Article 92 Failure to Obey Order or Regulation
Article 92 deals with the failure to follow orders or regulations and violation
of orders/ regulations. Different situations are covered under Article
92 as follows: violating general order or regulation, violating other
written regulation or order, failure to obey lawful order and dereliction of duty.
There are several variations of the charge of Article 92, violation of
the UCMJ. These changes require slightly different elements of each charge
to prove and are discussed as follows:
a) Violating general order or regulation
That a lawful general of order or regulation existed
That the accused was duty bound to obey this regulation or order
- That the accused disobeyed or violated this order/ regulation by an act,
behavior or alleged intent.
Maximum Punishment: The accused faces dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all allowances
and pay and 2 years confinement as maximum punishment.
b) Violating other written regulation or order
- That a lawful regulation or order existed
- That the accused was fully aware of this order/ regulation
- That the accused was bound by duty to obey the regulation/ order
- That the accused disobeyed this order/ regulation
Maximum Punishment: The accused faces bad conduct discharge, forfeiture of all allowances and
pay and 6 months confinement as maximum punishment.
c) Failure to obey lawful order
That a specific lawful order was issued by a member of the United States
That the accused was fully aware of the order
That the accused was duty bound to obey the order
That he failed to do so
Maximum Punishment: The accused could get a bad conduct discharge, forfeiture of all allowances
and pay and up to 6 months confinement if found guilty of this offense.
d) Dereliction of duty
- That certain duties were assigned to the accused.
- In case of willful dereliction, the prosecution must prove that the accused
had knowledge of the duties assigned to him.
- In case of negligence/ inefficiency leading to dereliction of duty, the
prosecution must prove that there are reasonable grounds to show the accused
should have known about his assigned duties and that he failed to carry them out.
Maximum Punishment: For deliberate dereliction of duty, the accused shall receive bad conduct
discharge, forfeiture of all allowances and pay and 6 months confinement
as maximum punishment. For dereliction of duty through inefficiency or
neglect, the maximum punishment is 2/3rd of a month's pay for 3 months
and three months confinement.
To learn more about this punitive article refer to the Manual for Courts Martial.
Points to Note about Article 92
- Willful dereliction of duty attracts a more serious punishment than negligence
leading to dereliction.
- Circumstantial evidence can be used to show that the accused had knowledge
of his duty and, in cases of willful dereliction, circumstantial evidence
can be used to show the accused intended to avoid duty.
- The serviceman is not guilty of violating this article if the duty is self- imposed.
- The lawfulness of the order is an important aspect to consider in these cases.
- When the order carries exceptions, the prosecution has to prove that the
accused is not subject to the terms of the exception.
Example of Article 92
United States v. Jack, 10 M.J. 572 (A.F.C.M.R. 1980) trial conviction of the accused was set
aside although he had violated the local regulation about visiting hours
in female barracks. The reason behind the setting aside of the punishment
was that the sign did not designate the issuing authority.
United States v. Grow, 11 C.M.R. 77 (C.M.A. 1953) trial, a official holding rank of major general
was found guilty of dereliction of duty under Article 92 after he failed
to secure classified information, thus violating an existing Army regulation.
Article 92 is commonly found in Article 15's. While it is found in
the UCMJ, it is generally used to get the service member's attention
for minor infractions. For instance, a service member in formation may
not have been paying attention when a lawful order was given to the unit
while the service member was present for the formation. There are other
cases were a service member will fully violates a lawful order such as
violating General Order Number 1, while serving down range on deployment.
Common violations under this fact scenario are drinking while deployed.
These types of offenses are not commonly punished by court-martial but
generally handled through some other means of non-judicial punishment.