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United States Military Justice, Military Law, and Military Legislation

Information and resources about the United States Military Justice System, such as the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), court-martials, administrative action, servicemembers civil relief act, military lawyers, and laws that affect military members.
  1. Military Lawyers (12)
  2. Military Legislation (18)
  3. SCRA (5)

Upgrading Your Discharge
If you received a less than honorable discharge from the military, and you feel it is inequitable, or improper, you can apply to have the discharge reviewed for possible upgrade.

Discharge Upgrade Request Form (DD Form 293)
This form is used to request upgrade of a military discharge from the appropriate discharge review board.

Administrative Discharges
Part III of a multi-part series all about the United States Military Justice System. In this part, all about administrative discharges.

Adultery in the Military
I get email all the time (usually from wives) asking what constitutes the crime of adultery in today's military? Usually the wife is upset because she perceives that the military did nothing about a way-ward husband's wicked ways, or are angry because the military did not punish him for cheating on her. So, is adultery still an offense under the military justice system? Yes .... and no. It actually depends upon the circumstances.

Air Force JAG Corps
The Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) provides Air Force personnel with professional legal services on everything from motor vehicle accidents to courts-martial appeals to international law.

Army JAG Corps
The Judge Advocate General’s Corps is composed of Army officers who are lawyers. They provide a range of legal services to soldiers in the U.S. Army, including advice on immigration, landlord-tenant disputes and estate planning.

Article 138 Complaints
Under Article 138 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), "any member of the armed forces who believes himself [or herself] wronged by his [or her] commanding officer" may request redress. If such redress is refused, a complaint may be made and a superior officer must "examine into the complaint."

Article 139 Claims
There is a little-known provision included in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which gives commanders the authority to deduct money from one military member's pay and give it to another member or to a civilian, under certain circumstances, if the member wrongfully damages or takes the property of another person.

Article 15 (Nonjudicial Punishment)
Nonjudicial punishment refers to certain limited punishments which can be awarded for minor disciplinary offenses by a commanding officer or officer in charge to members of his/her command.

AWOL and Desertion
any people confuse the terms, AWOL and Desertion. Some people believe that AWOL is when someone is absent for less than 30 days, and someone absent from the military for 30 days or more is a deserter. That's not quite true.

Air Force Discharge Review Board Decisions
Previous decisions of the Air Force Discharge Review Board.

Air Force Law Review
Archieved issues of the Air Force Law Review, a publication for military lawyers.

Air Force Records Correction Board Decisions
Previous decision of the Air Force Board of Records Correction.

Army Discharge Review Board Decisions
Previous decisions of the Army Discharge Review Board.

Army JAG School
Information about the JAG school of the United States Army.

Army JAG Web Page
Official Web page for the Army Judge Advocate.

Army Legal Assistance
Army legal information portal, sponsored by the U. S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps to inform military members on personal legal affairs and preventive law.

Army Records Correction Board Decisions
Previous decision of the Army Board of Records Correction.

Complete story of the court martial of Lieutenent William Calley, the famous trial about murder and following orders in Vietnam.

Cases Where Article 15 Have Been Imposed After Court-Martial
In two cases, the Court of Military Appeals has considered the propriety of the imposition of Nonjudicial Punishment (Article 15) for offenses which have already been litigated (at least to some degree) before a court-martial.

Changing Your Military Records
Whether you are active duty, separated, or retired, you can apply to your service's Board for the Correction of Military Records if you feel there is an error or an injustice in your military personnel records.

Civilian Contractors Now Subject to the UCMJ
U.S. Military Contractors operating in combat zones are now subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Congress quietly made this change as part of the FY 2007 Military Authorization Act. The provision makes a very small, but important change to Article 2 of the UCMJ. Under previous law, the UCMJ only applied to civilians in combat areas during periods of war declared by Congress.

Coast Guard Discharge Board Decisions
Previous decisions of the Coast Guard Discharge Review Board.

Coast Guard JAG
The United States Coast Guard’s legal arm is led by a judge advocate general, whose office includes a deputy and military attorneys called judge advocates. Working out of 15 offices nationwide plus a branch in San Juan, Puerto Rico, these personnel provide legal counsel and special assistance in areas ranging from international and maritime law to criminal matters to family law.

