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*FM 27-14


This manual introduces you to the military legal office—the

office of the staff judge advocate. It also discusses the law as it
affects you as a soldier in the United States Army.
Law in the Army does not deal with only crimes and
punishments. In fact, only a few soldiers will ever undergo
court-martial or appear before a disciplinary board. You might
want to know about your right to take a job while off duty or to
attend a political rally, however. You may need help with state
or federal income tax returns, wish to be repaid for personal
property damage while on duty, wish to have a will or power of
attorney written, or wish to have some legal papers explained.
This manual addresses many such questions.
This manual will not make you an expert in the law, and you
should not use it to be your own lawyer. It does, however,
address various areas of law so that you can recognize whether
you have a problem and in what cases you should discuss it
with an attorney at the staff judge advocate’s office.
The proponent of this publication is The Judge Advocate
General’s School, US Army. Send comments and
recommendations on DA Form 2028 (Recommended Changes to
Publications and Blank Forms) directly to Commandant, The
Judge Advocate General’s School, US Army, ATTN: JAGS-
ADA, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-1781.

Unless this publication states otherwise, masculine nouns and pronouns

do not refer exclusively to men.

Restrictions, Responsibilities,
and Rights


official duty. Working for a bookie is an exam-

Service in the armed forces carries with it ple of an off-duty job that could discredit the
a responsibility to the government and the Army. You must obtain written permission
American people that occasionally restricts from your commander to work off duty for
your private and public activities. This chap- nonappropriated-fund activities on the installa-
ter discusses how regulations restrict your tion. Examples of such activities include the
freedom of action. It also presents ways to post exchange, officers club, noncommissioned
avoid conflicts between your personal inter- officers club, enlisted club, bowling alley, library,
ests and your responsibility to the Army and and rod-and-gun club. You may not work off
discusses your responsibilities as a citizen. post in areas where jobs are generally scarce
and where your employment would deprive
Finally, it discusses the benefits that you local civilians with the same job skills. Also,
have by virtue of military service, to include you may not accept employment with a civil-
free legal advice under the Legal Assistance ian employer after the employer becomes in-
Program. Thus, this chapter deals with re- volved in a strike. However, if you are already
strictions and responsibilities in the conduct on the payroll when a strike begins, you may
of your personal affairs and your rights as a usually continue working.
member of the military.
You may not accept gifts from junior mili-
RESTRICTIONS tary or civilian personnel unless the gifts meet
The following paragraphs address restric- the following criteria:
tions on your private activities. They are given voluntarily.
They are worth $180 or less and have sen-
SELLING TO OTHER SOLDIERS timental value to the recipient.
You may work as a salesclerk in a retail store. They are given on a special occasion such as a
Otherwise, you may not sell goods or services marriage, illness, reassignment, or retirement.
to other soldiers who are junior to you in grade,
on or off post, in or out of uniform, and on or
off duty. The sale of goods and services includes ACCEPTING GRATUITIES
but is not limited to the sale of insurance, stocks, You may not accept gratuities from business-
mutual funds, and real estate. However, you men and private companies that either do or
may sell your own personal property or home seek to do business with the Army or the Depart-
on a one-time basis to a junior soldier. ment of Defense. Exceptions include unsolic-
ited advertising and promotional items that
WORKING WHILE OFF DUTY have a retail value of less than $10.
Off-duty employment, or moonlighting, is
permissible if it does not interfere with official USING GOVERNMENT PROPERTY
duties, does not bring discredit upon the Army, AND PERSONNEL
and does not violate basic ethical considerations. You may use government property only for
For example, if you work late at a civilian official business. If you are going to school dur-
job and then report for duty so tired that you ing off-duty time, for example, you may not use
cannot perform well, your job interferes with Army paper or an Army typewriter to prepare

