“Commanders need to say to subordinates, “I have zero tolerance for drug abuse/discrimination/hazing/ sex assault/etc” and back up their words with action. Commanders sending cases to criminal trial reinforces the message.” (Major Steven J. Smart, Air Force JAG)
Translation: Regardless of the facts or evidence, criminal cases will almost certainly proceed to trial. Even when a military judge recommends dismissal of the charges, the commander will send the accused to court-martial anyway. Major Smart illustrates how backwards and corrupt our military justice system has become; reinforcing a “message” is more important than the truth. Sadly, it’s unsurprising to be told—yet again—that a commander’s image outweighs the pursuit of real justice.