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Soldiers may be reduced in grade for a number of reasons, including misconduct and inefficiency. A Reduction can occur separate from adverse administrative or judicial proceedings, like an Article 15 or court martial. Depending on the nature and reason for the reduction, a Soldier may be entitled to present a case before a Command-convened reduction board, comprising officers and enlisted service members.
If a reduction board is convened, a Soldier is entitled to request a Trial Defense Services attorney.
Click here to submit a Request for Counsel
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: When am I entitled to a reduction board?
Answer: A reduction board is required for Soldiers in the grade of CPL/SPC when being reduced more than one grade, and for Soldiers in the grade of SGT through SGM for any reduction for misconduct or for inefficiency.
Question: Can my unit Commander reduce me?
Answer: The general rule is that the Commander who has the authority to promote you also has the authority to reduce you.
Question: What happens at a reduction board?
Answer: You will be given time to prepare a defense with your assigned attorney (at least 15 duty days). At the hearing, the convening authority will present evidence and testimony to support the basis for reduction. You and your assigned attorney will have the opportunity to cross exam all witnesses called against you and present your own evidence and witnesses.
Question: Can you appeal an adverse finding by a reduction board?
Answer: In some circumstances, yes. You may appeal to correct an erroneous reduction (for example, the reduction did not meet the requirements of the rule governing reductions). For reductions related to inefficiency or for misconduct, in most instances, an appeal is authorized to correct an erroneous reduction on equitable grounds. The next higher authority is the appeal authority and will decide whether based on the facts and circumstances of the particular case that partial or full restoration of grade is in the best interest of the Army and the Soldier.
Question: Where can I learn more about reduction boards?
Answer: See Army Regulation (AR) 600-8-19.