Military Justice System In The United States

1616 words - 6 pages

When one joins the United States military, one becomes subject to a completely new justice system. While the primary purpose of the United States justice system is to dispense "justice," that is not the primary reason for the creation of a separate justice system for America's Armed Forces. The primary purpose of the military's system is to provide the military commander with necessary tools to enforce good order and discipline. That's why, for example, it's not considered a "crime" to be late for work at your civilian job, but it is a "crime" to be late for work in the Military. The purpose then is to keep soldiers acting as soldiers so the correctional philosophy in the military has evolved in such a way to do just that. In discussing the UCMJ and corrections, the following topics are significant.

Introduction and History of the UCMJ
Counseling and Corrective Training
Non-Judicial punishment in the UCMJ
Courts Martial in the UCMJ

Introduction and History of the UCMJ

The Uniform Code of Military Justice is a federal system of laws created by congress in 1950. The UCMJ replaces the Articles of War that had been the justice system since 1789. The UCMJ is the foundation for justice in the United States Military. The UCMJ has had several major revisions to keep with the times; two such revisions came in 1968, and 1983. The UCMJ may also be referred to as United States Code, Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 47. The Uniform Code of Military Justice otherwise known as the UCMJ exists to keep disciplne and order in the military. (Powers, Military Justice 101)

The UCMJ resembles civilian laws in many ways. It has laws that address stealing, burglary, alcohol, and many others a kin to civilian laws. The differences are specific to military, such as disobeying a superior officer's orders, disrespect, going AWOL, and misconduct as a Prisoner of War. The purpose then is to keep soldiers acting as soldiers so the correctional philosophy in the military has evolved in such a way to do just that. In discussing the UCMJ and corrections, the following topics are significant.

The military justice system derives its authority from three sources, The Uniform Code of Military Justice, The Manual for Courts Martial, and Army Regulation 27-10. The UCMJ is federal law and forms the base of the military justice system. The UCMJ determines what is to be considered criminal conduct and establishes the various types of courts, and establishes the procedures to be followed in the carrying out of military justice. (FM 27-1, 1992, pg. 1-1)

Counseling and Corrective Training

Counseling and corrective training comprise the base for the UCMJ. With counseling and corrective training first line supervisors are able to deal with infractions of the UCMJ at their level. This allows them to mentor and mold soldiers as well as deal with that soldier's violation of the UCMJ. Counseling is documenting what article was violated, what...

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