Ucmj as a Military Specialist Essay

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For instance, the United States Air Force Writer (AFW) provides an example of the document filled out by the superior non-commissioned officer in reporting the failure of a soldier to adhere to 'other lawful orders.' Accordingly, the document quoted hereafter directs its charges at the offending officer, reporting that "on 19 July 2011, you were told at 2300 to relieve A1C Blank from the Passenger Service Counter at midnight. At 1201am SSgt Smith intercepted you going to have a cigarette before relieving or checking with A1C Blank. After been told by SSgt Smith twice to report to the PSC you were found outside smoking seconds later. You have continually demonstrated irresponsible and selfish behavior toward SSgt Smith. Your failure to adhere to these standards leaves you in violation of Article 92 of the UCMJ, Failure to obey order or regulation by a noncommissioned officer." (AFW, p. 1)

Here, Powers indicates that the range of potential punishments is likely to be a great deal less severe given the lesser practical and moral hazards of such disobedience. Here, the outcome can be the forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for 3 months unless a lesser penalty such as revocation of weekend leave can be resolved between commanding and offending officers.


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The primary exception to Article 92 which is identified by the language of the internal military bylaw is that which protects ineptitude from punishment. Here, Powers indicates that the UCMJ makes special notation that personnel failing to perform adequately in response to either general or other lawful orders as a result of incapacity or ineptitude, are, where it can be demonstrated that genuine effort has been put forth, not to be penalized under the terms of Article 92. Powers notes that "for example, a recruit who has tried earnestly during rifle training and throughout record firing is not derelict in the performance of duties if the recruit fails to qualify with the weapon." (Powers, p. 2)

Consequences of Compliance with Unlawful Orders:

Essay on Ucmj as a Military Specialist, Assignment

The specific notation of 'lawful orders' indicates that some discretion remains with the individual soldier such that in the event that unlawful orders are invoked, the officer is intended to resist and take the proper steps to presume rank from the offending officer. Previous court martial cases are available to us to demonstrate the serious consequences of failing this discretion, with many atrocities during the Vietnam War highlight this distinction between lawful and unlawful orders. Accordingly, Powers tells that "in United States v. Keenan, the accused (Keenan) was found guilty of murder after he obeyed in order to shoot and kill an elderly Vietnamese citizen. The Court of Military Appeals held that 'the justification for acts done pursuant to orders does not exist if the order was of such a nature that a man of ordinary sense and understanding would know it to be illegal.'" (Powers1, p. 1) This imposes a duty upon military personnel to be aware of that which is lawful and that which is not before entering into a combat zone.

Military Values:

At the center of the terms and conditions of Article 92 is defense of the military's chief value, which is the preservation of discipline. Here, Article 92 is a key dimension of maintaining hierarchy, lawfulness and order.

Works Cited:

Air Force Writer (AFW). (2011). Air Force Letter of Counseling Example. Airforcewriter.com.

Powers, R. (2010). Punitive Articles of the UCMJ: Article… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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