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UCMJ Slander Questions

Slander is the act of harming one's reputation by making false statements. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) will generally make an allowance for any conduct outside the realm of respectable behavior. When many people want to learn more about military slander and slander laws, they ask the Military Lawyers. These Experts can answer any question that you may have related to slander and slander laws. Below are five of the top slander questions that have been answered by the Experts.

Does slander fall under a certain type of punishment under Uniformed Code of Military Justice?

Slander is not listed under any Article title; however, the UCMJ makes allowances for any misconduct. There is several disrespect Articles that slander would pertain to, Articles that concern Superior Officers and Non Commissioned Officers (NCO). (Articles 89 and 91) If the slanderous statements were made formally (meaning to CID), you would have false official statements (article 107). If the statements were sufficiently provoking, you have Article 117 (Provoking speeches or gestures). Finally, the general article (134) allows a charge for anything that brings discredit upon the Armed Forces. This is liberally construed.

Is it possible to sue another military member for slander and libel?

Usually, you could sue another member of the military. However, you would have to show proof that the other member has lied, which can turn into a very messy suit. In order for someone to slander you, they would have to, either orally or in writing, make false accusations about you that result in damage to your reputation. If the statements are true, this would not be considered slander, and would be a defense for the person that you sue for slander. In order for you to win a slander suit, you will have to prove that the other person made the statement, that the statement was a lie, and that because of the statement, your reputation is damaged and you have lost money as a result (loss of clients, loss of work, etc.). You may consider pressing the command to charge and prosecute the people involved for false statement. This command could press the case and it would be free of charge. If you still decide to sue, you are going to need an attorney.

Is there any regulation or UCMJ article that prohibits or punishes slandering and defamation of character for the US Army?

Article 133—Conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman-- includes using insulting or defamatory language to another officer in that officer’s presence or about that officer to other military persons

You can read more at the following link: http://usmilitary.about.com/od/punitivearticles/a/mcm133.htm

How would slander or hostile work environment be investigated if the only evidence is hearsay?

Hearsay will not affect the outcome of an investigation. Your commanding officer will be in charge of an investigation to determine if the evidence is factual or false. There will be an investigation officer appointed to conduct interviews and review the facts. Once the investigator reviews all of the evidence and spoken to everyone involved, they will make recommendations based on his/her findings.

What is the maximum punishment via court martial for slander?

Under the UCMJ, there is no slander offense. There are false official statement which carries a punishment of a Dishonorable Discharge and 5 years. There are also several disrespect offenses made by a junior officer towards a senior officer (DD and 2 years). You can look through the Manual for Courts-Martial in your unit or base library. You should be able to find a list of offenses and the punishments for them.

Slander can ruin a person's reputation and livelihood. Many people want to know what rights they have when dealing with a slander issue. If you want to learn more about slander laws and military slander, you can ask an Expert. The Experts are experienced in military law and are able to offer solutions to your unique situation in an efficient and knowledgeable manner.
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Recent Slander Questions

  • I have a house in New Hampshire and am renting a room to a

    I have a house in New Hampshire and am renting a room to a tenant who is I believe is in the Army Reserves (although I have never actually seen documentation to prove this). She has been living in my house since Nov 2013 while I am on sabbatical in Australia. She has always been woefully late in paying rent, never sooner than 3 weeks after due date, and recently as much as 3.5 months late. In the instances where I actually have gotten a rent payment, it was not without having to send one or two dozen reminders by phone, email, text and messaging. In Mar 2014, she was in arrears for Jan-Mar rent which I finally got after serving her an eviction notice. She is now once again late with her rent payment, and just this week claims that she deserves special considerations because she is a disabled veteran who suffered a TBI in the war. This is the first time she ever mentioned this condition, and I have not seen documentation that she is a disabled vet. She is now making accusations to others that I am trying to evict her because she is a disabled veteran. I consider this a very serious accusation and it is completely untrue. I am trying to evict her because she doesn't pay her rent on time and without numerous reminders over several weeks each month. I am well within my rights to evict her in accordance with NH law.