FM 27-14

homework. This rule applies to all Army per- You may vote and express your opinions on
sonnel. It is equally improper for a military politics privately and informally. You may
superior to require junior soldiers to perform attend political rallies and political club meet-
personal duties for him. ings and may even join political clubs, but you
must never wear your uniform when partici-
GAMBLING pating in political activities. The reason is to
prevent the public from incorrectly assuming
You generally may not gamble while on that your participation represents the Army.
government-owned or -controlled property or You may not—
while on duty. Gambling includes lotteries,
pools, games for money or property, and the Seek election to a political office.
sale or purchase of number slips or tickets. Campaign for a political candidate.
Some gambling activities, however, are
allowed but only if specifically approved by Speak to political rallies or clubs.
Headquarters, Department of the Army. Hold office in political clubs.
Before participating in any gambling activity
on Army property or while on duty, you must DEMONSTRATING
ensure that the activity has proper approval Your uniformed attendance at a public dem-
from Headquarters, Department of the Army. onstration may also give the appearance that
the Army approves of or sponsors the demon-
USING MILITARY TITLES stration. To preclude this appearance, you may
You may not use your rank, position in the participate only when you are off duty. You
Army, or membership in the Army to endorse may not wear the Army uniform at any demon-
any business or any business’s product. For stration, and you may not—
example, you may not appear in uniform in a Attend a demonstration held on a military
television commercial to advertise for a local post.
business such as a used car company. Nor
may you appear in civilian clothes on a tele- Attend a demonstration in a foreign
vision commercial to advertise for a business country.
and say that you are a soldier. Similarly, you Participate in a demonstration where law
may not allow a business to advertise using and order might be breached, such as traffic
your name and rank. For example, a business being blocked or police being assaulted.
may not advertise in a local newspaper that
“SP4 Jones says he was very pleased with our DISTRIBUTING UNDERGROUND
company’s product.” Different rules apply to NEWSPAPERS
retired soldiers, however. Underground newspapers are not prohibited
if you produce them off post with your own time
EXPRESSING PERSONAL VIEWS and money. Mere possession of an underground
You have the same basic rights as all citizens. newspaper generally is not reason enough for
However, many rights, including the most basic the commander to take it from you. An installa-
right of freedom of expression, are different for tion commander may, however, require that you
you as soldiers because of the need for discipline. obtain his approval before you distribute under-
American tradition requires that soldiers will not ground newspapers on post. If the contents
publicly dispute civilian leaders. Also, freedom violate federal law, you may be disciplined for
of expression has limitations to prevent the pub- distributing them. You may not distribute a pub-
lic from attributing soldiers’ views to the Depart- lication that presents a clear danger to loyalty,
ment of the Army. For example, you may write discipline, or morale or that interferes with the
letters to editors giving your views, but you should accomplishment of a military mission without the
never identify yourself as speaking for the prior approval of the installation commander.
Army. You probably should not sign such letters
with your military rank and title. You may write
articles for publication but must get permission RESPONSIBILITIES
from your commander to publish articles on The following paragraphs discuss taxes and
foreign policy, military matters, or operation motor vehicle registration, which are your re-
of the national government. sponsibilities as a citizen.

FM 27-14

INCOME TAXES Certifiable Claims

You must comply with the income tax laws You may have a claim against the govern-
of your home state, or state of domicile. Regard- ment if—
less of whether your home state taxes your in- Missing property is stolen from government
come, you are not required to pay taxes on your quarters, from private quarters located out-
military pay to your duty state, or state of sta- side the United States, or from an autho-
tion, if it is different from your home state. You rized storage place. Warehouses, offices,
must, however, pay taxes on any nonmilitary hospitals, baggage holding areas, and unit
income to both your home state and the state supply rooms are examples of authorized
in which you earn the income. Your nonmili- storage places.
tary spouse may have to pay income taxes to
both your home state and your duty state. Property in government quarters or stor-
age is damaged or destroyed by fire, flood,
hurricane, theft, vandalism, or other un-
PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES usual occurrences. Hail damage to an auto-
You must pay personal property taxes on your mobile parked on post and damage caused to
solely owned personal property to only the home property in the barracks when a water pipe
state. Although many states grant credit for per- breaks are examples of unusual occurrences.
sonal property taxes paid to other states, prop- Property, including privately owned vehicles,
erty jointly owned by you and your spouse may is lost, damaged, or destroyed while trans-
be fully taxed by both your home state and your ported or stored under government orders.
duty state. Personal property solely owned by
your nonmilitary spouse may be taxed only in Property is lost, damaged, or destroyed as
the state where it is. Real property is taxed by a direct result of enemy action, riots directed
the state in which the property is located regard- against Americans overseas, soldiers giving
less of whether the owner is a soldier or a first aid in a public disaster, and soldiers saving
civilian. human lives or government property.
Money is lost after being delivered to an au-
thorized person as part of that person’s of-
MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION ficial duties. Safekeeping in the unit and
If you have registered or licensed your solely deposit in the Savings Deposit Program
owned motor vehicle in your home state, you are examples.
need not register the vehicle in your duty state. Property is lost or damaged due to wrong-
However, you may not avoid registration in your ful or negligent acts of Army agents.
duty state by registering it in a third state that
is neither your home state nor your duty state.
You may be required to comply with the safety Claims Procedures
inspection and emission control laws of the state Although you have every right to file a valid
where the vehicle is registered, the state where claim, filing a false claim is a crime. You must
the vehicle is located, or both. be prepared to prove your damage or loss. Con-
tact your unit claims officer when you believe
you have a claim against the government.
The following paragraphs address your If your unit does not have a unit claims officer,
talk to the claims judge advocate at the post
rights as a military member. judge advocate office. Claims for less than
$1,000 may be processed as small claims. Be-
REIMBURSEMENT FOR LOSSES cause this method is less formal, the investigat-
Congress has passed laws governing payment ing and processing may take only a short time.
to you for losses as a result of your military ser- If you do not agree with the amount allowed on
vice. Not all losses resulting from Army service your claim, you have the right to a review.
are reimbursable. For example, a loss that is
partly your fault is not reimbursable. Army
judge advocates around the world process LEGAL ASSISTANCE
claims under the supervision of the US Army When you discuss a problem with a legal as-
Claims Service. Army Regulation (AR) 27-20 sistance attorney, you create an attorney-client
covers the basic claims procedures. relationship. The attorney may not disclose