Coast Guard Records Board Decisions
Coast Guard Board for the Correction of Military Records.

Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct (CoC) is the legal guide for the behavior of military members who are captured by hostile forces. The Code of Conduct, in six brief Articles, addresses those situations and decision areas that, to some degree, all military personnel could encounter.

Commissions (Military Commissions)
The President has authorized the formation of military commissions to try detainees from Afghanistan and Iraq, currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The trials will be conducted much in the same manner as a court-martial, under the procedures of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

Counselings, Admonitions, Reprimands, and Additional Training
In addition to the more serious discipline tools under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, commanders and supervisors have a diverse set of administrative tools to assist them in correcting inappropriate behavior. Counseling, admonitions, reprimands, and extra training are tools that, while they derive their status and authority from the unit commander, are usually delegated down the chain to the supervisory level.

Court-Martial Statistics - Number of Military Prisoners
Prisoners under jurisdiction of U.S. military authorities, by branch of service, Dec. 31, 1996-2000

Part VII of a multi-part series all about the United States Military Justice System. In this part, all about the Military Court-Martial process.

CSI -- The Military Way
Television today is inundated with shows on forensic science. Programs like CSI and Dr. G., Medical Examiner have piqued the public’s interest in how forensic experts find answers to questions surrounding a death. But what happens if that death takes place on a military base? Who has authority to investigate?

Desertion Rates
Desertion rates for the U.S. Military services from Fiscal Year 1997 to Fiscal Year 2004

Discharge Information
Information on military discharges, grievance and complaint procedures and other civil rights from a coalition of nonprofit, non-governmental organizations.

DOD General Counsel
Home page for the Department of Defense General Counsel.

Drinking Age
In the "old days" anyone on active duty could consume alcohol on military installations, regardless of the legal drinking age off-base. However, Congress mandated the military to change this in the mid-80s.

Drug Tests
Detailed explanation about how the military runs their urinalysis program, including how the results can be used, and DOD minimum detection levels.

False Statements on Recruiting Paperwork
It's become obvious over the past few months, based upon emails I've received and messages posted in our message forum, that there are some recruiters out there who are encouraging (and, in some cases, downright instructing) recruits to lie about their criminal or medical history. Not a smart move.

Fraternization in the United States Military
Multi-part feature article about the fraternization policies of the United States Military. Feature discusses military fraternization polices and law in general, and specific policies of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Gang Activity in the U.S. Military
According to a recently released FBI report, Gang-related activity in the US military is increasing and poses a threat to law enforcement officials and national security. The report, Gang Activity in the U.S. Armed Forces Increasing, dated January 12, 2007 states that members of nearly every major street gang have been identified on both domestic and international military installations.

Getting Out of the Military
Hardly a week goes by that I don't receive email from someone asking how they can get out of the military. Sometimes the person is disillusioned -- perhaps their recruiter lied to them, or perhaps they had "selective listening," and only heard what they wanted to hear. Perhaps they simply decide, after basic training and/or job training that they don't like the military, and want out.

Housing Allowance Fraud
A case in which several sailors face charges for arranging sham marriages to foreign women to boost their military housing allowances sends an important message to all servicemembers: "You're putting in a claim for money that you are not entitled to, and that is a crime. And if you commit a crime, you can expect to be held accountable for it."

Inside a Military Prison
NAVCONBRIG Miramar, which houses up to 372 prisoners, is part of the Navy’s corrections system, run by the Navy Corrections and Programs Division at Naval Personnel Command, Millington, Tenn. Staff members at the prison are hand-picked specifically for their leadership ability.

Legal Assistance
The Armed Forces Legal Assistance (AFLA) Web site is a joint initiative of the Armed Forces legal assistance offices that aims to provide general legal information to the military community.

Line of Duty (LOD) Investigations
An LOD investigation is generally conducted whenever a military member acquires a disease, incurs a significant injury or is injured under unusual circumstances.

Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM)
The Manual for Courts-Martial is an executive order, issued by the President of the United States to provide detailed rules and procedures to implement the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

Marine Corps JAG
The Marine Corps’ Judge Advocate Division is the Corps’ judicial arm and is composed of military attorneys called judge advocates, who support the Corps’ staff judge advocate. The staff judge advocate provides legal counsel and special assistance to the commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC), the Corps’ highest-ranking officer.

