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Article 108 Damage, Wrongful Disposition, Sale, Loss or Destruction of U.S. Military Property

Article 108 deals with incidents where military property comes to harm or it is disposed of in a wrongful manner. There are several situations that are covered under this article as follows:

a) Sale or disposal of U.S. military property

Elements:

  • That at a specific time and place, the accused: a) sold to a specific person, b) disposed of specific property in a particular manner.
  • That the accused had no authority to do so.
  • That the property belonged to the U.S. Military.
  • Where applicable, the prosecution must establish that the property was a firearm or explosive; otherwise, that the property had a specific value.

Note: The accused is guilty of violating the article even if he has pledged, loaned or, in some other way, temporarily 'disposed of' the military property

Maximum Punishment: For property valued less than or equal to $500, the accused faces maximum punishment of one year confinement, forfeiture of all allowances and pay as well as bad conduct discharge. For firearms or explosives or property valued over $500, the maximum punishment includes forfeiture of all allowances and pay, ten years confinement and dishonorable discharge.

b) Damage, loss or destruction of U.S. military property

Elements:

  • That at a specific time and place, the accused, despite lacking the right authority
    • damaged in a specific manner a particular property
    • lost a particular property
    • destroyed in a specific manner a particular property
  • That this was U.S. military property
  • That the loss/ destruction/ damage was deliberately caused/ caused by neglect on part of the accused
  • Where applicable, the prosecution has to establish that the property was an explosive or firearm; otherwise that the property had a specific value

Maximum Punishment:

For deliberate damage, loss or destruction: maximum punishment includes forfeiture of all allowances and pay, one year confinement as well as bad conduct discharge if the property is valued at or below $500. For firearms, explosives or property valued above $500, this violation attracts ten years confinement, forfeiture of all allowances and pay as well as dishonorable discharge.

For damage, loss or destruction of military property through negligence: Maximum punishment for property valued at $500 or below is 2/3rd of 6 months pay and six months confinement . For property valued above $500, maximum punishment involves forfeiture of all allowances and pay, one year confinement and bad conduct discharge.

Note: When the property in question is a firearm or explosive, the UCMJ provides for enhanced punishment to be given.

c) Suffering (allowing/ enabling) the loss of, damage to, sale of or wrongful disposal of U.S. military property

Elements:

  • That, at a specific time and place, a particular property was:
    • destroyed in a specific manner
    • damaged in a specific manner
    • sold to a specific person
    • wrongfully disposed of by a specific person
    • or lost
  • That this was U.S. military property
  • That this was made possible by the accused (who lacked proper authority) owing to an omission of his duty.
  • That this omission of duty was deliberate or arising from negligence.
  • Where applicable, the prosecution has to establish that the property was an explosive or firearm; otherwise that the property had a specific value.

Maximum Punishment:

When the accused has deliberately allowed the property to be sold/ disposed of/ lost/ damaged: Maximum punishment involves forfeiture of all allowances and pay, bad conduct discharge and one year confinement if the property is valued at $500 or less. For explosives, firearms or property valued above $500, maximum punishment is dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all allowances and pay as well as ten years confinement.

When the accused has, through his negligence, allowed the property to be sold/ disposed of/ lost/ damaged: Maximum punishment is 2/3rds of 6 months' pay, and six months' confinement if the property is valued at $500 or less. For property valued above $500, maximum punishment is forfeiture of all allowances and pay, bad conduct discharge, as well as one year confinement.

For more information on this article, please refer to the Manual for Courts Martial.

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