FM 27-14

information from his discussions with you with- financial position is substantially worse since
out your consent or unless extraordinary cir- you entered the service. In the absence of a mili-
cumstances exist involving criminal violation tary draft or a reserve component call-up, few
of the law. voluntarily enter the service if they will suffer
The Army provides free legal advice and ser- serious financial harm. Consequently, few of
vices to you and your family members on a num- those who voluntarily enter the Army will re-
ber of issues. Following is a discussion of the ceive this type of protection from the SSCRA.
most common of these.
Civilian Matters
Preparation of Wills Army attorneys may represent you in civilian
court to resolve your personal legal problems.
A legal assistance attorney may determine if For you to qualify, normal civilian legal fees
you need a will, may prepare a new will, and must create a substantial financial hardship
may review your existing will to ensure it is for you. Generally, married soldiers in the
up-to-date. grades of E-4 and below and single soldiers in
the grades of E-3 and below meet the require-
Powers of Attorney ments for financial hardship; soldiers in other
Your spouse may use a power of attorney to pay grades may also qualify based on their cir-
clear government quarters, to ship the family cumstances. Any soldier may check with the
car, or to cash your paycheck during your ab- legal assistance office to see if a court repre-
sence. Special powers of attorney are designed sentation program is available at his installa-
to confer limited authority for a short period and tion. The legal assistance attorney may also
do not pose a great risk to you. However, general be able to give you preliminary advice on civil-
powers of attorney can be quite dangerous be- ian criminal matters.
cause they give great power and are difficult
to revoke. Military Matters
In most cases, the legal assistance office does
Family Matters not defend you in military criminal matters and
Legal assistance attorneys can provide guid- administrative separation actions. Instead, trial
ance regarding the legal aspects of marriage and defense service attorneys help you with problems
divorce. Chaplains, counselors, and Army com- in these areas. At most installations, however,
munity service representatives can help you and the legal assistance attorneys can provide ad-
your family solve nonlegal problems in these vice concerning such administrative matters as
areas. If your marriage is not salvageable, the liability under reports of survey and appeals of
legal assistance attorney may advise you on adverse evaluation reports.
separation and divorce. Help is also available
at most offices on paternity matters, adoption, Court Appearances
support obligations, and name changes. The SSCRA permits you, if you are unable to
appear in court due to military service, to post-
Debts pone the proceedings until you can get leave. To
Commanders may initiate administrative or obtain such a delay, you must have tried diligent-
disciplinary action against you if you fail to pay ly to appear in court and must request a delay for
your just debts. Legal assistance attorneys can the shortest reasonable time. Although attending
advise you and your family about the lawfulness court is often quite difficult during wartime, get-
of alleged debts and can help you decide what ting leave to attend during peacetime is typically
course of action to take. Army community ser- not difficult. Judges are unlikely to grant you de-
vice offices provide financial and budget coun- lays merely for your convenience.
seling and can assist you in developing payment
plans and budgeting schemes. ASSISTANCE WITH
The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act NONLEGAL PROBLEMS
(SSCRA) provides some relief with respect to Not all problems are legal problems. You
loan interest rates and the payment of debts. should learn which command sections can
The protection only applies, however, if the debt help you find solutions. For example, the fi-
arose before your entry to active duty and your nance office handles pay problems, and the

FM 27-14

adjutant general’s office processes promotion Children’s welfare counseling.

questions. Appendix A shows which offices Emergency communication between you
can best help with specific problems. and your family when regular communi-
cation facilities are inadequate.
Emergency Services
Several emergency services are available to Emergency Leave or Compassionate
you to handle crises. The Army Community Reassignment
Services Program provides information, as- Emergency leave and, in many cases, space-
sistance, and guidance to you and your depend- required transportation on military aircraft may
ents in meeting personal and family problems be available in the event of a death in your im-
beyond the scope of your own resources and mediate family or other urgent personal prob-
capabilities. It administers the Army’s Family lems. You may qualify for a compassionate
Advocacy Program, which seeks to promote reassignment if you can show evidence that—
a healthy family life for you and your family An extreme family problem exists that you
and to prevent spousal and child abuse. The can solve only by reassignment and not by
Army emergency relief office can give interest- leave or correspondence.
free loans and, in the case of extreme hardship,
free cash grants to you and your dependents. You can solve the problem within a rea-
The Red Cross can provide the following: sonable period—usually one year.
Consultation on family and other personal The problem did not exist or was not rea-
problems. sonably foreseeable at the time you last
came on active duty.
Financial assistance in certain emergency In the case of both emergency leave and com-
situations. passionate reassignment, the Red Cross will as-
Referrals to agencies that can assist in em- sist in getting information on conditions at
ployment matters. your home. You should request emergency
leave or compassionate reassignment from your
Medical or psychiatric care. unit commander.

