|Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)|
|ART. 15. COMMANDING OFFICER'S NON-JUDICIAL PUNISHMENT|
(a) Under such regulations as the President may prescribe, and under such additional regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary concerned, limitations may be placed on the powers granted by this article with respect to the kind and amount of punishment authorized, the categories of commanding officers and warrant officers exercising command authorized to exercise those powers, the applicability of this article to an accused who demands trial by court-martial, and the kinds of courts-martial to which the case may be referred upon such a demand. However, except in the case of a member attached to or embarked in a vessel, punishment may not be imposed upon any member of the armed forces under this article if the member has, before the imposition of such punishment, demanded trial by court-martial in lieu of such punishment. Under similar regulations, rules may be prescribed with respect to the suspension of punishments authorized by regulations of the Secretary concerned, a commanding officer exercising general court-martial jurisdiction or an officer of general or flag rank in command may delegate his powers under this article to a principal assistant.
(b) Subject to subsection (a) any commanding officer may, in addition to or in lieu of admonition or reprimand, impose one or more of the following disciplinary punishments for minor offenses without the intervention of a court-martial--
Detention of pay shall be for a stated period of not more than one year but if the offender's term of service expires earlier, the detention shall terminate upon that expiration. No two or more of the punishments of arrest in quarters, confinement or bread and water or diminished rations, correctional custody, extra duties, and restriction may be combined to run consecutively in the maximum amount impossible for each. Whenever any of those punishments are combined to run consecutively, there must be an apportionment. In addition, forfeiture of pay may not bee combined with detention of pay without an apportionment. For the purpose of this subsection, "correctional custody" is the physical restraint of a person during duty or nonduty hours and may include extra duties, fatigue duties, or hard labor. If practicable, correctional custody will not be served in immediate association with persons awaiting trial or held in confinement pursuant to trial by court-martial.
(c) An officer in charge may impose upon enlisted members assigned to the unit of which he is in charge such of the punishment authorized under subsection (b)(2)(A)-(G) as the Secretary concerned may specifically prescribe by regulation.
(d) The officer who imposes the punishment authorized in subsection (b), or his successor in command, may, at any time, suspend probationally any part or amount of the unexecuted punishment imposed and may suspend probationally a reduction in grade or forfeiture imposed under subsection (b), whether or not executed. In addition, he may, at any time, remit or mitigate any part or amount of the unexecuted punishment imposed and may set aside in whole or in part the punishment, whether executed or unexecuted, and restore all rights, privileges and property affected. He may also mitigate reduction in grade to forfeiture or detention of pay. When mitigating--
the mitigated punishment shall not be for a greater period than the punishment mitigated. When mitigating forfeiture of pay to detention of pay, the amount of detention shall not be greater than the amount of the forfeiture. When mitigating reduction in grade to forfeiture or detention of pay, the amount of the forfeiture or detention shall not be greater than the amount that could have been imposed initially under this article by the officer who imposed the punishment mitigated.
(e) A person punished under this article who considers his punishment unjust or disproportionate to the offense may, through proper channels, appeal to the next superior authority. The appeal shall be promptly forwarded and decided, but the person punished may in the meantime be required to undergo the punishment adjudged. The superior authority may exercise the same powers with respect to punishment imposed as may be exercised under subsection (d) by the officer who imposed the punishment. Before acting on appeal from a punishment of--
the authority who is to act on the appeal shall refer the case to a judge advocate or a lawyer of the Department of Transportation for consideration and advice, and may so refer the case upon appeal from any punishment imposed under subsection (b).
(f) The imposition and enforcement of disciplinary punishment under this article for any act or omission is not a bar to trial by court-martial for a serious crime or offense growing out of the same act or omission, and not properly punishable under this article; but the fact that a disciplinary punishment has been enforced may be shown by the accuse upon trial, and when so shown shall be considered in determining the measure of punishment to be adjudged in the event of a finding of guilty.
(g) The Secretary concerned may, by regulation, prescribe the form of records to be kept under this article and may also prescribe that certain categories of those proceedings shall be in writing.
For detailed information, see our feature article, Nonjudicial Punishment (Article 15).
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