Being a member of the U.S. Armed Forces is an honor and a privilege. Those who join are doing so out of duty to their country and to make use of the many benefits that accompany their service. However, it is important to remember that it military law can be complex and those who are accused of violating it can face various penalties. If there is a conviction in a military court, the service member might have a court martial and a dishonorable discharge. When there are allegations of wrongdoing, legal assistance from a law firm that specializes in military matters is a must.
Workers who also serve in the military are afforded job protections under what is known as The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Relief Act of 1994 (USERRA). This Act prevents an employer from discriminating against or firing an employee due to necessary leave for active military service.
After a military member has been convicted in a court-martial trial, they have a post-trial opportunity to submit a request for clemency to the Convening Authority. That Convening Authority is then tasked with fully agreeing and approving a court-martial decision, making a different decision, or granting some form of relief. However, a conviction may only remain the same, or be reduced in some way. It may never be made worse.
Military law can seem like a complex and confusing area of the law with big impacts on the lives of service members and others. Because of this reality, and the significant impact military law can have on many aspects of a service member's life, it is helpful for military members to understand what military law refers to and some of the concerns it may address.
When a military career ends prematurely it can end in an administrative separation which can have a significant and negative impact on military members, their lives and futures. There are two types of administrative separations military service members should be familiar with including administrative separations and punitive discharges.
There are two broad categories of military discharges including an honorable discharge and a dishonorable discharge. There are a variety of circumstances, both good and bad, that my lead to a servicemember's separation from the military so it is helpful for them to understand what those circumstances are.
As this blog has addressed on previous occasions, soldiers and sailors in the United States armed forces are subject to a special set of laws called the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or UCMJ.
There are a variety of specific and unique legal issues military members may face. Because some of the threats they face can be career-ending, it is important for military members to be familiar with their legal options and rights. As is also true when anyone has a legal concern or legal matter they need help with, it is important to understand the legal resources and options available to them. Military service members facing accusations of violating military law need to be prepared with how to respond to those allegations because the consequences can be significant.
Being discharged from the military is a significant event in the life of most military members. Military members enter the military in a contract with the government and it provides a source of livelihood for military members who are protecting the nation. As a result, if they are facing discharge, they may have a number of questions about what the different types of discharge are and what they mean.
Non-judicial punishments in the military are referred to under Article 15. Non-judicial punishments refer to when commanding officers have the ability to administratively discipline service members for minor offenses. Depending on what branch of the military the service member is in, either a commanding officer or officer in charge is able to carry out a non-judicial punishment under military law.