Article 134 - Disloyal Statements
Any person, subject to the UCMJ, who, at an alleged place and time, has
made a statement on or about a particular subject, so as to encourage
disaffection, disloyalty or both, or to interfere with or impair the loyalty
and morale among the members of the armed forces, the civilian population
or both, would be violating the Article 134 and shall be punished as deemed
fit through a court martial. The statement thus made by the accused person
is considered an offense, if it is in anyway disloyal to the United States.
The elements of crime that should hold true, for the accused to be guilty,
are as follows.
- The accused person should have actually made the alleged statement
- The statement should have been made in public
- The statement made was disloyal to the United States
- The statement promotes or encourages the troops or the civilian populace
to be disloyal, hostile or both towards the United States
- The statement impairs and/or interferes with the morale, the discipline
or loyalty towards the United States, of a member or multiple members
of the US armed forces.
- The nature of the statement was such that it brings upon discredit to the
US armed forces or it disrupts the discipline and the good order of the
Explanation of the offense
Under this punitive Article 134, a disloyal statement is a result of the
accused person's conduct, which is prejudicial to the good order and
discipline of the armed forces and which brings upon discredit to the
armed forces. This means that the accused had acted or behaved in such
a way as to distort the armed forces discipline and to harm the reputation
of the service in general.
A person is said to have "made" a statement only if it was spoken,
written, published or printed, uttered, issued or put forth for circulation
by him or her. The statement is said to be made "in public"
only when it was made openly in the presence of many people, who have
the knowledge that the alleged statement was actually made by the accused.
The alleged statement made by the accused should incite disloyalty, where
the term disloyalty implies being untrue or unfaithful to the United States
as a whole. It is important to note that being disloyal to the US armed
forces, a government department of the United States or any other organization
need not necessarily be disloyalty towards the United States.
Similarly, the accused must have, by making the statement, promoted disaffection,
which means disgust, ill will, or a hostile attitude towards the United
States. Again, any disaffection towards the US armed forces or any particular
organization or group may not necessarily be disaffection against the
To be more precise, the accused person's behavior, which constitutes
willful disobedience or encouraging another member or members of the military
or the civilian populace to disregard an order is not equal to disloyalty,
disaffection or both towards the United States. It must also be noted
that if a person is in disagreement with a policy or objects to it, it
does not in any way indicate that he or she is promoting disloyalty or
disaffection towards the United States.
Should the accused person be proven guilty under the Article 134, after
the evidence obtained by the court proves beyond reasonable doubt that
the accused made statements that promote disloyalty or disaffection towards
the United States, then he or she shall be subject to a maximum punishment
of no more than three years in confinement.