UCMJ – United States Code of Military Justice


10. Punitive Articles

Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.

45 Comments for this entry

  • Helga Czarnecki

    I’am trying to bring to light the events and incidents that took place while I was married to an enlisted service member ( Air Force ). During the course of our 15 yr. marriage there were multiple affairs I have proof of (i.e. txt’s, emails, pics. ).
    I need help in bringing these adulterous acts to the attention of someone who can help me. I have even wrote to the Chief of Staff (A.F.) at the pentagon and Pres. B. Obama. I’am a foriener who proudly became a U.S. citizen, only to be betrayed by the one I loved and was shown no support by the Chain of Command at the time. I need HELP, as I was faithfull and feel deeply wronged by many in a higher-up position, (the cover-ups and not being taken seriouslly). I’m just looking for some accountability on those who are supposed to be taking these matter seriouslly. Please help,, Helga Czarnecki 719 213 8089

    • You are such a liar

      He left your crazy lying ass, get over it!

    • SMSgt

      Contact your ex-husband’s Commander. They can look into the matter and make a determination if the military should take action.

    • Veau

      While I sympathize with your case – I had a similar incident only I am the U.S. Citizen and my spouse was the immigrant – the sad truth is, you will receive no “justice” from the military no matter how many people you contact (oh and ESPECIALLY Osama Obama).

      It has nothing to do with your immigrant circumstances or anything else personal. The wording of the Article is specific in nature as to “disrupts military operation, etc… blah blah blah…

      So long as none of these extramarital events had any negative impact upon how the military functions, then no crime was committed. And since technically speaking, in the letter of Civil Law infidelity is not illegal in this country, then legally – no crime was committed period!

      It is not fair and I know it is not the answer you hoped to receive. But it is the answer that exists outside all the smart ass morons making their racist comments and such. It is, unfortunately, the truth.

      • John Harrison

        hope you’ll be happy with emperor donnieA

      • Former Captain Daniel L. Cox, USAR

        The Army has taken Adultery seriously for many years. I had a friend whose husband was stationed at Redstone Arsenal as an Army Seargent. She had a one night stand with an Army Major when she and her husband were having problems and he was on extended TDY. She turned the Major in, he was charged under Article 134, but as an Officer, he was allowed to resign instead of face Court Martial. That 15 minutes o the hood of a car cost him his marriage, his reputation and potentially, between 1/2 a million and a million dollars in salaary and retirement benefits.

    • dick butkiss

      get over it ..why are you trying to ruin his life because you weren’t good enough…have some dignity

    • matt

      If you are the type of woman to try to get a guy fired or demoted at his job, no wonder he was looking elsewhere for company. Women like you who think only of themselves digust me. How would you like to get fired from your job because your husband doesn’t turn you on anymore?

    • Joe Warner

      Go eat a bag of dicks, Helga.

    • JustAnotherMarine

      Make an unrestricted report to your Uniform Victim Advocate, or just tell PMO.

  • Casey

    I was just curios to the regulations on an E-5 and an E-2 seeing each other. They are deployed to the same place, but not in the same company.?

    • Jim

      That would fraternization which is punishable under article 134.

      • Chad

        That would be incorrect Jim. Fraternization is only between enlisted and commissioned officers and is upheld by Article 134. The relationship between an E-5 and an E-2 could be unprofessional if they were in the same chain of command. Given the above scenario, they are not and this would not constitute an unprofessional relationship.

      • Ross

        Jim, fraternization is between enlisted and officer. Casey, they are fine as long as they are not in each other’s chain of command. They could be in the same unit as long as the senior member in not in the junior member’s chain.

    • Steve

      Casey, There is nothing wrong (legally) with the Sgt (E5) and PFC (E2) seeing each other – as long as the Sgt is not the PFC’s supervisor. People often confuse “the chain of command” with “the same unit.” If the Sgt is in Motor-T and the PFC is in Radio Platoon, they are not in the same chain of command; although they may be in the same unit. The Former SgtMaj of the Marine Corps was a SSgt (E6) when he started dating his soon-to-be wife who was a L/Cpl (E3) at the time.

    • Ross

      Jonathan they’re fine as long as the higher member is not in the lower member’s chain of command.

      Fraternization can only happen between officers and enlisted.
      Unprofessional relationships are between enlisted, officers or civilians. This happens when someone is showing favor to someone else in their chain.

