On August 15, 2022, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA) overturned the trial judge’s original dismissal of Chief Eric Gilmet’s case and reinstated all charges that had previously been dismissed with prejudice on February 9, 2022.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) decided to hear oral arguments about whether the military judge erred when he found the government failed to prove that unlawful command influence (UCI) would not affect the proceedings beyond a reasonable doubt. Additionally, they were to decide whether it placed an intolerable strain on the public’s perception of the military justice system.
Oral arguments took place at the CAAF in Washington, D.C. on April 18, 2023.
On August, 3, 2023, CAAF ordered and adjudged that, “That the decision of the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals is hereby reversed in accordance with the opinion filed herein this date. The military judge did not err when he found that the Government failed to prove that unlawful command influence would not affect the proceedings beyond a reasonable doubt. We therefore reinstate his decision to dismiss the charges and specifications with prejudice and return the case to the Judge Advocate General of the Navy.”
The original decision for Chief Gilmet’s charges to be dismissed with prejudice came on the heels of an incident where Colonel Christopher Shaw (USMC) made several inappropriate and threatening statements aimed at Gilmet’s then-defense counsel, Captain Matthew Thomas (USMC), during a Judge Advocate Division meeting.
As a result, Gilmet was forced to decide between moving forward with a compromised defense counsel, or to part ways with the defense team that he had built cohesion with for several years to avoid the effects of UCI.
Gilmet chose to let go of the military defense counsels that he had built a relationship with for years, leaning on retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Colby Vokey, a highly experienced civilian attorney funded by UAP.
Along with Gilmet, Marine Raider Gunnery Sergeants Danny Draher and Josh Negron comprise the MARSOC 3. Draher and Negron were found not guilty of charges of manslaughter and negligent homicide by a jury of their peers on February 1, 2023.
Draher and Negron were found guilty of drinking while in Iraq. The result for Draher and Negron? They are now felons – and the only ones who were punished – despite many others from that deployment having been videotaped drinking in Iraq on the same night.
On 1 August 2023 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Draher and Negron went before a board of inquiry (BOI) that would determine their fate with a forced retirement after their decades-long military careers. The three member panel for the BOI on 1 August 2023 was made up of a Marine Colonel, a Lieutenant Colonel (Marine Raider), and a Master Sergeant (Marine Raider).
After hearing opening arguments and testimony, there was a very brief deliberation before the panel recommended that both Draher and Negron be allowed to retire at the rate of E-7 (Gunnery Sergeant) with an honorable discharge.
That decision will now go up to the USMC Deputy Commandant for Manpower & Reserve Affairs – Major General James Glynn – who will ultimately decide whether to approve the BOI decision, or to overturn it. Glynn was previously the MARSOC Commanding General (CG) and the convening authority for the MARSOC 3 case before handing it off to current MARSOC CG, Major General Matthew Trollinger.
United American Patriots (UAP) has supported the MARSOC 3 during their lengthy legal battle by funding their civilian legal representation and generating awareness to members of Congress and to the public about the facts of the case.
Your financial support is critical to our success, and most importantly, the success of our Warriors like Chief Gilmet!