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Punitive Articles of the UCMJ

Article 92—Failure to obey order or regulation (Page 2)

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(c) Duty to obey order.

    (i) From a superior. A member of one armed force who is senior in rank to a member of another armed force is the superior of that member with authority to issue orders which that member has a duty to obey under the same circumstances as a commissioned officer of one armed force is the superior commissioned officer of a member of an-other armed force for the purposes of Articles 89, and 90. See paragraph 13c(1).

    (ii) From one not a superior. Failure to obey the lawful order of one not a superior is an offense under Article 92(2), provided the accused had a duty to obey the order, such as one issued by a sentinel or a member of the armed forces police. See paragraph 15b(2), if the order was issued by a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer in the execution of office.

(3) Dereliction in the performance of duties.

    (a) Duty. A duty may be imposed by treaty, statute, regulation, lawful order, standard operating procedure, or custom of the service.

    (b) Knowledge. Actual knowledge of duties may be proved by circumstantial evidence. Actual knowledge need not be shown if the individual reasonably should have known of the duties. This may be demonstrated by regulations, training or operating manuals, customs of the service, academic literature or testimony, testimony of persons who have held similar or superior positions, or similar evidence.

    (c) Derelict. A person is derelict in the performance of duties when that person willfully or negligently fails to perform that person’s duties or when that person performs them in a culpably inefficient manner. “Willfully” means intentionally. I t refers to the doing of an act knowingly and purposely, specifically intending the natural and probable consequences of the act. “Negligently” means an act or omission of a person who is under a duty to use due care which exhibits a lack of that degree of care which a reasonably prudent person would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances. “Culpable inefficiency” is inefficiency for which there is no reasonable or just excuse.

    (d) Ineptitude. A person is not derelict in the performance of duties if the failure to perform those duties is caused by ineptitude rather than by willfulness, negligence, or culpable inefficiency, and may not be charged under this article, or otherwise punished. For example, a recruit who has tried earnestly during rifle training and throughout record firing is not derelict in the performance of duties if the recruit fails to qualify with the weapon.

Lesser included offense.

Article 80—attempts

Maximum punishment.

(1) Violation or failure to obey lawful general order or regulation. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 2 years.

(2) Violation of failure to obey other lawful order. Bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 6 months.

    Note: For (1) and (2), above, the punishment set forth does not apply in the following cases: if in the absence of the order or regulation which was violated or not obeyed the accused would on the same facts be subject to conviction for another specific offense for which a lesser punishment is prescribed; or if the violation or failure to obey is a breach of restraint imposed as a result of an order. In these instances, the maximum punishment is that specifically prescribed else wherefor that particular offense.

(3) Dereliction in the performance of duties.

    (A) Through neglect or culpable inefficiency. Forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for 3 months and confinement for 3 months.

    (B) Willful. Bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 6 months.

Next Article> Article 93-Cruelty and maltreatment >

Above Information from Manual for Court Martial, 2002, Chapter 4, Paragraph 16

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