R 031909Z JUN 21
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC DMCS//
SUBJ/THE MARINE CORPS VICTIMS’ LEGAL COUNSEL ORGANIZATION (VLCO) AND AVAILABILITY OF MARINE CORPS VICTIMS’ LEGAL COUNSEL (VLC) SERVICES//
REF/A/MSG/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC JA/R311901ZOCT13//
REF/H/DOC/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA/3JUN19//
REF/I/DOC/CMC WASHINGTON DC JA/15MAR13//
REF/J/DOC/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA (MF)/8APR21//
REF/M/DOC/CMC WASHINGTON DC JA/20FEB18//
NARR/REF (A) IS MARADMIN 583/13 ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MARINE CORPS VICTIMS' LEGAL COUNSEL ORGANIZATION (VLCO). REF (B) IS THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES TO MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES AND OTHER ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS SUBJECT TO THE AVAILABILITY OF LEGAL STAFF RESOURCES. REF (C) IS THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY THAT EXTENDS LEGAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES TO VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT. REF (D) IS THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENT THAT THE SERVICES DESIGNATE LEGAL COUNSEL FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS OF ALLEGED SEX-RELATED OFFENSES. REF (E) IS THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENT THAT THE SERVICES PROVIDE LEGAL COUNSEL TO VICTIMS OF ALLEGED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSES WHO ARE OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE UNDER REF (B). REF (F) IS THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INSTRUCTION ON THE SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE (SAPR) PROGRAM PROCEDURES. REF (G) IS THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY INSTRUCTION ON THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY’S SAPR PROGRAM PROCEDURES. REF (H) IS THE MARINE CORPS ORDER (MCO) ON THE MARINE CORPS SAPR PROGRAM. REF (I) IS THE MCO ON THE VICTIM-WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (VWAP). REF (J) IS THE MCO ON THE MARINE CORPS FAMILY ADVOCACY PROGRAM (FAP). REF (K) IS THE JAG INSTRUCTION (JAGINST) ON PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF ATTORNEYS. REF (L) IS THE MANUAL OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE NAVY (JAGMAN). REF (M) IS THE MARINE CORPS LEGAL SUPPORT AND ADMINIS RATION MANUAL (LSAM) VOLUME 4.//
POC/J.M. LEWIS/MAJ/VLCO, HQMC JAD, WASHINGTON, DC/-/TEL: (703) 693-6306/EMAIL: JOHN.LEWIS@USMC.MIL//
POC/Y.J. LEE/LTCOL/VLCO, HQMC JAD, WASHINGTON DC/-/TEL: (703) 693-9524/EMAIL: YONG.LEE@USMC.MIL//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. Purpose. The purpose of this MARADMIN is to provide information about the Marine Corps Victims’ Legal Counsel Organization (VLCO) and to advise eligible victims of qualifying offenses in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) of their right to receive legal assistance from a Marine Corps Victims' Legal Counsel (VLC) in accordance with the references.
2. Mission. The mission of the VLCO is to provide legal advice, counseling, and representation to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and other qualifying offenses, while ensuring that victims’ rights are protected at all stages of the investigation and throughout the military justice process.
3. General Information. The Marine Corps established the VLCO in 2013 under reference (a) to meet statutory requirements to ensure legal advice and representation were provided to victims of sexual assault in accordance with references (b) through (d). The VLCO also extended services to victims of other offenses, including domestic violence, who met the basic legal assistance requirements under reference (b). Today, various statutes and regulations provide eligible victims of sexual assault and domestic violence with the right to the assistance of VLC upon request. In other cases, the VLCO may be able to assign VLC to victims on a case-by-case basis for good cause, which includes consideration of the seriousness of the offense(s), and as resources permit. All victims of alleged sex-related and domestic violence offenses under the UCMJ, as well as victims of other serious offenses who desire VLC services, are encouraged to contact a VLCO office to determine eligibility for services. Other serious offenses include actual, suspected, or alleged major criminal offenses under the UCMJ, committed by one person against another, that are punishable by more than one year of confinement (e.g., aggravated assault, maiming, robbery, kidnapping, and homicide offenses).
