On May 20, 2021, the Article 32 hearing for Sergeant First Class (SFC) Robert Nicoson began at Fort Bragg, NC.
A fact-finding process, the Article 32 hearing considers case evidence and witness testimony before the PHO makes non-binding recommendations about their view of how SFC Nicoson should be charged (if at all), and how the case should be resolved (e.g., a court-martial or some other course of action, to include dropping the case).
On April 8, 2021, SFC Nicoson was officially charged with two counts of failure to follow a lawful order, two counts of reckless endangerment, one count of wrongful communication, and three counts of obstruction of justice for his involvement during and after fighting his way out of an ambush by pro-regime forces in Syria in August 2020.
Before SFC Nicoson was charged, his command ignored his constitutional right that he was innocent until proven guilty and removed him from his official billet and suspended his security clearance.
On the first day of the Article 32 hearing, the Army prosecutors did not call a single witness to testify. Instead they relied on a paper thin Army CID investigation and the significantly low burden to send the allegations to a general court-martial.
Shockingly, on the morning of the Article 32 hearing, the defense team were given access to two classified investigations the prosecutors stated had been shared with SFC Nicoson’s attorneys. However, the investigations had not been been shared and meant that the defense team had no time to review them.
What did those investigations contain? Purportedly evidence that was very favorable toward SFC Nicoson and backing up the initial recommendations to write him up for a Bronze Star with valor award.
Since then, both of those investigations have been entered as evidence, and the defense team has requested that they be declassified.
It is also worth nothing that both of those investigations were conducted well before Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) got involved.
SFC Robert Nicoson’s attorney, Phil Stackhouse stated, “While I can’t go into the facts contained within those investigations yet, I think it’s fair to say that SFC Nicoson was not even in the country at the time two of the charges are alleged to have occurred.
Stackhouse added, “There is evidence in the investigation that shows SFC Nicoson did not violate the law or intend to commit any wrong, and that SFC Nicoson’s actions were Valorous during the firefight that occurred on August 17, 2020.”
UAP will continue to provide case updates as new information emerges from the Article 32 hearing.
Click here for more details about SFC Robert Nicoson’s case.
You can provide direct support to SFC Nicoson and his family by making a tax-exempt donation that will give them relief from the legal fees that they are rapidly accruing.