Marine Corps Legal Assistance
The Marine Corps Legal Assistance website offers general legal assistance information to military members.

Military Counseling Network
Headquartered in Germany. Military Counseling Network is part of a non-military network of organizations that provides free counseling service to soldiers who are questioning going to war or want to know more about military discharges, regulations, and getting out.

Military Justice 101
All about the United States Military Justice System, including information on court martials, article 15s, rights of the accused, administrative demotions, discharges, counselings, reprimands, and more.

Military Law and Justice
Comprehensive site for all areas of military law. The site contains general reading articles, links, and a listing of lawyers who specialize in the practice of military law.

Military Law and Legislation FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about U.S. Military Law (Justice) and Legislation Issues.

Military Law Research
Online military law research information from the Army Jag School.

Military Legal Assistance
Article describing legal assistance available for military personnel.

Military Protective Orders -- Military Restraining Orders
In the civilian justice system, a restraining order or protective order is issued by a judge when a party petitions the court for protection from another individual. The United States Military Justice System has its own version of restraining orders, more commonly referred to as military protective orders, but which are officially conditions on liberty.

Military Tribunals
Copy of the military order issued by President Bush on 13 November 2001, allowing terrorists to be tried by Military Tribunal.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service
All about the criminal investigative arm of the United States Navy.

Naval Discharge Review Board Decisions
Previous decisions of the Naval Discharge Review Board Decisions (includes Marine Corps).

Naval Records Board Decisions
Previous decisions of the Board for Correction of Naval Records (includes Marine Corps).

Navy JAG Corps
The Navy JAG (Judge Advocate General’s) Corps provides legal services and advice in all matters involving the Navy, its officers or its sailors, including military justice, administrative law, environmental law, ethics, admiralty, international law and claims.

Navy Legal Assistance
The Department of the Navy legal assistance program provides free attorney assistance to uniformed service members, their family members and dependents, and other eligible clients regarding personal legal matters.

Orders -- To Obey or Not to Obey?
Military discipline and effectiveness is built on the fondation of obedience to orders. Recruits are taught to obey, immediately and without question, orders from their superiors, right from day-one of boot camp. But, not all orders.

Political Activities: What you Can and Cannot Do
Federal law and military regulations strictly limit how military members can participate in the political process.

Pre-Trial Confinement & Investigations
Part VI of a multi-part series all about the United States Military Justice System. In this part, all about pre-trial confinement and Article 32 investigations.

Punitive Articles of the UCMJ
Articles 77 - 134. Includes the text of the offense, explanations, maximum punishments, and sample specifications.

Right to Remain Silent
Part V of a multi-part series all about the United States Military Justice System. In this part, all about self incrimination protections (Article 31).

U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth
The USDB is the only maximum-security prison within the Department of Defense. Of 440 male inmates, six are currently on death row and 10 are serving life without parole.

Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is federal law, enacted by Congress. Here are the articles of the UCMJ.

United States Code
Complete online text for the United States Code. This page also contains a searchable text database to help look up specific areas of the code.

United States Military Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
he Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) was signed on October 13, 1994. The act provides employment and reemployment rights for individuals who leave their jobs due to military service, whether such service is active duty, the Reserves, or the National Guard.

Online Romance Scam
A growing epidemic in the world today is the Online Romance Scam. Generally, a victim is contacted by someone online through various social media or a legitimate dating website. The victim and the scammer create an online relationship. While the victim may become suspicious overtime, the scammer lures them in with pictures, hardships, promises,...

Are You a Victim of a Romance Scam?
Many people all over the world have fallen victim to the increasing "Online Romance Scam." Victims share their story.

Online Romance Scam Help
A growing epidemic in the world today is the Online Romance Scam. Generally, a victim is contacted by someone online through various social media or a legitimate dating website. The victim and the scammer create an online relationship. While the victim may become suspicious overtime, the scammer lures them in with pictures, hardships, promises,...

Reader shares his experience with CHANGING YOUR MILITARY RECORDS

Prisoner Exchanges
The swap of five Taliban fighters for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, was not a departure from history or U.S. law. A history of past prisoner exchanges.

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