Can Military Officers act as Notaries?

I was recently asked by an Active Duty Spouse from Langley AFB, that there is a delay in getting a power of Attorney to go to closing with on the purchase of their new home in Williamsburg. Her husband is in the Air Force, deployed in Afghanistan.  She told me that there was a bit of a delay in getting the Power of Attorney notarized because he had to take a helicopter trip to where there was a notary — a flight that lasted a couple of hours. In researching I have come across the January 2007 issue of The National Notary, published by the National Notary Association that described a similar situation.  The author wrote:

“My husband is in the military, deployed in Baghdad, and therefore does not have access to a Notary.  How can he get a document notarized?”

The response:

“Under federal law, certain U.S. military personnel — including commissioned officers and judge advocates — have authority to notarize for military personnel and their dependents anywhere in the world.

On the administrative and judge advocate staffs supporting your husband’s unity in Iraq, there are likely numerous persons with notarial powers who can assist him.”

 § 936. Art. 136. Authority to administer oaths and to act as notary

(a) The following persons on active duty or performing inactive-duty training may administer oaths for the purposes of military administration, including military justice:

(1) All judge advocates.

(2) All summary courts-martial.

(3) All adjutants, assistant adjutants, acting adjutants, and personnel adjutants.

(4) All commanding officers of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

(5) All staff judge advocates and legal officers, and acting or assistant staff judge advocates and legal officers.

(6) All other persons designated by regulations of the armed forces or by statute.

(b) The following persons on active duty or performing inactive-duty training may administer oaths necessary in the performance of their duties:

(1) The president, military judge, trial counsel, and assistant trial counsel for all general and special courts-martial.

(2) The president and the counsel for the court of any court of inquiry.

(3) All officers designated to take a deposition.

(4) All persons detailed to conduct an investigation.

(5) All recruiting officers.

(6) All other persons designated by regulations of the armed forces or by statute.

(c) The judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces may administer the oaths authorized by subsections (a) and (b).

Source is: Corenell University Law School


White House Rolls Out Military Family Plan

President Barack Obama today pledged that his administration would help military families by tackling everything from child-care and financial problems to veteran homelessness and job opportunities for spouses. Obama made the commitment at a gathering of senior administration officials, troops, and military family members in the East Room of the White House.

But while every cabinet department and many federal agencies — from Treasury to the Small Business Administration — will be crafting policies and programs to assist military families in areas of financial assistance, education, career development and housing, Obama said it’s also important for people and businesses outside of government to be involved.

“We also recognize that this can’t be a mission for government alone,” Obama said. “Government has its responsibilities, but when 1 percent of Americans are fighting our wars, 100 percent of Americans should be supporting our troops and their families.”

Obama released the new policy report, Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America’s Commitment, along with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden. The Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden have made helping military families a priority over the past two years, often meeting with spouses and military dependents to get a first-hand look at what their needs are.

“Working with all of you is some of the best work I do,” Michelle Obama told the military families present. “Your stories affect me not just as First Lady, but as a mother, as a wife, and as an American.”

The White House plan calls for enhancing military family mental health by having the Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs implement a multi-year program to help family members recognize mental health problems and get the proper care and treatment.

At the same time the Department of Health and Human Services will assist states in applying for federal block grants for mental health services and drug abuse prevention programs, which they can direct toward helping returning servicemembers, veterans and their families.

The report considers veteran homelessness a factor affecting military and veteran families and so incorporates the VA’s already-announced pledge to end veteran homelessness. The VA plans to fund non-profit groups that work to keep at-risk veterans in family situations or help homeless vets find housing.

The Pentagon and the Department of the Interior will expand opportunities for military families to use the country’s 500 million acres of public lands for recreation as part of regaining their psychological health. Areas and trails will be modified to accommodate military families, especially wounded troops and veterans, and Interior Department staff will be trained on military culture.

A commitment to protect against unfair financial practices could make Obama’s controversial new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau an ally to military families. According to the report, the CFPB will have an Office of Service Member Affairs and will work with the DoD to address three areas: education on financial readiness; complaint monitoring and response; and coordination among federal and state consumer protection agencies on behalf of military families.

In an interview given to prior to the official roll-out of the plan, Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, said the Department of Education will get involved to improve education for military children. For the first time the DoE will make military families a priority for its discretionary grant programs, which will favor funding programs to meet the needs of military-connected students, the report states.

“We have roughly over 700,000 spouses” across DoD, he said, of which more than 77 percent want to work. “We want to create opportunities for them.”