UCMJ Articles

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is the bedrock of military law. The UCMJ is a federal law, enacted by Congress. The UCMJ articles define in detail specific outlawed offenses and their repercussions for service members.


UCMJ Article 78: Accessory After the Fact

The accused must have had knowledge of the crime committed and must have done something to benefit the offender AFTER the crime was committed.  The benefits could range from something as simple as offering the offender a “safe place to stay” to something as complex as assisting the principal in destroying evidence. Learn More


UCMJ Article 79: Conviction of Offense Charged, lesser Included Offenses, and Attempts

Conviction of Offense Charged, Lesser Included Offenses, and Attempts- Article 79 of the UCMJ includes an array of charges that may be divided into four …Learn More


UCMJ Article 80: Attempts

A service member may be charged with a violation of Article 80 if they intentionally attempted to commit a crime that was executed unsuccessfully. Learn More


UCMJ Article 81: Conspiracy

The objective of the conspiracy must be a violation of the UCMJ and the act itself must be an incident separate from the agreement. The offense may or may not be criminal, but it must be a result of the agreement between the parties involved. Learn More


UCMJ Article 82: Soliciting Commission of Offenses

According to the MCM, a service member may be subject to prosecution under Article 82 if they solicit or give advice regarding an offense outlined in the UCMJ. Learn More


UCMJ Article 83: Malingering

In order to be prosecuted for Malingering, a service member must have purposely committed an act or acts that directly resulted in their not being able to fulfill their military responsibilities or expectations. Learn More


UCMJ Article 84: Breach of Medical Quarantine

There is a difference between a service member being confined to quarters and being under medical quarantine. A service member who has been ordered into a medical quarantine was ordered to do so due to their possible exposure to a communicable contagion. Learn More


UCMJ Article 85: Desertion

Desertion is completed when the service member leaves their unit, organization, or place of duty without authority and with the intent to remain away permanently. Changing their mind and returning in a timely manner is not a defense. Learn More


UCMJ Article 86: Absence Without Leave

Absence Without Leave (AWOL) in the military is addressed under Article 86 of the UCMJ. The scope of Article 86 covers any case not addressed in another Article in which a service member is, through the service member’s own fault, not at the place where the member…Learn More


UCMJ Article 87: Missing Movement; Jumping From Vessel

In order to be convicted of a violation of Article 87, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the accused was absent during “a move, transfer, or shift of a ship, aircraft, or unit involving a substantial distance and period of time.” Learn More


UCMJ Article 87b: Offenses Against Correctional Custody and Restriction

Article 87b of the MCM states a service member may be subject to prosecution if they, escape from correctional custody, breach of correctional custody, or breach of restriction. Learn More


UCMJ Article 88: Contempt Toward Officials

The MCM states any service member may be prosecuted under Article 88 (Contempt Toward Officials) if they use “contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Security, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present.” Learn More


UCMJ Article 89: Disrespect Toward Superior Commissioned Officer; Assault of Superior Commissioned Officer

A military service member may be subject to prosecution for a violation of Article 89 (Assault of a Superior Commissioned Officer) if they strike their superior commissioned officer or draw or lift up any weapon or offer any violence against that officer while the officer is in the execution of the officer’s office. Learn More


UCMJ Article 90: Willfully Disobeying Superior Commissioned Officer

The MCM states under Article 90 (Willfully Disobeying Superior Commissioned Officer) any service member may be prosecuted if they willfully and purposely disobey the lawful command of that service member’s superior commissioned officer. Learn More


UCMJ Article 91: Insubordinate Conduct Toward Warrant Officer, Noncommissioned Officer, or Petty Officer

The purpose of Article 91 is to protect warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officers from disrespect and violence as well as ensuring obedience to their lawful orders. In order to be charged with a violation of Article 91, the accused was aware the victim was a warrant, noncommissioned or petty officer. The accused must have also struck, assaulted, disobeyed, or disrespected the officer. Learn More


UCMJ Article 92: Failure to Obey Order or Regulation

In order to be prosecuted for an Article 92 violation of or failure to obey a lawful general order or regulation, the order must have been given by someone with the authority to do so and the order retained validity after a change of command. The order or regulation must have been lawful and enforceable. Learn More


