On September 20th, 2011, the law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) was repealed. The result was that lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members are now able to serve openly without fear of discharge. However, the repeal of DADT will not automatically reinstate the estimated 14,500 service members who were discharged under DADT, nor … Read more

Under Wuterich’s command, Marines killed five young men pulled from a car, followed by 19 of their family members. Wuterich is charged with dereliction of duty, manslaughter, and assault. At the time of the incident, Wuterich’s battalion had only been in Haditha for a few weeks and this was their first engagement. The Marines had … Read more

In 2005, eight Marines were criminally charged by the Marine Corps in the deaths of 24 Iraqis in the village of Haditha. Despite the evidence against the Marines, the charges against six were later dropped and only one of them was found to be not guilty. On January 9th, prosecutors at Camp Pendleton will begin … Read more

A service member may also request a Presidential Pardon, the highest form of clemency. Under the first Clause of Article II of the Constitution, the President has the power to grant pardons for those who commit federal offenses. The pardon means that the offense has been forgiven. However, it is important to remember that a … Read more

Some of the most popular questions we receive relate to military parole, clemency, corrections, and pardons. While not exhaustive, the following summaries should help to shed light on these crucial areas of military law. Starting with parole, this entry will then take a close look at clemency, corrections, and pardons. Our office is able to … Read more

Non-Judicial Punishments (NJP) are specific limited punishments that are handed out for minor to medium-level disciplinary offenses by a commanding officer. Called “Captain’s Mast” or “Mast” in the Navy, “Article 15” in the Army and Air Force, and “Office Hours” in the Marine Corps, these punishments, while not severe, can range from a simple reprimand … Read more

A General Court-Martial is the most serious level of military courts, above both Summary and Special Courts-Martial. It consists of a military judge, trial counsel, defense counsel, and at least five court members. As with the other Courts-Martial, enlisted accused service members may request a court composed of at least one-third enlisted personnel. Unless the … Read more

A Special Court-Martial is the intermediate court level; more serious than a Summary Court-Martial and less serious than a General Court-Martial. It consists of a military judge, defense counsel, trial counsel (prosecutor), and a minimum of three officers serving as a jury or panel of court members. An enlisted accused service member does have the … Read more

This will be the first in a series discussing the three types of courts-martial to which service members may be subject. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) provides for three categories of courts-martial. These are (1) Summary Court-Martial, (2) Special Court-Martial, and (3) General Court-Martial. Each type of court-martial is associated with a distinctive … Read more

Today, Friday, November 11, 2011, our nation comes together to celebrate and thank veterans for their legacy of service and sacrifice and otherwise honor the commitment they have shown in the defense of our freedom and safety. Beginning in 1919 as “Armistice Day,” Veterans Day is intended to be celebrated on the 11th day, of … Read more