Administrative Law


documentation. Reasons for separating you

More than the Uniform Code of Military involuntarily may include the following:
Justice (10 United States Code, §§801 -940) Unsatisfactory performance.
affects your conduct and rights. Federal laws,
Department of Defense directives, and Army Misconduct.
regulations determine such matters as how Other circumstances.
claims are processed and paid, whether you
can be discharged before your expiration term Unsatisfactory Performance
of service (ETS) date, and how you may submit AR 635-200, Chapter 13, provides that you
complaints. This area is often referred to as ad- may be separated involuntarily because of un-
ministrative law because it deals with the ad- satisfactory performance. It applies only to sol-
ministration of the Army. Discussion includes— diers who have completed more than 180 days of
Administrative separations. continuous active duty. If you are separated for
unsatisfactory performance, you will receive a
Nonpunitive disciplinary measures. general or honorable discharge certificate.
Conduct of investigations.
Rights of soldiers. Misconduct
The limited-use policy of the alcohol and AR 635-200, Chapter 14, provides that you
drug abuse prevention and control program. may be separated involuntarily for—
The complaint process. Civilian court conviction as a juvenile
offender or for having committed certain
types of offenses after entering the Army.
Commission of a serious offense.
ADMINISTRATIVE Abuse of illegal drugs.
Congress has given the Secretary of the Army Acts or patterns of misconduct, such as re-
very broad authority to provide for administrative peated failure to pay valid debts, repeated
separations. These separations, which are dif- failure to support dependents, or frequent in-
ferent from those by court-martial, maybe either cidents of misconduct with civil or military
involuntary or voluntary. authorities.
Minor military disciplinary infractions, such
INVOLUNTARY SEPARATIONS as disobedience of lawful orders, disrespect,
When you are considered unsuitable for fur- failure to repair, or absence without leave. If
ther service in the Army or have engaged in you are separated under these provisions, you
misconduct that makes your continued service may receive a discharge under other than
questionable, the unit commander may begin honorable conditions.
proceedings to separate you before your ETS
date. The unit commander begins the process Other Circumstances
by forwarding a report stating his reasons for You may be involuntarily separated from the
recommending separation, with all supporting Army under other circumstances. The following

FM 27-14

chapters in AR 635-200 cover some of these: results from a condition that involves the care
Chapter 5, Separation for Convenience of or support of your family (not involving the death
the Government (includes personality dis- or disability of a family member). In either
order and inability to carry out prescribed case, you must show that the condition arose
duties due to parenthood). or was aggravated excessively since your en-
try on active duty. The condition must be per-
Chapter 7, Fraudulent or Defective Enlist- manent, and you must have made every rea-
ments and Inductions. sonable effort to alleviate it without success.
Chapter 9, Alcohol or Other Drug Abuse You must also show the Army proof of the prob-
Rehabilitation Failure. lem and proof of your need for release from the
Army to correct it.
Chapter 11, Entry Level Performance and
Conduct (applies to soldiers in the first 180 Conscientious Objection
days of continuous active duty). You may apply for discharge from the Army
Chapter 15, Separation for Homosexuality. for conscientious objection if, after entering the
Army, you become opposed to all forms of war
Any soldiers concerned in an involuntary sep- because of deeply held, sincere moral, ethical,
aration will have an opportunity to consult with or religious beliefs. An opposition to a particu-
a military attorney. If applicable, you may re- lar war rather than to war in general is not
quest a hearing by a board of officers. If you sufficient for discharge. You may not request
request a separation board, the commander who a discharge because of your conscientious ob-
has the authority to separate you will convene jection before entering the Army if you failed
one. You have the following rights: to make it known before you enlisted. If you
You may appear before the board unless are opposed only to the bearing of arms, you
you are in civil confinement. are not qualified for discharge but may apply
You may request the appearance of for classification as a noncombatant. Once so
available witnesses. classified, you will be assigned duties that do
not involve the bearing of arms.
You may request appointment of a
military lawyer or choose a military Headquarters, Department of the Army, will
lawyer yourself, but not both. make the final determination on all applica-
tions for discharge. Once you apply, a chaplain
You may hire a civilian attorney at your and psychiatrist will interview you. Then, an
own expense if you desire. officer will hold a hearing. You may be pres-
The separation authority reviews the findings ent at the hearing, and you may ask the hear-
of the separation board and makes the final de- ing officer to interview available witnesses. You
cision in the case. However, the decision may may also have a civilian attorney assist at your
not be more severe than the action recommended own expense.
by the board. (See AR 15-6 and AR 635-200.) While the application is in process, you will
continue to perform duties in the unit and par-
VOLUNTARY SEPARATIONS ticipate in unit training. Every effort will be
Army regulations detail the procedures for made to exempt you from duties that conflict
granting separation from the Army before with your stated beliefs.
your normal end of service. Senior command- Other reasons for voluntary discharge in-
ers or the Department of the Army reviews clude the following:
and acts upon these requests.
Separation for defective or unfulfilled
Dependency or Hardship enlistment or reenlistment agreements.
(See AR 635-200, Chapter 7.)
AR 635-200, Chapter 6, provides that you
may request discharge or release from the Army Separation of female soldiers because of
for dependency or hardship. Dependency re- pregnancy. (See AR 635-200, Chapter 8.)
sults from the death or disability of a mem- Separation for the good of the service
ber of your or your spouse’s immediate family when you are charged for certain crimes
which causes the disabled member to rely upon under the Uniform Code of Military Jus-
you for principal care or support. Hardship tice (UCMJ). (See AR 635-200, Chapter 10).

