Article 113 – Misbehavior of Sentinel or Lookout
Misbehavior by a sentinel or guard, such as sleeping or being drunk or
missing from the place of duty is charged under this article. Punishment
for such situations occurring during wartime is different from that for
peace time incidents and both are covered here. The elements to be proven
under this article are as follows:
- That the accused was assigned to a specific post as a lookout or sentinel.
- That at a specific time and place he a) was drunk or sleeping while on
duty at this post b) had left his post without being regularly relieved
- If the accused was receiving special pay under the 37 USC- section 310,
this fact has to be established by the prosecution.
Maximum Punishment for Article 113 Violation
If the accused has violated this article in wartime, he faces death or
other lawful punishment as determined by a court martial as maximum punishment.
If he receives special pay as per 37 USC- section 310, his maximum punishment
is 10 years confinement, dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all allowances
and pay. In every other circumstance, the accused faces maximum punishment
of forfeiture of all allowances and pay, dishonorable discharge, and one
year confinement. For more information on this article, please refer to
the Manual for Courts Martial.
Explanation of Article 113
Under article 113, the enlisted member is deemed to be drunk when he is
intoxicated to such an extent that he in incapable of rational thought
or of using his mental and physical faculties correctly. The accused is
deemed to be sleeping at his post if the prosecution can prove that he
was in a state of unconsciousness where his mental/ physical faculties
could not be exercised fully.
The sentinel/ lookout is not automatically deemed to have left his post
if he is missing from the vicinity of his assigned post. In his defense
he can show that he was close enough to his designated limits to carry
out his duty as sentinel or lookout. The post includes all the surrounding
areas that are included in the performance of the sentinel/ lookout duty
and is not limited by any imaginary line.
Example of Article 113 Violation
United States v. Smith, 40 C.M.R. 316 (C.M.A. 1969) the accused who was charged with dereliction
of duty was found to have violated Article 113. Evidence showed that the
accused had not just failed to walk by his post, as believed initially.
He had actually left his post before he had been relieved by another sentinel/
look out. The accused was found sleeping in a building that was away from
his assigned post.