UCMJ Article 93: Cruelty and Maltreatment

The term “any person subject to his orders” protects those not only under the direct or immediate command of the accused, but also all persons who, by reason of some duty, are required to obey the lawful orders of the accused. Those who are required to follow the lawful orders may or may not be subject to the UCMJ. Learn More


UCMJ Article 93a: Prohibited Activities with Military Recruit or Trainee by Person in Position of Special Trust

The purpose of Article 93a is to protect those recruits or trainees who may be vulnerable to authority figures in a training environment. While military law does allow trainers, recruiters, instructors, and officers a degree of control over those under their supervision, it is imperative their relationship and behavior remain appropriate. Learn More


UCMJ Article 94: Mutiny or Sedition

There are two types of mutiny defined in Article 94 but both require an attempt to “usurp or override military authority”. Learn More


UCMJ Article 95: Offenses by sentinel or lookout

The behaviors specified in Article 95, drunk on post, asleep on post, or leaving post before being relieved does not apply to those who are not assigned as a sentinel or lookout, nor does it apply to anyone who’s duties do not require constant alertness and attentiveness. Learn More


UCMJ Article 95a: Disrespect toward sentinel or lookout

Disrespectful behavior is that which detracts from the respect due the sentinel or lookout. It may consist of acts or language, however expressed, and it is irrelevant if the accused referred to the sentinel or lookout while on duty or as a private individual. Disrespect by words may be conveyed by abusive epithets or other contemptuous, derogatory, or denunciatory language. Learn More


UCMJ Article 96: Release of prisoner without authority; drinking with prisoner

A prisoner is anyone who is in confinement, custody, or under sentence of a court martial. The release of the prisoner can only occur if the removal of restraints was conducted by the accused, not the prisoner. Normally, the lowest authority permitted to order the release of a prisoner is that of the commander who convened the prisoner’s court martial or the officer exercising general court martial jurisdiction over the prisoner. Learn More


UCMJ Article 97: Unlawful detention

Article 97 is designed to prohibit improper acts by those authorized by the UCMJ to arrest, apprehend, or confine others. This article does not apply to private acts of false imprisonment nor the restraint of another’s movements by someone not authorized by the UCMJ to do so. Learn More


UCMJ Article 98: Misconduct as a Prisoner

“Acting without authority to the detriment of another for the purpose for securing favorable treatment” and “maltreating prisoners while in a position of authority” must have been committed during a time of war and while the accused was in the hands of the enemy; however, there are additional qualifiers for each charge. Learn More


UCMJ Article 99: Misbehavior Before the Enemy

For the purposes of Article 99, enemy refers to any organized oppositional forces in a time of war or any hostile opposing body with whom our forces may be engaged. The term enemy includes civilians as well as members of opposing military organizations. Learn More


UCMJ Article 100: Subordinate Compelling Surrender

Compelling surrender and attempting to compel surrender require the surrender or abandonment must be compelled or attempted to be compelled through actions, not words. Compelling surrender requires the place, military property, or command to be abandoned or given up for the offense to be complete. Learn More


UCMJ Article 101: Improper Use of Countersign

A countersign is a word, signal, or procedure handed down from the command at the principal headquarters to assist guards and sentinels in the identification of individuals authorized to pass through the lines during a time of war. It normally consists of a challenge and a password, signal, or procedure. A parole is the words used to check the countersign. It is given to those who are authorized to inspect guards and the commanders of guards. Learn More


UCMJ Article 102: Forcing a Safeguard

The purpose of a safeguard is to pledge the honor of the nation that the person or property shall be respected by the national armed forces. The forcing of a safeguard is the commission of an act or acts that are in violation of the protection of the safeguard. Learn More


UCMJ Article 103: Spies

The words “any person” in the text of the statute effectively brings any person who commits spying under the jurisdiction of general courts-martial and military commissions no matter their nationality or status. In order for the offense to be committed, the accused must have been acting clandestinely or under false pretenses with the express intent of obtaining information to convey to a hostile party. Learn More


UCMJ Article 103a: Espionage

The accused must have intended for or had reason to believe the information or documentation provided to the other party would be used to either harm the United States or to give an advantage to a foreign nation. Learn More


