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Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM)

What is MCM

Also known as a Manual for Courts-Martial, MCM is a certified handbook to the behavior of Courts-martial in the United States Military. An Executive Order of the President , the MCM and expands on the military bylaw in the Uniform Code of Military Justice also known as (UCMJ). The MCM has five parts and 27 appendices. When people are faced with situations concerning military justice, they can ask the Experts for advice. Listed below are five of the top questions for courts-martial.

If someone received a field grade article 15 during their deployment from a battalion, they fell under during their deployment. They left and they fell under another battalion. Is that Article 15 still active?

In most situations yes, if the individual gets an Article 15 and was penalized that penalty is "effective" meaning it is in the individual’s record. The individual could check their record and they should be able to see if it was recorded. If it was not properly recorded, then the commander that imposed the article is the one who would have to set it aside.

Is there a statute of limitations on positive urinalyses?

In Chapter five of the Manual for Courts-Martial, they say two year from the offense to Article 15. In the UCMJ, the SOL is 5 years. For more helpful information, people can ask the military Lawyers for insights and solutions.

Define an illegal order, and who determines the order is illegal?

The most direct definition is an order that directs a service member to engage in an action that violates the law. The courts determine whether the order was legal or not when the service member is prosecuted for violating an order or for some misconduct where they assert that they were “just following orders.”

The Manual for Courts-Martial states: “an order requiring the performance of a military duty or act may be inferred to be lawful and it is disobeyed at the peril of the subordinate. This inference does not apply to a patently illegal order, such as one that directs the commission of a crime.”

The seminal case for the consequences of following an illegal order and how an illegal order is to be determined is the Calley case for the massacre of civilians in Vietnam. The Court’s decision can be read at:

Based on this excerpt from the manual for courts martial, is the non-judicial punishment authority limited in awarding punishment if the captain’s mast is conducted publicly? However, nothing in this subparagraph requires special arrangements being made to facilitate access to the proceeding.

There is no limit on the punishment that can be awarded at non-judicial punishment merely because the public is not present or otherwise does not have access. Although the language of the paragraph might indicate otherwise, the final phrase “..Nothing in this subparagraph requires special arrangements to be made to facilitate access to the proceeding,” operates to allow the NJP authority to award whatever punishment their position gives them the right to.

What is the maximum punishment via Courts Martial for slander?

There is no specific crime of "Slander" in the UCMJ. The closest that the individual may be able to come across could be a false official statement (DD and five years), or various disrespect offenses by a junior to a senior, that will depend on the situation (DD and two). The individual’s unit and base library would keep a copy of the Manual for Courts-Martial. The individual can review all of the various types of offenses and their punishments in there.

Manual for Courts-Martial has widely varied and complex topics. When faced with questions concerning Military Law whether it’s about statues of limitations, or discharge, or if any additional questions should come up consulting with an Expert can help with any questions fast and effectively rectify the issue.
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