    • Denise Staley

      AR 600-20 para 4-14c(2) says that Dating is one of the specifically prohibited behaviors/actions between a commissioned officer and enlisted or a non-commissioned officer and junior enlisted

    • Scott

      Wow, a lot of mis information in these replies. First off, bringing a civilian into a barracks is not in and of itself a violation of anything. My sister and brother in law, along with my mom, used to visit me all the time and they woul dbe in my barracks room. Overnight visits are a different thing, that was forbidden. My girlfriend was from the local town where my base was at, she used to come to my room for sex on a daily basis. As long as she was not sleepign there, nothing was illegal.

      Casey, as others have said, enlisted members are free to do whomeever they choose, as long as neither are married or are not in a supervisory position over another. But, even that sometimes does not matter. When was a young troop, back int he dinosaur days, wehad an admin clerk who was and E4 Sgt (before they did away with that rank, int he Air Force). Our detachement chief was and E9 Chief MSgt, and he was over all of our department. He ended up dating and eventually marrying her, and nothing was done to either of them.

      Robert, the civilian did not take and oath to follow the rules. They are civilians, the military coont punish them for anything.

      Billy Williams, the NCO certainly can be courts martialed if he is sleeping with anybody that they are not married to.

  • Paul

    What about an E-5 using the barracks for sex and overnight usage by a civilian? And leaving said civilian un-escorted during the day when he is at his duty station @ work? This is occurring on Camp Pendleton and the enlisted person claims his CO and Base Security know about it and look the other way? As a Retired Veteran, I find this behavior deplorable and shows a complete lack of honor and respect for the branch of service he is enlisted in.

    • Veau

      UCMJ would not apply to the civilian, but civil charges can and ought to be imposed. The Marine (Or Sailor?) Brining the civilian into the barracks in the first place is violating a number of punishable military policies, compounded by using the barracks for sexual encounters with said civilian, and buried under a pile of punitive actions for leaving the civilian alone and unsupervised- in a place where said civilian ought not to be right from the stat.

      This situation, by the way, begs the question; Where the hell is the Firewatch and/or Duty NCO while this civilian is wandering around a Marine Corps barracks with the freedom to stick her nose into anyplace she pleases?

  • Pat

    Under Article 134, both can be charged with fraternization. Most companies have policies with strict guidelines concerning this. While it mostly applies to soldiers in the same unit, (favorable actions, for example), some policies forbid it period. Check your company policies. Exclusions may apply if the relationship existed prior to either soldiers enlistment.

  • Joshua

    Casey, enlisted rank does not matter as long as they do not fall in the same chain of command.

  • jonathan

    I was wondering what the regulation on an E-5 and E-3 seeing each other living together are not deployed and not in the same unit?

  • theuglytruth

    quit tryin to bring that man down cause he dont want ur ass anymore smh i hate women who seek revenge why not just move on and find someone you deserve instaed of wasteing ur time tryin to hurt him becayse he hurt u

    • Scott

      First, learn English, how to spell, and use proper English grammar. It is sad that a foreigner, the first post has better grammar than you. Second, it is because of people like you and think like you that there are battered women all over this country. Put in the same shoes, I bet you would be seeking some amount of fair treatment for what your spouse did to you. Unfortunately for the military in general, the spouse is usually the victim and in most cases of adultery, the military will not take part in the case. Adultery used to be punishable under the UCMJ, but in recent years has been removed from punitive actions. The Ugly Truth is, that you are probably that same type of man that the original poster is trying to seek redemption from and you probably have one if not more trying to do the same thing to you. The Ugly Truth is, you will probably not make it far in the military and or every be truly happy with any of your relationships for fear that some day the women you have wronged will get the better of you. That’s the Ugly Truth.

      • Michelle Wissler

        I’d like to know where you found that adultery has been removed from Article 134

      • Keri

        Adultery is still in the UCMJ read the manual for courts martial 2016 edition available to the public and located here: http://jsc.defense.gov/Military-Law/Current-Publications-and-Updates/

