Military Law: Good Order and Discipline

Imagine being charged with adultery under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

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When attending DCO (direct commission officer) school at Pensacola, Florida we were introduced to the corpus juris of the UCMJ.  Perhaps  one thing that was drilled into our heads – like bore holes for Crutchfield tongs – is that a major infraction can be piggybacked with “lesser included offenses”.  The officer (or enlisted) member can be dispatched from duty faster than a tugboat loaded with sh-t  heads out from a harbor port.

We don’t like any stench within the ranks causing erosion of good order and discipline, which is the hallmark of a professional standing army. Adultery effects job performance. The focus and priority changes.

At one point in my career I had wield the gavel against an enlisted sailor working in an area where I functioned as the department head.  His secret clearance had come up for review and a discovery was made of inappropriate sexual behavior.  The behavior was anchored with a psychiatric component. My decision destroyed a career Navy man nearing the finish line for retirement.  It was with great sadness that my opinion was leveraged by the OIC of our detachment to release the sailor from duty. But the decision was made with great compassion.  Such a man, would have not have lasted long within a combat environment. His behavior had components of anxiety disorder.

It must also be noted that the forward movement of charges against a member is preceded by a warning in private quarters.  We know what you are doing. Please extricate yourself from this situation; in other words, show the character required for good order and discipline on a personal level.

But this man?  Hmmm

This tugboat had a heavy load


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