- Uniform Code of Military Justice
The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ, USStat|64|109, Usc-title-chap|10|47) is the foundation of
military lawin the United States. The UCMJ applies to all members of the Uniformed Services of the United States; this includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Members of the NOAA and PHS are "only" subject to the UCMJ when attached or detailed to a military unit or are militarized by presidential executive order. National Guard of the United Statessoldiers are also subjected to the UCMJ, if and only if, activated under Title 10 by presidential executive order. Otherwise, the National Guard of the United States is exempt from the UCMJ. However under Title 32, National Guard soldiers are still subject to their respective state codes of military justice if serving in active duty under executive order from their respective state governor. Furthermore, ROTC cadets (unlike Academy cadets) are not subject to the UCMJ. Members of military auxiliaries such as the Civil Air Patroland United States Coast Guard Auxiliaryare civilians and not subject to the UCMJ. However, Coast Guard Auxiliarists can be called by the Commandant of the Coast Guard into the Temporary Reserve, in which case they become subject to the UCMJ.
June 30, 1775, the Second Continental Congressestablished 69 Articles of War to govern the conduct of the Continental Army. On April 10, 1806, the United States Congress enacted 101 Articles of War (which applied to both the Army and the Navy), which were not significantly revised until over a century later. The military justice system continued to operate under the Articles of War until May 31, 1951, when the Uniform Code of Military Justice went into effect.
The UCMJ was passed by Congress on
May 5, 1950, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, and became effective on May 31, 1951. The word "" in the Code's title refers to the congressional intent to make military justice uniform or consistent among the armed services.
The current version is printed in the latest version of the
Manual for Courts-Martial( 2008), incorporating changes made by the President (Executive Orders (EO)) and National Defense Authorization Acts 2006 and 2007.
The UCMJ is found in Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 47 of the
United States Code.
Under Article 31, coercive
self-incriminationis prohibited as a right under the Fifth Amendment. Arresting officers utilize the Article 31 warning and waiver as a means to prevent this self-incrimination, much like the Miranda warning.
Subchapter X, "Punitive Articles," is the subchapter that details offenses under the uniform code:
Article 134 encompasses offenses that are not specifically listed in the Manual for Courts-Martial, That is to say, "all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty,". Article 134 is often considered to be a "catch-all" for various offenses that aren't necessarily covered by the other articles in the UCMJ. Article 134 offenses include
disloyal statements, abusing public animal, adultery, bigamy, bribery and graft, drinking liquor with prisoner, fleeing scene of accident, fraternization, gambling with subordinate, et al. It’s colloquially referred to as the “Write your own law” or “Don’t be stupid” article, and reflect acts that are not specifically listed, but nevertheless committed, by military personnel that negatively impact the service, unit, etc.
DA Pam 27-9 [http://www.jag.navy.mil/documents/MJBenchbook.pdf Military Judges Benchbook] (.PDF)
[http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/Military-Law-Review-home.html "Military Law Review"] . [http://worldcat.org/issn/0026-4040 ISSN 0026-4040]
Judge Advocate General's Corps
Manual for Courts-Martial
Military of the United States
Uniformed services of the United States
* [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/10/stApIIch47.html Uniform Code of Military Justice]
* [http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/law/mcm.pdf Manual for Courts-Martial United States (2008 Edition)] Caution: 5.54 MB PDF document.
* [http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/morgan.pdf The original version of the MCM from the Library of Congress] Caution: 5.53 MB PDF document.
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