FM 27-14

The separation authority decides what type boards established by Congress-the Army Dis-
of discharge you will receive based on your charge Review Board (ADRB) and the Army Board
military record. If you are separated for ad- for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR).
ministrative reasons other than for completion
of term of service, you may receive an honor- Army Discharge Review Board
able, general, other-than-honorable, or entry The ADRB will review any discharge, unless
level discharge. the discharge resulted from a general court-
martial. If the ADRB decides that the action
Honorable Discharge was improper, it may change the type of dis-
Issuance of an honorable discharge depends charge, but it may not revoke it and return you
upon your proper military behavior and per- to active duty. If you want a review, you must
formance of duty. The separation authority request it within 15 years after the date of your
may disregard isolated incidents of minor mis- discharge. (See AR 15-180.)
conduct if, overall, your service record is good.
General Discharge Army Board for Correction
Under Honorable Conditions of Military Records
General discharges are appropriate for those The ABCMR may review any discharge, and
whose military records are satisfactory but are it may revoke an improper discharge and give a
not good enough to warrant honorable discharge. proper discharge in its place. It reports its find-
You may have had frequent nonjudicial punish- ings and recommendations directly to the Sec-
ments or may have been a troublemaker, but retary of the Army for final action. If your
your conduct has not warranted less than a discharge is declared improper, you may receive
general discharge. back pay. The ABCMR does not return soldiers
to active duty. You must request an ABCMR
Discharge Under Other review within three years after you discover
Than Honorable Conditions the claimed error or injustice, but the ABCMR
may waive the time limitations when appro-
Only a general court-martial convening au- priate. Normally, applications for an upgraded
thority or general officer in command may give discharge should go first to the ADRB.
a discharge under other than honorable con- (See AR 15-185.)
ditions. AR 635-200, Chapter 10, delegates that
authority, in limited circumstances, to the spe-
cial court-martial convening authority. Such a NONPUNITIVE DISCIPLINARY
discharge will usually be given to those who MEASURES
have shown, for example, one or more incidents The most familiar measures used in the mili-
of serious misconduct. tary to enforce discipline and good order are
Discharge under other than honorable con- the court-martial and UCMJ, Article 15. A com-
ditions is the most severe of the administrative mander, however, may opt for a variety of
discharges and may result in your loss of veter- administrative actions in cases of poor duty
ans’ benefits, as determined by the Depart- performance or minor misconduct. Often these
ment of Veterans’ Affairs. If you receive this actions have a rehabilitative effect on you, bene-
type of discharge, you will not receive a dis- fiting both you and the Army.
charge certificate.
Entry Level Separation When necessary to maintain good order and
The separation authority will give you an discipline, the unit commander has the author-
entry level separation if you are within the ity to withhold many privileges, such as the
first 180 days of continuous active duty and pass privilege. The unit commander does not
your records do not warrant a discharge under have direct control over some privileges, such
other than honorable conditions. as use of post facilities and on-post driving.
Only a higher commander having the author-
REVIEW BOARDS ity to grant these privileges may revoke them.
If you have been separated from the Army, Although not true in all cases, privileges with-
you may have your discharge reviewed by two held normally are those that you have misused.

FM 27-14

For example, you may be denied use of the serv- to private due to a serious civilian conviction.
ice club if you have been disorderly in the club, All board members must be senior in rank to
be denied government quarters if you have mis- the soldier under consideration. You may
used them, or lose on-post driving privileges if decline to appear before the board, or you may
you commit a serious driving offense. appear with an appointed or detailed judge advo-
cate or with civilian counsel, at your own expense.
ADMONITIONS AND REPRIMANDS You may request a non-lawyer military coun-
The unit commander may give an oral or writ- sel if you wish. You may question the witnesses
ten admonition or reprimand for a specific act of against you and present evidence in your own
misconduct. He submits a written admonition or behalf. The commander may not take any ac-
reprimand in memorandum format to you for ac- tion more severe than that the board recommends.
knowledgment and rebuttal. The written ad- Army regulations provide that if you have had
monition or reprimand may be filed in either the your rank reduced due to inefficiency or due to
military personnel records jacket (MPRJ) (field conviction by civil court, you may appeal that
201 file) or official military personnel file (OMPF). reduction through command channels within
Only a general officer or GCM convening au- 30 days.
thority (GCMCA) may direct that a written re-
primand or admonition be filed in your OMPF. Inefficiency
It is filed in your performance fiche until you Commanders may evaluate you for inefficiency
successfully appeal it. (See AR 600-37.) when your misconduct shows a lack of abil-
An admonition or reprimand that is filed in ities or qualities expected of you. If you are an
your MPRJ stays there until the soonest of the assigned soldier and have served in the same
following occurs: unit for at least 90 days, you may have your
You are transferred to another general rank reduced by one pay grade for inefficiency.
court-martial (GCM) jurisdiction.
The commander removes it. Civilian Conviction
A maximum of three years has elapsed. If you are sentenced to death or to confine-
ment for one year or more and the sentence is
You successfully appeal the reprimand. not suspended, you will be reduced to private.
If you are sentenced to confinement for more
ADMINISTRATIVE REDUCTIONS than 30 days but less than one year and the
The rank of enlisted soldiers maybe reduced sentence is not suspended, you might have your
by court-martial. The rank of staff sergeants rank reduced one or more pay grades. You
and below may also be reduced under UCMJ, might also have your rank reduced one or more
Article 15. Commanders may administratively pay grades for sentences less severe than those
reduce your rank for inefficiency or civilian already mentioned. If you lose your rank, but
conviction. (See AR 600-200, Chapter 6.) your conviction by a civil court is reversed be-
A company, battery, or separate detachment cause of some error or irregularity, your rank
commander has the authority to reduce the rank will be restored. You may also be promoted if
of private through specialist or corporal. Field promotion was denied because of the reversed
grade commanders of organizations authorized conviction. AR 600-200, Table 6-1, details admin-
a lieutenant colonel or higher may reduce the rank istrative reduction based on a civilian conviction.
of sergeant and staff sergeant. Commanders
of organizations authorized a colonel or higher REVOCATION OF
may reduce the rank of sergeant first class SECURITY CLEARANCE
through command sergeant major. A commander Conduct that merits revocation or suspension
may reduce corporals or specialists and below of a security clearance includes criminal and
without convening a board to consider the case. immoral activities. Abuse of drugs and alcohol,
Commanders wanting to reduce the rank of excessive indebtedness, and repeated AWOL are
sergeant through command sergeant major must grounds for such action. A clearance may also be
first refer the case to a board of officers and en- denied or suspended if you are subject to coercion
listed soldiers for a hearing and recommenda- or undue influence, perhaps because you have a
tion. The exception is a mandatory reduction close relative living in a communist country.