        The text reads:
        62. Article 134—(Adultery)
        a. Text of statute. See paragraph 60.
        b. Elements.
        (1) That the accused wrongfully had sexual intercourse with a certain person;
        (2) That, at the time, the accused or the other person was married to someone else; and
        (3) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.
        c. Explanation.
        (1) Nature of offense. Adultery is clearly unacceptable conduct, and it reflects adversely on the service record of the military member.
        (2) Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline or of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces. To constitute an offense under the UCMJ, the adulterous conduct must either be directly prejudicial to good order and discipline or service discrediting. Adulterous conduct that is directly prejudicial includes conduct that has an obvious, and measurably divisive effect on unit or organization discipline, morale, or cohesion, or is clearly detrimental to the authority or stature of or respect toward a service member. Adultery may also be service discrediting, even though the conduct is only indirectly or remotely prejudicial to good order and discipline. Discredit means to injure the reputation of the armed forces and includes adulterous conduct that has a tendency, because of its open or notorious nature, to bring the service into disrepute, make it subject to public ridicule, or lower it in public esteem. While adulterous conduct that is private and discreet in nature may not be service dis- crediting by this standard, under the circumstances, it may be determined to be conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline. Commanders should con- sider all relevant circumstances, including but not limited to the following factors, when determining whether adulterous acts are prejudicial to good order and discipline or are of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces:
        (a) The accused’s marital status, military rank, grade, or position;
        (b) The co-actor’s marital status, military rank, grade, and position, or relationship to the armed forces;
        (c) The military status of the accused’s spouse or the spouse of co-actor, or their relationship to the armed forces;
        (d) The impact, if any, of the adulterous relationship on the ability of the accused, the co-actor, or the spouse of either to perform their duties in support of the armed forces;
        (e) The misuse, if any, of government time and resources to facilitate the commission of the conduct;
        (f) Whether the conduct persisted despite counseling or orders to desist; the flagrancy of the con- duct, such as whether any notoriety ensued; and whether the adulterous act was accompanied by other violations of the UCMJ;
        (g) The negative impact of the conduct on the units or organizations of the accused, the co-actor or the spouse of either of them, such as a detrimental effect on unit or organization morale, teamwork, and efficiency;
        (h) Whether the accused or co-actor was legally separated; and
        (i) Whether the adulterous misconduct involves an ongoing or recent relationship or is remote in time.
        (3) Marriage. A marriage exists until it is dis- solved in accordance with the laws of a competent state or foreign jurisdiction.
        (4) Mistake of fact. A defense of mistake of fact exists if the accused had an honest and reasonable belief either that the accused and the co-actor were both unmarried, or that they were lawfully married to each other. If this defense is raised by the evidence, then the burden of proof is upon the United States to establish that the accused’s belief was un- reasonable or not honest.
        d. Lesser included offenses. See paragraph 3 of this part and Appendix 12A.
        e. Maximum punishment. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 1 year.
        f. Sample specification.
        In that _______(personal jurisdiction data), (a married man/a married woman), did, (at/on board–location) (subject-matter jurisdiction data, if required), on or about _____ 20__ , wrongfully have sexual intercourse with_____, a (married) (woman/man) not (his wife) (her husband), and that said conduct was (to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces) (of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces) (to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces and was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces).

    • Veau

      If you have nothing useful or constructive to say, say nothing. Individuals like yourself, who have nothing better to do than be miserable, are living proof that “Stupid People Should NOT Breed”.

      • Veau

        Well said Scott. theuglytruth is – well…The Ugly Truth.

        As for you Teresa…5 years? And your saying her husband should have left her long ago? So what excuse have you got, if the woman is truly that bad?

        My mother watched for years and years and years, as her husband beat and battered her four children – 3 of which he actually fathered with her. Because “she came from the generation where the wife/mother doesn’t interfere with the husband/father and his way of running a household”.

        What a crock of shit that is! Only human beings could/would stand back and watch their own children beaten and hospitalized regularly, making up lie after lie to protect the abuser. Any other animal on earth – the mother would kill at the merest threat to her offspring. So, if Helga is as mentally ill as you claim,and yet you support her husband stepping out on her, and you place all the blame on her, when he has his share of blame to be accountable for… I strongly suspect you’re the type of woman who would stand back and watch your husband abuse your children.

        No need to respond – no defense you offer would be believable. It would just be words you’re throwing around trying to suppress the truth that your previous post has made very clear to anyone discerning enough to see where your thinking leads to. You support infidelity? My God, you probably commit infidelity. I think I;’m going to be sick.

        • Keri

          I noticed that Teresa and Helga have the same last name, it could be that she is the new wife of Helga’s ex-hubby…or related in some way. Either way Helga can’t do anything about past actions of an ex.

