The military justice system provides an accused rights and due process that in many ways are superior to those provided a defendant in civilian criminal courts. Pursuant to Article 31, Uniform Code of Military Justice (Section 831 of Title 10, United States Code), service members have a right against self-incrimination and an entitlement to be informed of the suspected offense(s) before questioning begins. In addition to protecting the service member against self-incrimination, service members have a right to free military counsel when questioned as a suspect of committing an offense, upon preferral of court-martial charges, or initiation of arrest or apprehension.
In the military justice system, these rights are afforded much earlier in the criminal justice system than in civilian practice. These rights and protections apply whenever the service member is questioned as a suspect of an offense.