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Armed Forces Act 2011

Section 19: Administrative reduction in rank or rate

77.The armed forces have a system of administrative action to deal with failures of performance where the bringing of a charge for a disciplinary offence under AFA 2006 is inappropriate. The powers are similar to those of a civilian employer. They cover a wide range of actions, including warnings, reduction in rank (or, in naval terminology, “rate”) and even discharge from the Service. Section 332 of AFA 2006 provides that, in the case of a warrant officer or non-commissioned officer, a reduction in rank by administrative action may only be by one acting or substantive rank.

78.Section 19 amends section 332. It enables a commanding officer to use administrative processes to reduce a warrant officer or non-commissioned officer by more than one rank or rate. The intention is to allow greater flexibility and discretion in cases which are not serious enough to merit discharge from the service, but for which a single rank reduction is insufficient.

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