(a) Any member of the armed forces who--
(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;
(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or
(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States;
is guilty of desertion.
(b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.
(c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.
I think the bolded assertions are the reason behind this headline: AWOL soldier: Army won't return lawyer's calls.
Well, duh, you don't just get to have your lawyer phone into the DOD and tell them why you won't report for duty. Your commander will have counsel appointed for you to defend you during your court-martial.
Pvt. Kyle Snyder, 23, a former combat engineer, went AWOL from his Army unit after failing to report to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, on November 1 -- a day after turning himself in after an 18-month AWOL stint. He had fled to Canada in April 2005 while on leave to avoid a second tour in Iraq.
"Legally, I'm AWOL again," Snyder said Friday. "My lawyer has tried to contact Fort Leonard Wood like 75 times -- it's documented, 75 times -- and tried to get in touch with the military. They've avoided this entire subject."
This second disappearance is going to be the nail in your coffin, Kyle, you blew you only hope of just claiming AWOL. You had a deal worked out with your unit to inprocess you as a soldier, now your running like a scared rabbit. There are consequences for pledging to defend your country, and then turning tail when the opportunity presents itself.
Snyder said the military doesn't chase down people who are absent without leave. "I'm not a rapist, not a murderer, not a child molester. I'm not doing anything negative," he said. "I'm doing what I feel I have to do as a human being."
Kyle is doing something negative: Not only is he demanding someone else go into the breach for him, he's refusing to accept the due consequences of his actions. If he really couldn't stand to bear arms, he should claim Conscientious Objector status, and be done with it. At worst, before he ran the second time, he was looking at a short stint @ Ft. Leavenworth and a Dishonorable Discharge. If the folks at the DOD weren't so gunshy of the publicity, this kid would be looking at a date with a strong rope.