UCMJ Article 87b

UCMJ Article 91

Insubordinate Conduct Toward Warrant Officer, Noncommissioned Officer, or Petty Officer


The MCM states a service member may be charged with a violation of Article 91 Insubordinate Conduct Toward Warrant Officer, Noncommissioned Officer, or Petty Officer if they:

  1. strikes or assaults a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer, while that officer is in the execution of his office;
  2. willfully disobeys the lawful order of a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer; or
  3. treats with contempt or is disrespectful in language or deportment toward a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer, while that officer is in the execution of his office.

In order to prosecute the accused for a violation of Article 91, by striking or assault, the prosecution must prove:

  1. the accused was a warrant officer or enlisted member;
  2. the accused struck or assaulted a certain warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer;
  3. that the striking or assault was committed while the victim was in the execution of office; and
  4. that the accused then knew that the person struck or assaulted was a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer.

If the victim was the superior noncommissioned officer or petty officer of the accused, the prosecution must also demonstrate:

  1. that the victim was the superior noncommissioned, or petty officer of the accused; and
  2. that the accused then knew that the person struck or assaulted was the accused’s superior noncommissioned, or petty officer.

If the accused is being prosecuted for disobeying a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer, the prosecution must demonstrate that the accused:

  1. was a warrant officer or enlisted member;
  2. the accused was a warrant officer or enlisted member;
  3. the accused struck or assaulted a certain warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer;
  4. that the striking or assault was committed while the victim was in the execution of office; and
  5. that the accused then knew that the person struck or assaulted was a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer.

The accused may be prosecuted for treating with contempt or disrespect of a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer or petty officer if the prosecution can prove:

  1. that the accused was a warrant officer or enlisted member;
  2. that the accused did or omitted certain acts, or used certain language;
  3. that such behavior or language was used toward and within sight or hearing of a certain warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer;
  4. that the accused then knew that the person toward whom the behavior or language was directed was a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer;
  5. that the victim was then in the execution of office; and
  6. that under the circumstances the accused, by such behavior or language, treated with contempt or was disrespectful to said warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer.

If the victim was the superior noncommissioned or petty officer of the accused, the prosecution must also demonstrate:

  1. that the victim was the superior noncommissioned, or petty officer of the accused; and
  2. that the accused then knew that the person toward whom the behavior or language was directed was the accused’s superior noncommissioned, or petty officer.

 

Understanding Article 91 (Insubordinate Conduct Toward Warrant Officer, Noncommissioned Officer, or Petty Officer) of the UCMJ

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.  In order for disrespect or deportment to be charged, the accused must have been within sight or hearing of the victim.

 

Maximum Possible Punishment for Violations of Article 91

The maximum possible punishment for violations of Article 91 vary according to the specifics of the charge.

If the accused is convicted of striking or assaulting warrant officer the possible punishment includes a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 5 years.

If the accused if found guilty of striking or assaulting superior noncommissioned or petty officer they face a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 3 years.

Striking or assaulting other noncommissioned or petty officer carries a maximum possible punishment of a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 1 year.

The punishment for willfully disobeying the lawful order of a warrant officer consists of a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 2 years.

Willfully disobeying the lawful order of a noncommissioned or petty officer may result in a bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 1 year.

If the accused is convicted of contempt or disrespect to warrant officer the penalty includes a bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 9 months.

A conviction of contempt or disrespect to superior noncommissioned or petty officer may result in a bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 6 months.

Contempt or disrespect to other noncommissioned or petty officer may result in a forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for 3 months, and confinement for 3 months.

 

How do you defend against Article 91 Insubordinate Conduct Toward Warrant Officer, Noncommissioned Officer, or Petty Officer 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 who have won these cases. This team includes the firm’s founder, Jonathan Crisp, a highly respected former Army JAG with over 17 years of experience in military law and a sought-after speaker and lecturer on military law. In 2015 the firm recruited R. Davis Younts, a former prosecutor who was the number one rated Senior Defense Counsel in the Air Force and has taught at the Army and Air Force JAG Schools and successfully achieved acquittals in multiple rape, sexual assault, and sexual contact cases in courts-martial in multiple branches of the service.

If you or someone you know is facing Article 91 charges for Insubordinate Conduct Toward Warrant Officer, Noncommissioned Officer, or Petty Officer, you need to speak with a Military defense attorney right away. Please call Crisp and Associates Military at 888-258-1653 for a free consultation.

View more UCMJ Articles.