4. Marine Corps VLC. Marine Corps VLC are attorneys with experience in military justice. Prior to serving as VLC, they complete a specialized legal course on special victim representation, must successfully undergo a sensitive screening process, and be certified to serve as VLC by the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. VLC represent the interests of the victim (client), even where those interests may differ from the Government’s interest in prosecuting the accused in the case. VLC are supervised by the responsible supervisory Regional VLC, who answers to the Chief VLC of the Marine Corps, who is the Officer-in-Charge, VLCO. The VLCO organization is functionally independent, and does not answer to anyone outside the VLCO, including convening authorities, staff judge advocates, and/or trial and defense counsel.
5. Confidentiality. Conversation between VLC and clients (as well as prospective clients) are confidential and privileged communications. The relationship between a VLC and client is that of an attorney and client.
6. VLCO Services. The VLCO provides consultation and assistance with:
6.a. Understanding the Military Justice System. Explanation of victim’s rights under the UCMJ, investigative process, roles and responsibilities of commanders/convening authorities, trial and defense counsel, purpose of preliminary hearings (a.k.a. Article 32 hearings), preferral and referral of charges, and trial procedures and evidentiary matters.
6.b. Various Legal Procedure and Options. Making Restricted or Unrestricted reports of sexual assault; seeking military protective orders/civilian restraining orders; addressing issues of harassment, intimidation, retaliation, reprisal, or coercion against the client; coordinating expedited transfer requests in sexual assault cases; facilitating the return of victim property collected during an investigation; and obtaining testimonial or transactional immunity for victims regarding collateral misconduct.
6.c. Legal Representation. Ensuring victim rights under the UCMJ are fully secured and exerted. This includes the right to be present at military justice proceedings; to provide a victim preference to the convening authority regarding initial disposition of an offense and venue; to not be compelled to make statements or produce evidence in certain situations; to attend and be heard; to receive a copy of the Record of Trial; and to be heard through VLC in court-martial proceedings where otherwise warranted. VLC accompany clients to various interviews and court proceedings, and represent the clients in court through written motions and oral arguments, and by assisting with post-trial matters.
6.d. Note. VLCO services supplement, but do not replace, services provided by other entities such as the Victim Witness Assistance Program (VWAP), Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SAPR), Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Family Advocacy Program (FAP), and Victim Advocates (uniformed and civilian).
7. Eligibility for Services
7.a. Eligible victims include active duty military personnel, dependents, reservists on active duty, and others in accordance with the references (b) through (e).
7.b. Victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and other serious offenses who may not appear eligible to receive VLC services under the references, including civilian employees of the Department of Defense, should contact the responsible VLCO office below if more information and/or VLC services are desired.
8. VLCO Offices. Personnel interested in further information should contact the VLCO office at their installation, or the closest geographical office.
Office Phone Email
Quantico, VA (703) 784-4514 VLCO-NCR@usmc.mil
Camp Lejeune, NC (910) 451-8519 VLCO-East@usmc.mil
MCAS Cherry Point, NC (252) 466-5649 VLCO-East@usmc.mil
MCRD Parris Island, SC (843) 228-3581 VLCO-East@usmc.mil
MCAS Yuma, AZ (928) 269-3411 VLCO-West@usmc.mil
MCAGCC 29 Palms, CA (760) 830-5162 VLCO-West@usmc.mil
Camp Pendleton, CA (760) 725-8521 VLCO-West@usmc.mil
MCAS Miramar, CA (858) 577-9210 VLCO-West@usmc.mil
MCB Kaneohe Bay, HI (808) 257-2274 VLCO-PAC@usmc.mil
Camp Butler, Okinawa DSN (315) 645-4457 VLCO-PAC@usmc.mil
MCAS Iwakuni, Japan DSN (315) 253-4398 VLCO-PAC@usmc.mil
9. Applicability. This MARADMIN is applicable to the total force.
10. More information about the VLCO can be found at https:(slash)(slash)www.hqmc.marines.mil/sja/Branches/Victim-Legal-Counsel-Organization-VLCO/.
11. Release authorized by Major General Gregg P. Olson, Staff Director of the Marine Corps.//