them up in the box and you'll get off no problem.
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