first step is to become familiar with those
paragraphs of the Manual for Courts-Martial,
1984 (MCM) describing the alleged offense(s).
Part IV of the MCM describes those actions the
military considers offenses. Within each
paragraph is a section entitled Elements that
lists the requirements for proof of the offense.
Be careful to focus your attention on the correct
element of proof. Copy down the elements of
proof to help you in your search for relevant
evidence. Your job is to search for anything that
might prove or disprove an element of proof. You
must remain impartial.
Your second objective is to collect information
about the accused. That information will aid the
commanding officer in making proper disposition
of the case. The information will also help the
commanding officer decide what nonjudicial
punishment (NJP), if any, is appropriate. Items
of interest to the commanding officer include:
The accuseds currently assigned duties
Evaluation of his or her performance
The accuseds attitudes and ability to get
along with others
Personal difficulties or hardships the
accused is willing to discuss
Statements given by supervisors, peers, and
the accused provide the best source of informa-
tion about the accused.
Figure 2-4.-Witness Statement.