Can the public attend the court martial proceedings on Fort Lewis?
YES! Military court martials are open to the public per R.C.M. 806(a) (Rules for Court Martial).
“Public” includes both military and civilian communities. However, Fort Lewis is a closed installation and ALL visitors require a visitors pass to enter Ft. Lewis. So let’s fill the courtroom with supporters! Read more to find out how to get there, how to obtain a visitor’s pass, and when and where to go.
HOW DO I GET A VISITOR PASS?
To get a visitor pass you must go to the Visior’s Center located at the Ft. Lewis Army Base main entrance. This entrance is just off Interstate 5, Exit 120 on 41ST DIVISION DR S.
On the request of the Family and Friends of Lt. Watada please do not wear or bring any materials with political messaging on the base or in the courtroom. This includes buttons, t-shirts, signs, etc.
You will need provide a valid government issued ID ie., valid state drivers license, passport, etc.
In addition, ALL vehicles entering Fort Lewis are required to have either a valid DOD Decal or an authorized Visitors’ Pass. If you are driving a vehicle you must also provide:
*valid vehicle registration
*proof of current vehicle insurance
*valid driver’s license
You should be able to walk on as well. A government ID should be enough. If walking, allow an extra 20 min. to walk the approx. one mile to the legal building.
All vehicles entering Fort Lewis are subject to inspection at any time. Refusal to submit to the inspection will result in a denial of access to the installation.
WHEN DO I NEED TO ARRIVE?
The court martial is set to begin at 9 am on February 5, 2007. If you plan on attending please arrive at the Visitors Center early that day! It takes time to process the requests and Monday’s are apparently very busy at the Visitor’s Center. The Visitor’s Center open’s at 6am. It is
recommended that you arrive no later than 7:45am.
“Hurry up and wait” is a common saying in the military. This may apply to having to wait at the visitor center for a pass, or just arriving early at the court martial.
WHERE ON BASE IS THE COURT MARTIAL?
The court martial will take place in
Building 2027 located on N. 8th St.
Directions from gate:
Stay on 41ST DIVISION DR S.
Take a RIGHT on Pendleton Ave.
Take a LEFT on N. 8th St.
Building 2027 will be on the right.
(between Pendleton Ave. and Ligget Ave.)
Parking is available near Waller Hall across the street.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN ONCE I AM THERE?
ARE THERE ANY OTHER RULES?
Before entering the courtroom you will be searched and each time you re-enter you will be searched.Cameras and recording devices of any kind are not permitted in the court room. Please be supportive by being quiet and respectful in the court room. Being quiet in the courtroom is extremely important as the military judge will use any excuse to clear the courtroom and bar all supporters.
During the lunch break, food (sandwiches, baked potatoes, and Starbucks) is available at a food court in Waller Hall. The lunch break time and duration will take place at the discretion of the judge.