There are several benefits and drawbacks to an Article 15. You have a very short time to decide whether to accept the forum or not. First of all, an Article 15 is not a guilty plea, it is choosing whether to place your fate in your Commander’s hands or not. Secondly, you need to make the decision as part of an overall strategy considering what the military will do next. When your Commander offers you an Article 15, you need to remember that he or she would not have done so if they did not believe you were guilty based upon the evidence they were given. So if you accept the Article 15, there is a fair chance you will be found guilty, and then the next step could be an administrative discharge. You need to consider that when making your decision. On the other hand, by accepting an Article 15, you guarantee that you will not face a punitive discharge, jail time, or a Federal Conviction. You have three basic options when you have been offered an Article 15. First, you can accept responsibility for your actions and beg mercy from your Commander. Second, you can tell your Commander you are not guilty and then present evidence. Even if your Commander does not agree with you, this can be very important at a discharge proceeding, so you should have a comprehensive strategy before you make any decisions. An experienced attorney can assist you in articulating your position in order to persuade your Commander or a discharge board. This is your career, do not wing it. It is quite possibly the most important letter you will ever write. Your third option is to turn down the Article 15. The rule of thumb for Commanders is to never offer an Article 15 if you are not willing to take it to Courts Martial. You should expect to be facing a special Courts Martial, but there is no guarantee. The sooner you involve an experienced attorney into the decision making process, the better advice you can get. Do not settle for an attorney not giving you the attention you deserve. This is your career, get the best advice possible and fight for it.