Article 102 Forcing a Safeguard
Article 102 covers incidents where a safeguard is forced. The safeguard
represents a commitment from the country that the person/ property protected
by it will be respected by all members of the nation's armed forces.
'Forcing a safeguard' does not always mean that the accused has
gone against the orders of a protection detail or a guard that has been
posted to protect a person or property. There are several situations where
this Article may apply. The elements to be proven in these trials are
- That a specific place, person or property has been protected by the issuance
of a safeguard.
- That the accused was aware of or should have been aware of this safeguard.
- That at a specific time and place, the safeguard was forced by the accused
in a specific manner.
Maximum Punishment for Article 102 Violation
An accused who is proved to be guilty of violating Article 102 faces maximum
punishment of death or other lawful punishment as decided through a court
Explanation of Article 102
The word 'safeguard' may refer to many things as follows:
a) It could refer to a guard, detail, detachment assigned by a commander
to protect property, a person or a place belonging to the
b) It could refer to a guard, detail, detachment assigned by a commander
to protect the person, property or place of a
neutral party who is affected by the warfare or by wartime activities that precede actual battle.
c) It could refer to a written order from a commander, that is left with
the enemy or posted on the property of the enemy with the objective of
protecting the person or property.
d) The safeguard must originate from a person with authority in the United
States armed forces. Any order or guard detail posted by the enemy forces
to protect their own property does not constitute a safeguard under this
Article. Forcing the enemy guards or protection does not result in violation
of Article 102.
e) The term 'forcing a safeguard' means that the accused has committed
an act that violates the safeguard's protection.
f) The accused is deemed to have violated the safeguard if he has trespassed
on the safeguard's protection irrespective of whether the safeguard
was posted during warfare or in times leading to war.
For more information on this article, please refer to the Manual for Courts Martial
Points to Note about Article 102
- Circumstantial evidence to establish knowledge may be permitted during trial.
- While proof of knowledge is not required, it is necessary for the prosecution
to show that the accused should have had knowledge of the safeguard's