Military Whistleblower Protection Act Defined

The Military Whistleblower Protection Act (MWPA) is a U.S. federal law designed to protect members of the armed forces who report misconduct, fraud, waste, abuse, or any other wrongdoing within the military. The MWPA provides legal safeguards for military personnel who blow the whistle on illegal or unethical activities, ensuring they are not subject to retaliation or adverse actions for their disclosures. 

What the MWPA Provides

Protected Communications: The MWPA protects the disclosure of information related to violations of laws and regulations, gross mismanagement, abuse of authority, and any other matters of significant concern within the military. Whistleblowers can report these issues without fear of retribution. 

Reporting Channels: The MWPA allows military whistleblowers to report their concerns through a chain of command or to designated individuals within their organization. It also permits reports to be made to members of Congress or Inspectors General. The communication will only be “protected” under the MWPA if it was made to these individuals. 

Non-Retaliation: The law prohibits retaliation against military personnel who make protected disclosures. This includes actions like demotion, harassment, threats, or any other form of punishment in response to whistleblowing. 

Remedies: The MWPA provides remedies for whistleblowers who face retaliation, such as reinstatement to their previous position, or removal of an evaluation report. 

Confidentiality: The MWPA allows whistleblowers to make protected disclosures confidentially, without the fear of their identities being disclosed to unauthorized individuals.

How We Can Help Military Whistleblowers

The team of military law attorneys at the Federal Practice Group work hard to protect the rights of service members.  If you are worried about retaliation for being a whistleblower, we can help by providing:  

Legal Advice: We provide guidance on whistleblower protection laws and regulations such as the Military Whistleblower Protection Act. We will help you understand your rights, legal protections, and potential risks associated with reporting misconduct. 

Assistance with Reporting: We help military whistleblowers properly document and report misconduct. This may include helping you draft the necessary reports or complaints, and ensuring they are submitted through the appropriate channels. 

Protection from Retaliation: Whistleblowers are often at risk of retaliation, such as harassment, discrimination, or even termination. We help you take legal action to protect your rights and seek redress if you experience adverse consequences for their disclosures. 

Legal Representation: If your case leads to a legal dispute, our experienced team can represent you in legal proceedings, including court-martial, administrative hearings, or other forums, such as the Board for Correction of Military or Naval Records. 

Negotiation and Settlement: In some cases, whistleblowers may reach a settlement or resolution with the military. We are here to negotiate on your behalf to achieve a favorable outcome. 

Knowledge of Military Regulations: Our team has a deep understanding of military regulations and the unique aspects of military justice. As former active and retired military personnel, we work hard to effectively represent our fellow service members. 

Preservation of Evidence: We help whistleblowers gather and preserve evidence that supports their claims. This evidence can be critical in making a successful case. 

Confidentiality: We offer advice on how to maintain confidentiality and protect sensitive information while pursuing a whistleblower case. 

Military Whistleblower Attorneys You Can Trust

The process of blowing the whistle in a military context can be complex, challenging and scaryWhile the protection of whistleblowers can vary depending on the military branch, country and specific laws, our dedication to your case will notYou served to protect your countryWe work to protect your rightsContact us today for a consultationWe will work with you and for you to successfully navigate the military whistleblower process.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

It is suggested you seek an attorney the moment you are notified of possible disciplinary action. There is a wide range of disciplinary action a service member might face, and the consequences of those actions vary greatly. A military law attorney can discuss the possible consequences, and how best to proceed in your particular case.  

Service members have the right to always remain silent. This right is listed in Article 31(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The natural inclination is to explain why you are not guilty of the allegation. However, the military will always try to use the statement against the service member. For this reason, we always advise clients to exercise their right to remain silent under Article 31(b). The military cannot use your right to remain silent against you.  

You always have the right to consult with an attorney. Depending of the type of investigation or disciplinary action, you may also have the right to have an attorney present with you. It is best to discuss your particular situation with a military law attorney to understand if that right applies to you. 

Yes, each one of the branches has a Court of Criminal Appeals. If you receive either a punitive discharge or in excess of 1 year of confinement, you have the right to an automatic appeal. Just like at the Court-Martial, you will have be detailed a military appellate defense counsel.  

Yes, most service members will be entitled to either an administrative separation board (or, if an officer, a Board of Inquiry). Each branch requires the service member to have been in a certain number of years before they can request to appear before a Board. If you are entitled to a Board, you will have the right to appear with a defense counsel, and present a defense before three Board members. 

 It depends on what the legal issue, and how you are able to challenge the legal issue. The military law attorneys at FPG have represented service members at trial that resulted in a not-guilty verdict. These clients were able to continue their military career as though the Court-Martial never happened.

The military lawyers at FPG are former Judge Advocates, with years of experience in both the military and on the civilian side. They have been successful in getting their clients acquitted of criminal charges at Court-Martial, and have successfully had Court-Martial convictions overturned on appeal and discharges upgraded.  

Speak with a Military Attorney Today