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Figure 11-5A.-Deserter/Absentee Wanted by the Armed Forces, DD Form 553 (front).
In line of duty and not due to the member’s own misconduct Not in line of duty and not due to the member’s own  misconduct Not in line of duty and due to the member’s own misconduct DEATHS In cases of death, a fact-finding body should not express  opinions  concerning  the  misconduct  or  line  of duty status of an individual in the report of investigation of the death or in any endorsement thereon. However, eligibility  for  payment  of  certain  federal  benefits  that may  be  due  survivors  is  determined  by  the  Department of  Veterans  Affairs. UNAUTHORIZED  ABSENCE  AND DESERTION The  term  absentee  describes  any  member  not administratively classified a deserter who is absent without authority from his or her unit, organization, or other  place  of  duty. An absentee will be declared a deserter under the following   circumstances: . The facts and circumstances of absence, without regard to the length of absence, indicate that the member may  have  committed  the  offense  of  desertion  as  defined in Article 85 of the UCMJ and Part IV of the Manual of Courts-Martial, United States, 1984. . The member has been absent without authority for 30 consecutive days. l  The  member  is  absent  without  authority,  without regard to the length of absence, and has gone to, or shown intention of going to, any foreign country, or remains in any foreign country and requests or accepts any type of asylum or residence permit from that country or any of its governmental agencies. Absentees may not be declared deserters when their absence  is  determined  to  be  unintentional  and  the circumstances surrounding the absence are beyond their control,   such   as   civil   arrest   and   confinement, hospitalization,  or  other  unusual  circumstances.  Parent commands  are  responsible  for  monitoring  a  member’s status  while  confined  or  hospitalized. Every  practical  effort  must  be  made  by  all concerned  to  locate  and  return  absentees  and  deserters as quickly as possible. Parent commands must make a vigorous   effort   to   investigate   circumstances surrounding  absences  and  to  expedite  appropriate notification procedures. The parent command must prepare a Deserter/Absentee Wanted by the Armed Forces,  DD  Form  553  (figs.  11-5A  and  11-5B), including any information on the form that will assist in locating and apprehending a deserter. The DD Form 553 is submitted to the Chief of Naval Personnel (PERS 843). UNAUTHORIZED ABSENTEES When  a  member  is  absent  from  an  assigned  duty station, commands must list the member on the daily absentee  report  prescribed  by  U.S.  Navy  Regulations and provide a copy of the report to the disbursing office or  appropriate  personnel  support  activity  detachment. The   following   actions   (not   all-inclusive)   are completed  immediately: l  Inspecting  local  living  quarters  for  clues  to member’s  whereabouts l Questioning cohorts about possible whereabouts . Inquiring of member’s local next of kin or friends about  possible  whereabouts .  Checking  with  local  disbursing  office  for member’s  requested  distribution  of  funds,  then inquiring  of  that  banking  institution  as  to  recent,  large withdrawal  of  funds . Inquiring of local hospitals (military and civilian) l  Inquiring  of  local  law  enforcement  agencies (military  and  civilian) . Inquiring of local transportation management office about member acquiring recent long distance transportation arrangements l  Inquiring  of  local  religious  and  counseling services  as  to  recent  visits  by  member  in  which overpowering personal concerns might have caused member  to  leave  without  authority If  the  member’s  physical  whereabouts  remains unknown   and   foul   play   is   suspected,   strong consideration  should  be  given  to  request  the  assistance of professional criminal investigative agencies. This is of  special  importance  at  overseas  locations  due  to  the small  number  of  personnel,  particularly  women,  who may  fall  under  these  circumstances  while  outside  the continental United States. 11-12

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