UCMJ Article 103b: Aiding the Enemy

Aiding or attempting to aid the enemy refers to the transfer of arms, ammunition, supplies, money, etc. to an enemy, this does not include the furnishing of subsistence, quarters, comforts, or aid that is lawfully entitled to prisoners of war. Learn More


UCMJ Article 104: Public Records Offenses

The public records included in a public records offense are any and all records, reports, statements, or data compilations, in any form, of public offices or agencies, outlining or detailing the activities of the office or agency, or matters observed pursuant to duty imposed by law as to which matters there was a duty to report. These records also include classified matters. Learn More


UCMJ Article 104a: Fraudulent enlistment, appointment, or separation

A fraudulent enlistment, appointment, or separation is one in which the accused knowingly and willingly falsified or concealed elements or matters specific to the qualifications prescribed by law, regulation, or orders for a specific enlistment, appointment, or separation. This may include information used by a recruiting, appointing, or separating officer in reaching a decision regarding enlistment, appointment, or separation in a specific case. Learn More


UCMJ Article 104b: Unlawful enlistment, appointment, or separation

Article 104b refers to an enlistment, appointment, or separation that was prohibited by law, regulation, or order when it was made and that the accused knew that the person enlisted, appointed, or separated was ineligible. Learn More


UCMJ Article 105: Forgery

Forgery may be committed either by falsely making a writing or by knowingly uttering a falsely made writing. There are three elements common to both aspects of forgery: a writing falsely made or altered; an apparent capability of the writing as falsely made or altered to impose a legal liability on another or to change another’s legal rights or liabilities to that person’s prejudice; and an intent to defraud. Learn More


UCMJ Article 105a: False or Unauthorized Pass Offenses

For the purposes of this article, Military or official pass, permit, discharge certificate, or identification card includes, as well as the more usual forms of these documents, all documents issued by any governmental agency for the purpose of identification and copies thereof. If any of these documents are deemed false or unauthorized and the accused possessed them with the intent to defraud or deceive, they are subject to prosecution. Learn More


UCMJ Article 106: Impersonation of Officer, Noncommissioned or Petty Officer, or Agent or Official

The impersonation does not depend upon the accused deriving a benefit from the deception or upon some third party being misled, although this is an aggravating factor. The factor of willfulness refers to the accused having knowledge they are falsely presenting themselves as someone they are not. Learn More


UCMJ Article 106a: Wearing unauthorized insignia, decoration, badge, ribbon, device, or lapel button

Authorization of the wearing of a military insignia, decoration, badge, ribbon, device, or lapel pin is governed by Department of Defense and Service regulations. The wearing of an item is not unauthorized if the circumstances reveal it to be in jest or for an innocent or legitimate purpose. The wearing of an item is “wrongful” where it is intentional, and the accused knew they did not have a legal justification or excuse to wear the item. Learn More


UCMJ Article 107: False Official Statements; False Swearing

The MCM states under Article 107 (False Official Statements; False Swearing) any service member may be prosecuted for false official statements if they:

  1. sign any false record, return, regulation, order, or other official document, knowing it to be false; or
  2. make any other false official statement knowing it to be false.

Learn More


UCMJ Article 107a: Parole Violation

In return for giving his or her word of honor to abide by a parole plan and conditions of parole, the prisoner is granted parole. A parole violation is committed when the parolee violates the conditions or terms of parole. Learn More


UCMJ Article 108: Military Property of the United States – Loss, Damage, Destruction, or Wrongful Disposition

Value and damage vary and is determined by calculating the amount of damage and the estimated or actual cost of repair by the Government agency normally employed in such work, or the cost of replacement, as shown by Government price lists or otherwise, whichever is less. In the case of loss, destruction, sale, or wrongful disposition, the value of the property controls the maximum punishment which may be adjudged. In the case of damage, the amount of damage controls. Learn More


UCMJ Article 108a: Captured or Abandoned Property

Every person subject to military law has an immediate duty to take steps that are reasonably within that person’s power to secure public property for the service of the United States and to protect it from destruction or loss. Immediately upon its capture from the enemy public property becomes the property of the United States. Neither the person who takes it nor any other person has any private right in this property. Learn More


UCMJ Article 109: Property Other Than Military Property of United States—Waste, Spoilage, or Destruction

The wasting or spoiling non-military property section of Article 109 refers to the willful or reckless waste or spoliation of the real property of another individual. The terms wastes and spoils refer to acts of voluntary destruction of or permanent damage to property. This destruction is punishable whether done willfully, intentionally, recklessly, or is through a culpable disregard of the foreseeable consequences. Learn More


UCMJ Article 109a: Mail Matter: Wrongful Taking, Opening, Etc.

