Military-Only Crime of the Day

The last few weeks here have been decidedly unfunny (except in morbid ways). In order to be a bit trivial, I’ll share something that is only a crime in the military–just for you to think about.

Article 84–Effecting unlawful enlistment, appointment, or separation.

Any person subject to this chapter who effects an enlistment or appointment in or a separation from the armed forces of any person who is known to him to be ineligible for that enlistment, appointment, or separation because it is prohibited by law, regulation, or order, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

Maximum punishment: Up to 5 years of confinement and a dishonorable discharge.

Minimum punishment: No punishment. (For those of you who’ve read this blog for a bit, you know I have a problem with news agencies that only tout the max punishment).

Compare the max for this crime with a few random others.

Disrespect toward a superior commissioned officer: 1 year, Bad-Conduct Discharge

Note: A Dishonorable Discharge is the worst you can receive. A Bad-Conduct Discharge is a bit better, but you still lose most useful benefits.

Cruelty and Maltreatment: 1 year, dishonorable discharge.

Unlawful Detention: 3 years, dishonorable discharge.

Wrongful use of cocaine: 5 years, dishonorable discharge.

Larceny of private property under $500 value: 1 year, bad-conduct discharge

Larceny of a privately owned vehicle: 5 years, dishonorable discharge.

Simple arson of a value over $500: 5 years, dishonorable discharge.

Assault consummated by a battery upon a child under 16 years: 2 years, dishonorable discharge.

Housebreaking. 5 years, dishonorable discharge.

Negligent homicide. 3 years, dishonorable discharge.

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7 thoughts on “Military-Only Crime of the Day

  1. Before I started reading your blog, almost my entire impression of military law came from a story (almost certainly not true) about a soldier who suspected that his wife was having an affair with his commander while he was working. One day he sneaks back, catches them in the act, and shoots his commander, wounding him. When convicted, he gets a sentence of 1 year for the shooting, and 2 years for abandoning his post. He was lucky though, because if his gun has misfired because he hadn’t cleaned it, they would have throw the book at him.

    I think I can see how that story could get around.

    Seriously, though, I wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write those explanations of some of the issues in the Hasan and Manning cases. I don’t think much of what you write will ever be useful to me (although I have got to get me some maple bacon doughnuts), but the informed glimpses into the military justice system are fascinating.

    1. Crazy stuff happens in military court. Usually, it is a result of equally crazy fact patterns.

      As always, I’m more than happy to have you stopping by.

  2. Can you further clarify Article 84: Any person subject to this chapter who effects an enlistment (Can it be a denial of enlistment?)…….. or a separation from the armed forces of any person who is known to him to be ineligible for separation because it is prohibited by law, regulation, or order, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. (For example to make one eligible to separate early under the DOS Rollback the COC would have to place you on a control roster, Article 15, or UIF making you eligible for the DOS Rollback to separate early? am I understanding that last part?

    1. OK, so, I was just having fun with this post, but it seems you’re asking me to do legal analysis on the nuances of Article 84 and its applicability to recent policies? Are you asking this because of a specific situation? Let me know if I’m getting this correct.

      If you are looking for general information, just click here. You’re welcome.

  3. That’s EXACTLY as serious as consensual sodomy:

    Article 125 — Sodomy: Any person . . . who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex…

    It is unnatural carnal copulation for a person to take into that person’s mouth or anus the sexual organ of another person… or to place that person’s sexual organ in the mouth or anus of another person…or to have carnal copulation in any opening of the body, except the sexual parts…

    Max: Up to 5 years and a dishonorable discharge.

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