FM 27-14

If your commander receives information that al specialty (MOS) if UCMJ disciplinary ac-
may affect your clearance, he forwards it to the tion adversely affects your eligibility to
central personnel security clearance facility (CCF) perform duties in that MOS. Examples are a
for review to determine if it warrants clearance military policeman who commits an assault, a
revocation. The commander may suspend your medical corpsman who is drunk while on duty,
clearance pending results of the review. Before and a finance clerk who steals. The unit com-
the CCF revokes the clearance, you will have an mander may recommend reclassification of
opportunity to reply in writing. If unsuccessful, any awarded MOS if you perform the duties of
you may appeal the revocation to Headquarters, that MOS inadequately or attain unsatisfac-
Department of the Army. tory skill test scores.
You may be barred from reenlistment for INVESTIGATIONS
deficiencies of character, conduct, attitude, profi- A commander may order investigations of
ciency, and/or motivation or for general unde- many matters, such as the operation of the
sirability for retention. These deficiencies often unit mess hall or the state of morale in the
include the following: unit. The purpose of an investigation is to find
Tardiness for formations or duties. out what happened, when it happened, where
Being AWOL for 1 to 24 hours. it happened, why it happened, and who was in-
volved. Only after getting these facts should
Losses of clothing and equipment. the commander decide what action to take.
Substandard personal appearance and Investigations might concern the loss of
hygiene. funds or equipment, damage to government
Persistent indebtedness. property, disposition of the personal effects of
deceased soldiers, or determination of whether
Frequent traffic violations. you were injured in the line of duty. As a re-
Recurrent punishments under UCMJ, sult of the latter, you could lose entitlement to
Article 15. disability retirement—
Use of sick call without medical justification. If you were injured while AWOL.
Tardiness in returning from pass or leave. If the injury was due to your intentional
misconduct, such as if you were shot while
Unwillingness to follow orders. committing a robbery.
Untrainability. If the injury was due to your willful
Unadaptability to the military. neglect, such as if you were injured while
driving intoxicated on the wrong side of
Failure to manage personal affairs. the road.
Frequent difficulties with other soldiers. Any time spent in the hospital would be classi-
The unit commander initiates a bar to reenlist- fied lost time, and you would have to make
ment by summarizing in writing the grounds for it up at the end of your enlistment.
such an action. You may then submit a state- Unless the particular regulation governing
ment in your own behalf. You have 7 days to the matter under investigation provides specific
prepare comments and collect evidence. The com- procedures, the board or investigating officer
plete action is then forwarded to the authority who will follow the procedures in AR 15-6. Pro-
may approve or disapprove the bar. ceedings that involve a single investigating
An approved bar to reenlistment must be officer using informal procedures (see chapter
reviewed every 6 months and 30 days before 4) are designated investigations. Proceedings
your PCS or ETS. Bars maybe removed at that involve a single investigating officer us-
any time if you demonstrate your worthiness ing formal procedures (see chapter 5) or more
to be retained in the Army. than one investigating officer using formal or
informal procedures are designated a board of
MOS RECLASSIFICATION officers. The investigating officer must re-
A unit commander must recommend reclas- main impartial during the investigation and
sification of any awarded military occupation- must give the commander a complete picture