The purpose of Article 109a is to protect the mail and mail system. Mail matter refers to any matter deposited in a postal system of any government or any authorized depository or in official mail channels of the United States or an agency of the United States including the armed forces. The monetary value of the mail matter is irrelevant. Learn More


UCMJ Article 110: Improper Hazarding of Vessel or Aircraft

The hazard must have been committed willfully and wrongfully, meaning intentionally and contrary to law, regulation, lawful order, or custom. Negligence is the failure to exercise the care, prudence, or attention to duties which the interests of the Government require a prudent and reasonable person to exercise under the circumstances. Learn More


UCMJ Article 111: Leaving Scene of Vehicle Accident

Article 111 covers “hit and run” situations where there is damage to property other than the driver’s vehicle or injury to someone other than the driver or a passenger in the driver’s vehicle. It also covers accidents caused by the accused, even if the accused’s vehicle does not contact other people, vehicles, or property. Actual knowledge of an accident is required; however, circumstantial evidence may be used to prove such knowledge. Learn More


UCMJ Article 112: Drunkenness and Other Incapacitation Offenses

Drunk on duty refers to a state of alcohol intoxication that sufficiently impairs the service member from fulfilling their duties with rational and full exercise of their mental or physical faculties. This charge applies only if the accused was actually on duty when the transgression occurred. Learn More


UCMJ Article 112a: Wrongful Use, Possession, etc. of Controlled Substances

Drug offenses in the military are addressed under Article 112a of the UCMJ. According to the article itself, “Any person subject to this chapter who wrongfully uses, possesses, manufactures, distributes, imports into the customs territory of the United States… Learn More


UCMJ Article 113: Drunken or Reckless Operation of a Vehicle, Aircraft, or Vessel

In order to establish causation, the accused’s drunken or reckless driving must be a proximate cause of injury for the accused to be guilty of drunken or reckless driving resulting in personal injury. Their actions may not be the sole cause of the injury, but rather serve as a contributing factor. Learn More


UCMJ Article 120: Rape and Sexual Assault Generally

A service member of the United States Armed Forces who rapes, sexually assaults, or physically abuses or threatens to abuse another person with sexual contact, groping or unwanted sexual advances will be charged under Article 120 of the UCMJ. Learn More


UCMJ Article 120b: Rape and Sexual Assault of a Child

A military member who rapes, sexually assaults, or physically abuses or threatens to abuse a child under the age of 16 years old will face charges under Article 120b of the UCMJ. Learn More


UCMJ Article 120c: Other Sexual Misconduct

Crimes related to sexual misconduct that do not fall under the categories of sexual assault or rape are prosecuted under Article 120c of the UCMJ. A military member accused of voyeurism, taping and distributing pornography, indecent exposure, or forcible pandering, will be subject to prosecution under Article 120c of the UCMJ. Learn More


UCMJ Article 128: Assault

Military crimes that involve attempts or the completed act of bringing unlawful violence upon another person are charged as assault under Article 128 of the UCMJ. Learn More


UCMJ Article 133: Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman

Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman in the military is addressed under Article 133 of the UCMJ. According to the article itself, “There are certain moral attributes common to the ideal officer and perfect gentleman, a lack of which is indicated by acts of dishonesty, unfair dealing, indecency, indecorum, lawlessness, injustice, or cruelty. Learn More


UCMJ Article 134: Adultery

Adultery in the military is addressed under Article 134 of the UCMJ, also known as the “General Article,” which is a list of prohibited conduct that is of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces or is prejudicial to good order and discipline. Learn More


UCMJ Article 134: Fraternization

Fraternization in the military is addressed under Article 134 of the UCMJ, also known as the “General Article,” which is a list of prohibited conduct that is of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces or is prejudicial to good order and discipline. Learn More


See a full list of UCMJ Articles or learn more about UCMJ and how it applies to varies branches and members of the military.