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What is military law?

If you or a loved one is engaged in military service, you may have wondered what military law refers to so it can be helpful to take a look. In its most basic sense, military law refers to the legal structure that governs military personnel.

Military law covers topics including the conduct of service members during training or while on active duty; protections for military spouses; and the reentry of service members into civil society after their duty comes to an end. The Uniform Code of Military Justice governs the conduct of service members while in training or on active duty. It includes 60 activities military members cannot engage in while in the military. There are different types of potential consequences military members may face for violating military law including dishonorable discharges; court martials; and non-judicial punishments.

In addition to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, recently discussed on this blog, is a resource for military members while they are on active duty that protects them from civil legal actions while they are serving the country. Lastly, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act helps military members reintegrate into civil society following their service.

Understanding military law is important for military members and their family members. Because it touches all impacts of a service member's life, and the lives of their families, knowledge of the different aspects of military law, and how it can be helpful, is essential for military members and their families.

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