Jonathan W. Crisp, Owner of Crisp and Associates LLC, weighs in on Non-Judicial Punishment


Fact vs. Myth


Article 15s/Mast/Non-judicial punishment can have almost as devastating of an effect on one’s career as an actual court-martial. The effect it can have is often dictated by the current OPTEMPO and command climate. For example, from 2000 until 2003 receiving and being convicted at an Article 15 was the first step in a service member’s exit from the military. But, from approximately 2003 until about 2010, an Article 15 was not a career killer because the services needed bodies. However, as the services have drawn down, they have looked for ways to reduce service members and conviction at NJP has been one of them and still is.

Do you trust command?

In nineteen years of defending Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines, I have often been asked about turning down NJP. It is not a decision I advise one take lightly and will often ask the individual if they trust their command for a fair hearing. Without that trust then the decision becomes easier. But, you still have to look at the relative strengths and weaknesses of the case before making that final call.

Recent case

I recently had the pleasure of representing an E-7 in the Army who turned down her Article 15. Paramount in her decision was her belief she would not get a fair hearing and that only zealous investigation and cross examination of the witnesses against her would succeed. She was right. (, Stars and Stripes). We at Crisp and Associates have advised many hundreds of service members regarding the decision to turn down an Article 15 and have also successfully defended them once that decision was made.

If you or someone you know is facing Non-Judicial Punishment in the military, it is critical that you understand your options and have someone on your side to help your fight for your career. The experienced attorneys at Crisp and Associates have over 30 years of combined experience representing military members and advising Commanders at all levels of command. If you are facing adverse action, Non-Judicial Punishment, administrative separation, or court-martial call Crisp and Associates, LLC at 1-888-342-9582 for a free consultation.