“Help The Texas Tribune and ProPublica report on the military justice system” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
Military investigations can be opaque. The people involved may be the only witnesses to how cases move or stall. An investigation by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune into pretrial confinement, an aspect of the military justice system that allows commanders to detain service members ahead of trial, showed that Army soldiers accused of sexual assault are less than half as likely to be placed in pretrial confinement as those accused of offenses like drug use and distribution, disobeying an officer or damaging nonmilitary property.
Our news organizations plan to continue examining the military justice system, which handles more than 1,000 cases across all branches annually. Charges in those cases range from disobeying an officer to murder. We also want to learn more about how the military handles cases that do not make it to courts-martial and how commanders assign nonjudicial punishments.
To do this, we’d like to hear from service members, former service members and families about how the military justice system operates, including how it investigates allegations of sexual assault, domestic violence, drug use as well as noncombat deaths. We are also interested in how military justice intersects with the civilian justice system.
As we embark on this effort, we want to make sure we’re asking the right questions. We hope our work can prevent future harm. To that end, we hope to learn from and speak with military support staff and current and former service members, along with the families of both groups. In particular, we would like to hear from people who have experience at military bases in Texas.
We will read everything you share and keep you updated on our progress.
Our commitment to your privacy: We appreciate you sharing your story and we take your privacy seriously. We are gathering these stories for the purposes of our reporting and will contact you if we wish to publish any part of your story.
ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force. We dig deep into important issues, shining a light on abuses of power and betrayals of public trust — and we stick with those issues as long as it takes to hold power to account.
The Texas Tribune is the only member-supported, digital-first, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
Some of our organizations’ previous reporting on the military:
An investigation into what went wrong in America’s 7th Fleet after a series of deadly naval accidents in the Pacific.
Some Guard members say a massive mobilization, which would normally take months to plan, set back their income, education and well-being.
For decades, Vietnam veterans suspected that the chemical mixture harmed their health and that of their children. But the Veterans Affairs agency hadn’t studied its own data for clues. ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot investigated the mixture’s effects and military families’ fight for benefits.
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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/08/09/military-justice-system/.
The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.