FM 27-14

of the matter as well as recommendations for Admissions, made in ADAPCP, to a

the commander’s action. physician or counselor at a scheduled
The boards conducting investigations will interview concerning illegal use or
normally be composed of military personnel. possession of drugs or alcohol before your
You may be involved as a witness, a member initial referral to ADAPCP.
of the board, an assistant to the board, or one Evidence concerning illegal use or
of the persons whose conduct is under possession of drugs or alcohol obtained as
investigation. a result of emergency medical care for drug
or alcohol overdose, unless such treatment
RIGHTS OF SOLDIERS resulted from apprehension by military or
When a board of officers is investigating civilian law enforcement officials. For
your conduct or liability, you have some rights example, if you are a drug user and have
in relation to the board’s hearing. This supplied a positive urinalysis as part of
manual cannot state general rights because your participation in ADAPCP, the
limited-use policy protects you from UCMJ
not every regulation provides the same action involving that urinalysis sample. If
procedures for investigations. Generally, you you are separated from the Army based in
will receive some notice of the scope and whole or in part on the positive urinalysis,
purpose of the investigation. You will be you are entitled to an honorable discharge.
allowed to submit evidence to the board and
will be able to attend the board hearing. You Each command has an alcohol and drug con-
will not have to testify before the board about trol officer who has information on the Alcohol
any self-incriminating matter (UCMJ, Article and Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Pro-
31). In most board proceedings, you may have gram (ADAPCP). The ADAPCP offers treat-
a military counsel to help present your case ment and rehabilitation to abusers who desire
and to question the witnesses. This counsel it and who demonstrate the potential to benefit
might be a lawyer, depending on the from it. The limited-use policy does not legiti-
provisions of the regulation governing the mize use or possession of drugs—it provides a
hearing. You are normally allowed to hire a way for you to admit your problems and get
civilian counsel, but the Army will not pay for help. The policy is not to protect those who are
it. If under investigation, you should seek the trying to avoid disciplinary or adverse admin-
advice of a legal officer. istrative actions.
The limited-use policy applies automatically;
LIMITED-USE POLICY it cannot be withdrawn. If you have questions
The limited-use policy is part of the Army’s about the policy and its applications, consult
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and your nearest staff judge advocate. The limited-
Control Program (ADAPCP). It prohibits the use policy does not protect you in cases addressed
use of the following evidence against you in in the following paragraphs.
actions under the UCMJ or in characterizing
separations: PROSECUTION FOR
Mandatory urine or alcohol breath test OTHER OFFENSES
results taken to determine your fitness for You may be prosecuted for offenses or miscon-
duty; taken to ascertain whether you need duct other than prior use or personal possession
counseling, rehabilitation, or other medical of drugs, even though the misconduct may have
treatment; or taken as part of your partici- occurred because of drug abuse. For example,
pation in the ADAPCP. you are not free from disciplinary or admin-
Self-referral to ADAPCP. (Your volunteer- istrative actions for selling drugs to support
ing for the program is protected your drug abuse.
Admissions and other evidence that you PROSECUTION IN
voluntarily provide as part of your initial OTHER JURISDICTIONS
entry into ADAPCP. An example is illegal You may be tried by civilian courts for drug
use or possession of drugs or alcohol before offenses for which you are free from prosecu-
your initial referral to ADAPCP. tion by the military.

FM 27-14

You may lose pay and credit for accrued ser- you. If the complaint involves something that can-
vice time if you are unfit to perform duties for not be solved at the local level, the IG sends it
more than 24 hours because of alcohol or drug to a higher IG who can solve it—possibly all
abuse. If you are hospitalized and medically the way to the Inspector General of the Army.
unable to perform duty for more than 24 hours
due to your own misconduct, you will lose pay
only for the lost duty time. Hospitalization of ARTICLE 138 OF THE UCMJ
less than 24 hours for drug or alcohol abuse Article 138 of the UCMJ provides a complaint
does not apply. If you are placed in a drug or process for soldiers on active duty who think
alcohol treatment facility, the time off duty will that they have been wronged by their command-
be recorded as an administrative absence. ing officers. A commanding officer is any
commissioned officer authorized to impose nonju-
dicial punishment under Article 15 of the UCMJ
OTHER SITUATIONS against the soldier. If asking the commander to
The limited-use policy will not protect you from— correct the wrong does not resolve the complaint,
Being investigated for criminal activity you may make a formal complaint to any superior
not directly related to drug use or possession. commissioned officer. The complaint must allege
that the commander, in his line of duty, took
Losing your security clearance. some discretionary act (an act in which the com-
Having your MOS reclassified or withdrawn. mander had a lawful choice) that met one of
the following criteria:
Having hazardous duty orders suspended
or revoked. It was beyond his authority.
It was in violation of a law or regulation.
COMPLAINT PROCESS It was arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of
You can quickly and easily resolve most com- discretion.
plaints by taking them to the first sergeant or It was materially unfair.
the company commander. However, you will
at times feel that an officer outside the company You must file the complaint within 90 days
should handle the complaint. In these cases, after learning of the wrong. The time the com-
you have several choices. In deciding which mander takes to consider your request is not
grievance procedure to follow and in making a part of the 90 days.
complaint, you can get help from the local staff
judge advocate office. Any officer who receives a complaint must
forward it to the officer who has authority to
order a general court-martial for your command.
THE INSPECTOR GENERAL The officer who is the general court-martial con-
Probably the best known person to receive and vening authority (GCMCA) will investigate all
act on complaints is the inspector general (IG), allegations of the complaint and take action
who is present in every command. His job is to that he feels is proper. If you do not withdraw
look into Army situations that may need correc- the complaint after the GCMCA takes his action,
tion. He also ensures, by inspecting equipment, it is forwarded to The Judge Advocate General
procedures, and so forth, that the Army is follow- (TJAG). TJAG reviews the matter and takes
ing its own rules. The IG is chosen and trained final action on the complaint on behalf of the
to check complaints and has a direct line to Secretary of the Army.
everyone in the command, including the com- The Department of the Army policy is to
manding general. resolve all grievances at the lowest level of com-
You may take complaints to the IG on any mand possible and to establish procedures quick-
Army matters you think need correction or investi- ly and fairly to resolve them. The complaint
gation. For example, you may complain that process under UCMJ, Article 138, is only one
promotions are not fair. The IG must investi- of these procedures. Some grievances can be
gate all complaints. If complaints are valid, he handled more effectively under other procedures.
takes them to the person who can solve them. Grievances not appropriate for a complaint
If the IG finds that you do not have all the facts, under Article 138, for example, are those matters
he tries to explain the reasons for the situation to reviewable by a court-martial.

