MILITARY LAW BLOG

Pretrial Confinement

Military Pretrial Confinement Protocols Under Scrutiny

While Congress has recently overhauled parts of the military justice system, some members of Congress believe further changes need to be made. Democratic Representative Veronica Escobar is calling for pretrial confinement to be issued based on legal advice and not by the ranking Commander. Current Pretrial Confinement Protocol Pretrial confinement, as defined by the MCM, … Read more

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Military Members Have the Right to Political and Religious Proselytizing

Recent events surrounding Army Reserve Major Jamie Schwandt in North Carolina bring up the First Amendment issue regarding political and religious proselytizing within the military. Army Reserve Major Schwandt on YouTube In July of this year, Army Reserve Major Schwandt posted a video on YouTube discussing abortion and transgender issues. In his video, Schwandt identified … Read more

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Appeals Court Sets New Precedent for Military Sexual Assualt Victims

A recent ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has set a new precedent for sexual assualt survivors to be able to sue not only their assailants but also the Defense Department. Retired Army Col. Kathryn Spletstoser v. retired Air Force Gen. John Hyten The ongoing Federal lawsuit of retired … Read more

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Can You Join the Military with a Criminal Record?

Are you interested in joining the military? A criminal record doesn’t make it impossible to enlist, but it certainly complicates the process. The military holds recruits to a high standard. When you visit a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), a recruiter interviews you to determine your mental aptitude, physical qualifications, and moral character. A criminal … Read more

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Department of Air Force Instruction 36-3211 7G: Military Separations for cases of Sexual Assault

The Department of the Air Force recently released DAF Instruction 36-3211, which increases support for sexual assualt victims, promotes accountability and prevention, and outlines the discharge steps to be taken for separation.   DAFI 36-3211 7G: Sexual Assault  DAFI 36-3211 describes sexual assault as rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, abusive sexual contact, or attempts to … Read more

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Can Military Members Date Each Other?

All branches of the U.S. military have rules regarding friendships, business associations, dating, and marriage among service members of different ranks and positions. Not all contact between officers and their subordinates is prohibited, and the goal is not to dissuade service members from having interpersonal relationships. Rather, the regulations are intended to prevent compromising order, … Read more

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What to Know About Fraudulent Enlistment

Deliberately falsifying information on a military service application can result in severe penalties, including a fraudulent enlistment charge under Article 83 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The first purpose of Article 83 is to prevent people from entering the armed forces without the proper qualifications. Then, it aims to ensure service members … Read more

Military member drinking alcohol.

What Is the Military’s Policy on Alcohol Consumption?

As a military service member, it’s important to understand how the military handles alcohol use. This way, you can make lawful, responsible choices regarding your alcohol consumption. Here’s what you need to know to remain in good standing as a service member and what to do if you face disciplinary action for excessive alcohol use. … Read more

Drug test.

How to Fight a Positive Drug Test in the Military

As a service member, you undoubtedly know the military has a zero-tolerance policy for drug use. The expectation is that if you’re entrusted with protecting and serving your country, you must do so without the influence of illicit substances. As such, everyone from the newest recruit to the most seasoned general is subject to random, … Read more

sexual harassment

Sexual Harassment is Now a Crime Under the UCMJ

The Department of Defense has passed multiple reforms in recent years as it attempts to stamp out sex crimes in the military. Despite this, the estimated rates of sexual harassment and sexual assault remain alarmingly high. According to a RAND study released in 2021, roughly one in 16 women and one in 143 men experience … Read more

Military court of appeals

Can You Appeal a Court-Martial Conviction?

If you are a recently convicted military service member, you may wonder if you can appeal a court-martial conviction. The short answer is yes. The military has built-in protections for convicted service members, including the ability to appeal a decision, which may reduce or eliminate your sentence. The rules that apply depend on which type … Read more

Military deserter

What Happens to Military Deserters?

Failing to report for military duty is a serious offense carrying severe penalties up to and including capital punishment (the death penalty) for desertion during wartime. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) covers three charges relating to failure to report for duty—desertion, absence without leave (AWOL), and missing movement. Being absent without leave for … Read more