MILITARY LAW BLOG
How Can You Upgrade a Military Discharge?
A service member’s military discharge significantly impacts their life, shaping employment prospects, determining eligibility for VA benefits, and influencing their reputation. Sometimes, service members are discharged unjustly or erroneously, leading to undeserved consequences. Fortunately, veterans in these circumstances have options. Learn what it takes to request a military discharge upgrade and why it’s important to … Read more
What is Consent According to UCMJ Article 120?
Consent is a crucial element in the context of sexual assault cases, especially within the military justice system. Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) specifically addresses the crime of rape, sexual assault, and other related offenses. Understanding consent according to UCMJ Article 120 is crucial for service members, not only to … Read more
What Does the End of the COVID Vaccine Mandate Mean for Military Members?
In January 2023, the Department of Defense (DoD) rescinded the August 2021 memorandum mandating the COVID-19 vaccination for all military personnel. This marks a significant shift in the military’s approach to managing the dwindling pandemic. The decision has raised numerous questions among service members regarding the implications of the lifted mandate, potential repercussions for those … Read more
What is the Punishment for Sexual Assault in the Military?
Sexual assault in the military is a serious crime with profound consequences for both the victims and the alleged perpetrators. Sexual misconduct not only undermines the trust and camaraderie essential for military units to function effectively, but it also tarnishes the reputation of the armed forces. For these reasons, the United States military has taken … Read more
What is Conscientious Objection to Military Service?
Conscientious objection to military service is a firm, fixed, and sincere position taken by someone who refuses to participate in war on the basis of religious, moral, or ethical beliefs. This objection may take many forms, such as a refusal to serve in combat, register for the draft, pay taxes tied to war allocations, or … Read more
What Does a Sexual Assault Victim Get If They Win Their Case?
Sexual assault has been a hot topic in the military for years. When a service member is convicted of this crime under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), they may face punishments such as bad conduct or dishonorable discharge, imprisonment, and forfeiture of all pay, allowances, and veteran benefits. But do … Read more
What is Non-Judicial Punishment?
Non-judicial punishment (NJP) is a form of disciplinary action that a military service member may face when charged with a minor offense. The proceedings allow commanders to resolve minor service member misconduct without resorting to higher forms of discipline. Each branch of service calls non-judicial punishment by a different name, including: Captain’s Mast (Navy and … Read more
What is the Maximum Punishment for an Article 120 Violation?
Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) deals with rape, sexual assault, and sexual contact. These offenses cover a range of unlawful, forced sexual actions on another person. Charges involving sexual misconduct involving a child fall under Article 120b, while “other sexual misconduct” is outlined in Article 120c. Sexual assault in the … Read more
Why Does Sexual Assault Occur in the Military?
Sexual assault claims among military service members are alarmingly high. According to the 2018 Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, 20,500 active-duty service members reported experiencing sexual assault or rape, including about 13,000 women and 7,500 men. This indicates that 6.2 percent of female and 0.7 percent of male service … Read more
Are Service Members Required to Have Certain Vaccines?
Required vaccines are nothing new for the US military. Yet the topic has garnered newfound attention following the COVID-19 vaccination order. Are you considering joining the military, or do you already serve in the Armed Forces? If so, be prepared to adhere to the Department of Defense (DoD) vaccination mandates as part of the requirement … Read more
What is Stolen Valor and is It a Crime?
In general, it is not a crime to lie about serving in the military just to brag or impress others. Doing so may be morally reprehensible, but the deception isn’t enough to fine someone or put them in jail. However, “stolen valor” is a crime, as is impersonating a military member or officer. Learn more … Read more
Can Military Sexual Assault Survivors Sue Their Assailants?
Sexual assaults committed by someone in the general population often give rise to criminal prosecutions, which may result in fines, jail time, probation, and sanctions against the offender, if convicted. There are similar repercussions in the military, where sexual assaults are punishable under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Sentences may … Read more