    Can you tell me if she has any claim to special treatment as a tenant if indeed she is a DAV? And wouldn't that require some sort of documentation from her and shouldn't that have been disclosed at the time we signed the lease agreement back in Oct 2013? And what can I do about these accusations that she is making that I am kicking her about because of her disability?
  • I have been in South Korea for one year and 8 months. I am

    I have been in South Korea for one year and 8 months. I am trying desperately to get out of this unit or this place because it has really affected my morale. I am starting to get very depressed and I do not trust anyone anymore due to some recent events involving getting sexually taken advantage of and also slander saying that I slept with two guys when I actually got taken advantage of by one guy and the other guy was just there. I have done everything I can possibly do here at this duty station that I am supposed to. I have not gotten in trouble and I have actually ranked up fairly fast because i am considered a good soldier. I extended my tour in korea for another year using the Assignment incentive Pay that is avaliable to soldiers who want to extend. In July, I decided that I wanted to stay in Korea another year. THis would be my third year in Korea come January. However, due to these recent events, I want to cancel my second AIP and move to any CONUS location. I do not want to go the SHARP route and get this soldier in trouble for what he did because it will not help. I say this because it will not solve the problem of having a bad reputation within this batallion. I am not going to go the SHARP route, but I really want to get out of this unit or cancel my AIP. THere are other reasons I want to cancel, such as because I just turned 20 years old and I barely even know how to live on my own. I went to South Korea when I was 18 and I am now 20. I am ETSing from the army in a year and 4 months and I am not ready to because I have been in Korea the whole time. I really need to experience other units and learn how to transition from the army to a civilian. I cannot do this if I am stationed in Korea another year. I am sure that I want to get out if I have to stay in Korea for another year. I may change my mind if I go to another unit. Korea has emotionally drained me so much and I have lost confident in the army and the people that I work with. I am sure that if I have to stay here another year, I will definitely be done with the army. I really just want a fresh start. I have been in Korea for almost 2 years and I just want to experience something new and maybe build my confidence in the army again. Thank you.
  • Hi, I am a E-4 with a little over 4 years in and my PSG is

    Hi, I am a E-4 with a little over 4 years in and my PSG is putting me in for a company grade Article 15, probably for patterns of misconduct. The two events that happened all happened in the same week. 1st one being I did not have my side plates in my kit when my platoon went to the range (currently deployed right now). I took them out too adjust my kit and forgot to put them back in, but I'm tracking that it was no ones fault but my own, I did the corrective training and moved out. The 2nd event however, had a story leading up to it. The certain FOB that my platoon was on at the time had a rule, EVERYONE must fill up a sandbag before you enter the chow hall.

    So another soldier and myself went to breakfast, started filling our sandbags when we both notice our PL and PSG skipping filling them up and going right on in. We think ok whatever and get done filling ours up and go inside. As I am eating my PSG asks my buddy who I was with if he filled his sand bag. My buddy says roger, waits a sec and asks him if he filled his. Which he replies yea I filled 2 of them, so my buddy comes back and tells me and we go to our bay.

    Later on in the bay I talk to my buddy who witnessed the incident with me and another soldier, both of whom are PFC's. I tell the same story to the other soldier with my friend present just as I typed it. I did not slander, call names, or bad mouth either leader in anyway. I just told that story. Well the PSG overhears me, yells come here m*$&%^#&$^#r and proceeds to chew me out. Saying I was talking s*&t about him to his soldiers and calling him a liar. He tells me to go get my squad leader and tell him what I said. So I did just that and without changing my story I told him, in which made my PSG even more angry. Then while yelling at me accused me of being disrespectful by my mannerism's. Which of he had to of misinterpreted because all I was doing was standing at parade rest and answering roger sgt or negative sgt. In no way would I try and be disrespectful because I know that would only hurt me more. Since the squad leader and PSG are friends he told me later on when I got counseled that, that was how I was being disrespectful. So they got me on mannerism's.

    My counseling stated that I was talking disrespectfully XXXXX XXXXX SNCO and calling him a liar. Also that I was complaining to soldiers of a lower rank than myself and when he confronted me about it I was disrespectful (mannerism's).

    The 2 soldiers I mentioned are my witnesses, 1 stating that we both saw what we saw. And both ready to state that when I told the story I did not say anything slandering my senior leaders or told the story in a disrespectful manner. I was simply just trying to deiced if it was worth it or not to mention to my team leader. I did my corrective training and I did it well, plus so extra details, however the PSG still flagged me. Both my team leader and squad leader say Im doing good and when I brought the flag to their attention they went to go talk to the PSG to have it removed, they come back a hour later to tell me the he is pushing for a company grade.

    Everyone I talk too says it looks personal, honestly I feel like I am getting punished for telling the truth. And it wasn't that I was being disrespectful, they just didn't like that I stuck to my story. I like my PSG and think he's a great NCO, but I guess I just really set him off and his mind is made up no matter what good I do.

    With my witnesses and the only evidence they have for my so called disrespect is mannerism's, I am considering requesting trial by court-martial. What do you think?
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