  • Teresa Czarnecki

    This reply is for Helga Czarnecki who just testified in a court of law that she has 6 (yes six) mental illnesses… I met her ex 3 months after he finally was able to leave her (March 2009). However, I can assure you that if you knew Helga, you would understand completely why anyone could be unfaithful to her… He should have never married her or at least divorced her a long time ago. She has wrecked total havoc on our life in the 5+ years I’ve known her. That woman needs to be institutionalized. If “theuglytruth” is replying to Helga – Thank You!!

  • Robert

    Why is it fair for military members to be punished for adultery, but if their spouses have an affair, they cannot be held accountable at their jobs?
    Seems to be a complete lack of fairness between the civilian side and the military side.
    Trust me, my ex cheated on me, I went to her hospital and told her supervisors and they just cmae out and told me they were not going to do anything about it.
    In revenge I had an affair 4 years later (we did try to work thru it), I ended up going to Captains mast (Navy) and had my E-8 package pulled a week before results came out from the advancement board.
    So the military does punish for this type of behavior, what she did does not condone my behavior, but wanted to point out the double standards between civilian and military jobs.

    • Raven

      Robert – fairness has nothing to do with it (as so often in life). Adultery is against the UCMJ. It is not against non-military criminal law. End of story. HOWEVER, you can certainly take your ex to civil court for damages, that’s what it’s there for.

  • Josie

    What if someone were to be 6 hours late to staff duty. He he reported early in the morning and the Sgt in charge let him go on break but the the soldier overslept.

    • Raven

      Josie – that individual could be charged with failure to go, if the Commander so chose. It would be up to the Commander. There are lesser degrees of non-UCMJ disciplinary actions that would be more appropriate for this situation, however, assuming that individual doesn’t make a habit out of missing duty.

  • Billy Williams

    I have a senior NCO that is sleeping with a civilian and he is married to another NCO. Can the senior NCO get into trouble with his COC?

  • Andrew

    I’m enlisted, next year I commission. My girlfriend is also enlisted, different branch, active-duty. Since she’s in another branch, and will likely never be in my COC, would this constitute fraternization? Even if the relationship predates the commission?? I’ve heard many different answers. We both want to continue the relationship, and make no effort to hide it. Would marrying her before commissioning, make the relationship allowable?

  • Mom

    The military does not care.. I and my ex were active duty, so what the married girl he was having an affair with, who was also married to an active duty member. Did not matter what proof we had, they did nothing when I placed both of them on report. They were in the same command, in the same shop.. did not matter. So much for the UCMJ! They said, “it happened off base”, but if I smoked pot in my apt off base, I would have been charged by the UCMJ… go figure!

  • Sean Gregori

    Good evening, my situation is confusing me with the UCMJ articles.
    To begin I did not buy a minor alcohol, I am being sent to mast for being around the minor and not stoping him.
    We did not sign out as Liberty buddies, he was brought back to the ship by 2 senior enlisted and a LT. Whom were hanging out with us. Before the return to the ship they asked the minor if he wanted to go back. The minor said yes. No police were involved no one got hurt. I bought the senior enlisted and the LT drinks.
    I am trying to make sense of the situation, any advice would help.

  • Rick

    My Air Force Senior Master Sergeant singled me out, and gave me paperwork. When another airman committed the same alleged offense at the same time, and received no disciplinary action or paperwork. Is this exceptable behavior for a Senior NCO IC? And which article would cover this?

  • Dave

    So if three service members are living together all as friends, one with a spouse an child and the other two are currently divorcing their spouses, can they be punished under the ucmj for this if they do not live on post?

  • Michelle Wissler

    Note that Article 134 encompasses offenses that are not specifically listed in the Manual for Courts-Martial: all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty. Article 134 is often considered to be a “catch-all” for various offenses that aren’t necessarily covered by the other articles in the UCMJ. Article 134 offenses include disloyal statements, abusing public animal, adultery, bigamy, bribery and graft, drinking liquor with prisoner, fleeing scene of accident, fraternization, gambling with subordinate, et al. It reflect acts that are not specifically listed, but nevertheless committed, by military personnel that negatively impact the service, unit, etc.

  • Tommy

    My wife (NCO) had an affair with another married NCO a year ago. What I believe started out as a physical affair manifested into an online affair, resulting in her sending the other married NCO nude pics and videos. Just curious what the true ramifications would be if I turned these pics/vids over to her supervisor or the local JAG office.

    We are currently waiting a hearing trial for a dissolution. Would there be any repercussions for me once the dissolution is final, if I turned these pics over to her supervisor or local JAG office?

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