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Liberty Risk Program intended to limit risk of incidents, trouble

US Marine Corps News

Gunnery Sgt. Cindy Fisher

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Marine and sailors assigned to Marine Corps Bases Japan and III Marine Expeditionary Force are expected to act responsibly when enjoying liberty off military installations here, say senior enlisted leaders.

But, for those who don’t exhibit sound judgment and maturity while on liberty, there is the Liberty Risk Program as outlined in chapter four of MCBJ/III MEF Order 1050.7, Liberty Campaign Order.

The Liberty Risk Program is basically supervised liberty for those a command no longer trusts to behave responsibly on unsupervised liberty, explained Sgt. Maj. Cevet A. Adams, MCBJ sergeant major.

The program is not a replacement for pretrial restraint or confinement and should not be used in lieu of pretrial restraint for service members awaiting a court martial, according to the order.

Additionally, no service member assigned to the Liberty Risk Program will be required to muster or work with others undergoing punitive action.

The program is simply “an administrative tool provided to commanders to deprive Marines/sailors of normal liberty due to unacceptable behavior or conduct while serving in Japan,” Adams said.

Battalion/squadron commanders or higher have the authority to place service members in the Liberty Risk Program, according to the order.

They also can require personnel on the program to remain in the appropriate service uniform while on liberty or at establishments where alcohol is sold.

During the assignment process, commanders are directed by the order to hold a “non-adversarial in-person or telephonic hearing” with an individual before placing him or her on liberty risk. This allows the service member an opportunity to be heard prior to liberty risk designation. At the commander’s discretion, service members may have someone accompany them to the hearing and speak on their behalf, but service members do not have a right to legal representation.

Commanders must assign individuals to the program in writing using assignment orders, according to the order. The initial liberty risk period cannot exceed 30 days. Commanders are directed to review liberty risk assignments on or before the 25th day to assess whether the assignment should be extended. Assignment can be extended in 30-day increments.

Service members placed in the Liberty Risk Program have five working days from the initial or extended assignment to request a reconsideration of their case, according to the order. The request must be in writing and include relevant details for the commander to consider. Commanders will respond in writing within 48 hours of receiving the service member’s request.

There are three classifications within the program that place additional restrictions on a service member’s liberty. Commanders have the discretion to determine the appropriate classification “based on an assessment of the risk posed by those personnel designated a liberty risk.”
Leadership expects to reduce liberty incidents with this program, said Sgt. Maj. Daniel J. Fierle, III MEF sergeant major.

“It is expected to be a deterrent to unacceptable behavior,” he added. “I can’t think of anyone who would want more restrictions on their liberty.”

Curfew violations, underage consumption of alcohol, disrespect, disobedience of an order or other violations of the Liberty Campaign Order or Uniform Code of Military Justice are infractions that could lead to an assignment to the program, explained Fierle and Adams.

Avoiding liberty risk assignment is easy; just do the right thing, said Fierle.

“You will not be put on the Liberty Risk Program for doing the right thing or making good decisions,” he said.

For those currently assigned to the program, Adams advised, “Learn from your mistakes, make better decisions, and don’t be a liberty risk.”

Restrictions for each classification

Class A liberty risk:

* Off-base liberty is authorized only when the service member is accompanied by a noncommissioned officer/petty officer or above.
* Off-base liberty expires at 10 p.m.
* Before beginning off-base liberty, the service member and accompanying NCO/PO must log out with their respective barracks duty NCO or staff DNCO.
* The service member must check in with the barracks DNCO or SDNCO at or before 10 p.m.
* The service member cannot purchase or consume alcohol.
* The service member’s current liberty card will be revoked and a new red liberty card will be issued that includes “Liberty Risk A/2200 Secured/Escort Required” on the front of the card.

Class B liberty risk:

* Off-base liberty is authorized only when the service member is accompanied by a NCO/PO or above.
* Off-base liberty expires at 8 p.m.
* Before beginning off-base liberty, the service member and their accompanying NCO/PO must log out with their respective barracks duty NCO or staff DNCO.
* The service member and accompanying NCO/PO must check in with the barracks DNCO or SDNCO at or before 8 p.m.
* Service member cannot purchase or consume alcohol.
* The service member’s current liberty card will be revoked and a new red liberty card will be issued that includes “Liberty Risk B/2000 Secured/Escort Required” on the front of the card.

Class C liberty risk:

* Off-base liberty is prohibited. The service member cannot leave camp under any circumstances, besides work.
* The service member will be escorted by an NCO/PO or above at all times while on liberty.
* The service member and their accompanying NCO/PO must check in with the barracks DNCO or SDNCO as required by their battalion or squadron commander.
* The service member cannot purchase or consume alcohol.
* The service member’s liberty card will be revoked and no new liberty card will be issued until they are removed from the Class C category.



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