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Figure 11-5B.-Deserter/Absentee Wanted by the Armed Forces, DD Form 553 (back)
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Return of Absentee
In foreign ports, where the aid of the civil authorities is required, the CO must, in addition to the previous actions, furnish a copy of a DD Form 553 to the nearest consulate  of  the  United  States. When  a  member’s  period  of  unauthorized  absence is less than 24 hours, make a page 13, Administrative Remarks, NAVPERS 1070/613, entry to the service record with the exact hours and date(s) of the authorized absence’s beginning and end and circumstances of the unauthorized  absence. If  the  member  has  been  absent  over  24  hours, prepare and distribute the Record of Unauthorized Absence, NAVPERS 1070/606, under paragraph 90435 and  table  9-4-38  of  the  Navy   Pay   and   Personnel Procedures   Manual   (PAYPERSMAN),   NAVSO P-3550. On the 10th day of absence, the disbursing officer must stop all allotments and the next of kin must be notified in the following format with a copy provided to the Reserve chaplain nearest the absentee’s home of record  according  to  BUPERSNOTE  1600. “I  regret  the  necessity  of  informing  you  that  your (son, daughter, husband, wife, or other), (insert rate and full name of absentee) who enlisted in the Navy on (date) and was attached to (name of ship or station) has been on unauthorized absence since (date). Should you know of (his or her) whereabouts, please urge (him or her) to surrender to the nearest naval or other military activity   immediately.   The   gravity   of   the   offense increases with each day of absence. At this time all pay and   allowance,   including   allotments,   have   been suspended pending return to Navy jurisdiction. Should (he or she) remain absent for 30 days, we will declare (him or her) a deserter. Information will be provided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Wanted Persons File, which is available to all federal, state, and local law enforcement  agencies.” DESERTERS Desertion is from the time the unauthorized absence commenced. In cases of failure to return from leave or liberty,  the  desertion  is  from  the  time  leave  or  liberty expired. Commands  must  take  the  following  action  to declare an enlisted member a deserter: l Using the format in the Naval Military Personnel Manual  (MILPERSMAN)  3430250,  prepare  and submit  the  Declaration  of  Desertion  message  no  later than  the  31st  day  of  a  member’s  unauthorized  absence. If the 31st day falls on a weekend or holiday, then the message  must  be  submitted  on  the  first  workday following  the  member’s  30th  day  of  unauthorized absence.  This  report  is  assigned  Report  Control  Symbol NMPC  1600-3,  Report  of  Declaration  of  Desertion. . Prepare an Administrative Remarks, NAVPERS 1070/613,  page  13  service  record  entry  containing  all the   information   in   the   Declaration   of   Desertion message. .  Prepare  the  DD  Form  553  (figs.  11-5A  and 11-5B) on the day of declaration and mail to the Chief of  Naval  Personnel  (PERS-843),  Washington,  DC 20370-5000.  (Leave  the  Distribution  block  blank.)  his report  is  assigned  Report  Control  Symbol  NMPC 1600-1. Prompt and accurate completion of the DD Form 553 is extremely important. To enter the member into the FBI NCIC Wanted Persons File, PERS-843 must receive the DD Form 553. Until a member is entered in the NCIC, no efforts will be made to locate and apprehend the member. Include a photograph of the deserter if at all possible. l  In  foreign  ports,  where  the  aid  of  the  civil authorities is required, the CO must, in addition to the previous actions, furnish a copy of the DD Form 553 to the nearest consul of the United States. APPREHENSION OF ABSENTEES AND DESERTERS Members  of  the  armed  forces  may  apprehend absentees  and  deserters  under  the  circumstances prescribed  by  Article  7b  of  the  UCMJ  and  R.C.M. 302(b) of the  Manual  for  Courts-Martial,  United  States, 1984.  Naval  personnel  do  not  normally  apprehend suspected  absentees  and  deserters  outside  the  confines of  military  installations. The  responsibility  for  coordinating  apprehension and  return  of  Navy  deserters  rests  with  the  Deserter Branch of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (PERS-843) and  its  component  activities,  the  Navy  Absentee Collection Units (NACUs). They initiate actions and coordinate efforts with civil law enforcement authorities in  locating  and  apprehending  Navy  deserters. The  responsibility  for  coordinating  apprehension and return of absentees normally rests with the unit CO. Units may request assistance from PERS 843 or directly from the NACUs. Any military installation manned by active duty members  will  receive  absentees  and  deserters. 11-15

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