UCMJ Article 134

UCMJ Article 117

Provoking Speeches or Gestures

The Manual for Courts-Martial states any service member may be subject to prosecution if they use provoking or reproachful words or gestures towards any other service member or person subject to the UCMJ.

In order to be convicted, the prosecution must demonstrate:

  • accused wrongfully used words or gestures toward a certain person;
  • the words or gestures used were provoking or reproachful; and
  • the person toward whom the words or gestures were used was a person subject to the UCMJ.


Understanding Article 117 (Provoking Speeches or Gestures) of the UCMJ

Provoking and reproachful describe words or gestures, used in the presence of the person at whom they are directed, which a reasonable person would expect to induce a disturbance of the peace.  Reprimands, censures, reproofs, etc., are not considered provoking or reproachful when properly administered in the interests of training, efficiency, or discipline of those in the armed forces.
It is not necessary for the accused to have had knowledge that the person, to whom the words or gestures were directed, is a person who is subject to the UCMJ.


Maximum Possible Punishment for Violations of Article 117

Service members convicted of a violation of Article 117 face a maximum possible punishment of confinement for 6 months and forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for 6 months.


How do you defend against Article 117 Provoking Speeches or Gestures charges?

When you are facing the combined resources of the military as well as the current cultural climate, you need to be prepared to defend your career and your freedom. Crisp and Associates, LLC has a team of experienced trial attorneys, with more than 75 years of combined experience, who have won these types of cases. This team includes the firm’s founder, Jonathan Crisp, a highly respected and sought-after attorney, speaker, and lecturer, who has served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) since 1998 and entered private practice in 2007.


If you, or someone you know, is facing Article 117 charges for Provoking Speeches or Gestures, you need to speak with a Military defense attorney right away. We understand what is at risk, and we know how to protect your career, your freedom, and your future. Please call Crisp and Associates Military at 888-258-1653 for a free consultation.

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