AWOL or Desertion?

Simple yes or no answer:

If a soldier fails to return from pre-Tour leave (having been formally warned for Operations by CO) can he be done for Desertion rather than going AWOL? And if he can, what can be done to him/her?
Desertion implies an intent to never return.
AWOL implies an intent to return at some point in the future.
I recall that 6 months is/was the deciding factor to determine Desertion/AWOL.
Okay - but for example:

Soldier fails to return, is phoned by his Pl Comd (who being extremely switched on (!) has got all of his boy's mobile numbers) and states 'I'm never coming back and you can't make me - I'm not going to Iraq as I don't want to die', does that not constitute an intent to never return? As our deployment is going to be over 6 months then it is probably verging on it?

It is not that I hate our soldiers - it is just that I hate it when they go AWOL!
Well, there you go - a statement of intent. Its not only desertion, its also a potential for a meeja set up - big bad coppers go and snatch sensitive youth from his gaff and throw him into the maw of Blair's war machine.......
rickshaw said:
Well, there you go - a statement of intent. Its not only desertion, its also a potential for a meeja set up - big bad coppers go and snatch sensitive youth from his gaff and throw him into the maw of Blair's war machine.......
...Sounds like desertion to me, but as Rickshaw says could be a meeja field day if not handled correctly.

Must be an intention to permanently remain absent... or with an intent to avoid serving overseas!

Tread carefully
Anyone know the NSNs for short bits of rope and blindfolds?
I thought that soldiers warned for ops had to sign a chit stating that they were aware that going absent from that point could result in their being charged with desertion? Or am I lost in the mists of time again....
Get the RP shift round his house, pick up the oxygen thieving, drawing wages under false pretences little cnut and get him shipped out as soon as possible for his tour of duty. Make him realise that the only thing stopping him from dying is his level of professionalism and how it contibutes to the effectivness of his unit. Then when he gets back having served his time kick the whining little pr1ck out so the situation can never arise again.

Right, piece said, I'm getting back on my fence now.
the little darling should be not be abused. he should be shown compassion and understanding. then made to stag on forever on rear party untill the lads get back. After going thru all thier rooms and nicking and floggin all the lads kit to his chav mates. he gets back and recieves the biggest and best kicking of his life, as decided by a kangaroo court, the armies only true justice system.
Had one of them before GW1. Tried to OD on anti-malaria tablets and whinned on and on about some chick he'd knocked up. He got stuck on rear party/gaurd duty and when everyone got back not a soul spoke to him for the rest of the time I was in the unit. T0sser.
we had a spinless cnut in our unit when on telic 1, was downgraded and stayed back on rear party. he decided to use the blokes cars to go home at the weekends and even lent them our cars. on top of this he stole lap tops, and personnel kit from blokes rooms (that were boxed up in case of the worst).
the only reason he got caught was because one of the blokes got a call in iraq saying his car had been found burned out (he had left it secured on camp with the rear party).
when we returned everyone wanted to batter him(and rightly so), so he got sent to another unit until action could be taken for his own safety and while there things started to go missing (surprise!).
in the end he was charged by the civvy police and sent to civvy nick and kicked out.
he then decided to make a complaint of bullying by about 30 lads in our unit by writing a letter to his local MP (obviously forgetting to tell him all of the above), and SIB interviewed everyone at great lentgh as if they were war criminals and quite afew careers were in the balence for awhile (cnut!)


Not new. At the time of the Falklands got fed up of seeing mummy on the tele saying how her little boy didn't join the Army/Navy to go to war he only did it for a trade!
Technically, yes, the difference between AWOL and Desertion revolves around the intent to return. However, a soldier simply saying "I'm never coming back" is not grounds to charge him/her with Desertion (even a mediocre lawyer could effectively argue "state of mind" in such an instance). The standard considered most binding is for the individual in question to leave his/her ID card behind (or to ditch it subsequently).

I recall a case of a soldier who went AWOL for 5 years. He was caught when the civpol nicked him for DUI and found an outstanding warrant against his name. Ultimately, he was just 9414'd rather than charged (why waste time and money bringing him back?), but had he been charged it would have been with AWOL, not Desertion, as he still possessed his MOD 90. Note, that's not to say that a case could not have been made for desertion (5 years... let's not pretend he harboured ambitions of promotion!), but as a watertight case existed for AWOL and the end result would have been the same, it would have been AWOL that we went for.

And no, there is no death penalty for desertion anymore. The ECHR has banned the application of capital punishment anywhere in the EU.

Isn't the definition of desertion that it happens in the face of the enemy (or at least while there's a war actually on)?
As has been stated desertion is all about the intent not to return. IIRC it also covers those personnel who have been warned off for an operational tours or postings overseas as it can be inferred that there is an intent to avoid deployment.

There is no requirement for each soldier to sign a chit to the effect they have been warned. The issue of such an order on Pt 1 Orders is sufficient to shown that the soldier in knew or might reasonaby be expected to know of the impending deployment. This is nothing new.

As for being in the face of the enemy - of course that would have to be "in the face of the enemy", though I might suggest that deserting to avoid the "face of the enemy" could be construed as the same.
The good old MML states dertion can either be being AWOL with the intention of remaining permanently so, or going AWOL with the intent to avoid serving overseas (defined as outside UK) or when before the enemy. Proof of intent to remain AWOL is tricky though MML quotes examples such as throwing away his uniform and wearing civvies, endeavouring to disguise his identity or being arrested. I admit to being surprised at this, as that means anyone AWOL from Germany or who gets arrested whilst AWOL (both common) could be done with desertion. Page 301 of MML if you are interested...not that you will be.
All notoriously difficult to make stick. Had a case recently where the little scrote, sorry, poor young man, failed to turn up for his R&R flight back to theatre. Initially tried to have him shot (seemed fair to me) but was very quickly put back in my box. The fluffy people got involved and he's currently living it up on the Y-List on full pay and permanent sick leave.

Bluffing cnut.

Sorry to go off track but what is the deal with aiding and abetting some one to desert or be AWOL.
The only reason I ask is given the RAFs piss poor attempts at strategic movements to and from the big sand pit I am thinking of going to the coppers to see if they will arrest CinC Strike for aiding and abetting my mate and my boss for being AWOL (ie they intend to return or so they say but still have not, whilst the RAF claim they will return them to theater but I reckon they are just aiding and abetting these 2 dangerous (ie they will be pissed up at Brize laughing their socks of at me) and ‘at large’ criminals.
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