FM 27-14


A federal law prohibits motels, restaurants, may file a formal complaint with a federal agency,
theaters, and other places of entertainment from with help from a legal assistance officer. You
discriminating against you because of your race, may also sue discriminating businesses or land-
color, religion, or national origin. Although this lords in civil court.
law does not prohibit sex discrimination, a busi-
ness that discriminates against you because of MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
sex violates DA policy. Other federal laws pro-
hibit discrimination in the sale and rental of You may want to complain outside of the mili-
housing. Illegal discrimination occurs if you tary. If you do, you can write any member of
are denied a sale or rental due to your race, Congress about your complaint. The member
color, religion, national origin, or sex. of Congress then sends the complaint to the De-
partment of the Army to validate it and to de-
If you area victim of discrimination, you can termine what the Army can do to solve it.
get help from one of several Army offices:
The legal assistance office. THE ARMED FORCES
The equal opportunity office. DISCIPLINARY CONTROL BOARD
The IG. AR 190-24 governs the AFDCB. You may
The housing referral office. make complaints of unfair business practices
They will help you to file formal complaints of and of any other conditions detrimental to your
discrimination. health, safety, or morale to this board. Exam-
ples of appropriate complaints are complaints
In making a complaint, you must sign a sworn of unsafe or unsanitary conditions in your
statement about the incident. The Army then in- apartment complex and of drug trafficking in
vestigates the complaint. If the investigators dis- an off-post bar. The AFDCB will investigate
cover discrimination, the local Army commander such complaints and try to remedy them. If
will try to stop it. If the business or land- the AFDCB verifies a complaint and cannot
lord refuses to stop, your complaint maybe sent rectify the situations, the business may be made
to the US Attorney General for action, or you off-limits to you.

Military Justice


addition to the UCMJ and MCM, that admin-

The rules of military justice stem from many istrators of military justice must follow. For
sources. This chapter describes these sources; example, AR 27-10 covers the administration
the roles of the commander, the staff judge ad- of military justice.
vocate, the military judge, and the members of The United States Army Court of Military
the court-martial; and the rights and proce- Review. The Court of Military Review is
dures involved in nonjudicial punishment. the first appellate court in the military jus-
tice system. The court members are appel-
late military judges in the ranks of colonel
SOURCES OF AUTHORITY and lieutenant colonel. In reviewing courts-
The rules governing military justice and mili- martial convictions, the United States Army
tary criminal law come from the following sources: Court of Military Review issues written opin-
The Constitution of the United States. The ions, which are binding on Army courts-
Constitution is the basic authority for the martial. A civilian, personally retained
military criminal justice system in the United lawyer or an appellate defense counsel
States Army. It allows Congress to make appointed by The Judge Advocate General
a separate military justice system. may represent the accused.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice. The United States Court of Military Ap-
Congress enacted the Uniform Code of Mili- peals. The Court of Military Appeals is the
highest appeals court within the military
tary Justice (UCMJ) in 1950, thereby replac- justice system. Effective 1 October 1990, it
ing the Articles of War from 1775. The UCMJ consists of five civilian judges appointed by
is a federal law that establishes our present the President of the United States. It is com-
system of military criminal justice. It describes parable in position and authority to a state
what conduct is criminal and the types of supreme court and hears appeals on decisions
courts and basic procedures used to process of the United States Army Court of Military
military criminal cases. The UCMJ is found Review. It also issues written opinions con-
in 10 United States Code, §§801-940 and in taining rules on military justice. The Mili-
Appendix 2 of the Manual for Courts-Martial tary Justice Act of 1983 allows decisions made
(MCM), United States, 1984. by the Court of Military Appeals to be appealed
The Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM), to the United States Supreme Court.
United States, 1984. The MCM details the The United States Supreme Court. The
rules for military justice and has the force Supreme Court is the highest court in the
and effect of law. In passing the UCMJ, Con- United States. It consists of nine justices
gress gave power to the President of the whom the President appoints to life terms
United States to establish military criminal and the Senate confirms. It hears appeals
procedures. The President did this by pub- from federal circuit courts, state supreme
lishing the MCM. It explains military crimes, courts, and the Court of Military Appeals.
contains the rules of evidence, and sets The Supreme Court provides authoritative
forth rules for conducting courts-martial. interpretations of the United States Consti-
Army regulations. The Secretary of the tution and usually hears only those cases
Army has authority to issue regulations, in that present significant legal issues.

FM 27-14

The following paragraphs address the roles of the members of the court will be enlisted. They
of the commander, the staff judge advocate, may not, however, be from the same unit as the
military judges, and court members in the mil- accused. All members of the court have an
itary justice system. equal voice and vote. The accused has the right
to challenge any member on the court, includ-
THE COMMANDER ing the judge, if the member or judge is not im-
The unit (company, battery, troop, detachment, partial. The accused may also challenge one
and so forth) commander is usually the first to member of the court without reason. Any mem-
learn of misconduct that might give rise to ad- ber successfully challenged takes no further
ministrative action, nonjudicial punishment, part in the trial.
or court-martial charges. He must promptly in-
vestigate the circumstances of an alleged crime RIGHTS AND PROCEDURES
and decide what to do about it. In deciding what The following paragraphs address your rights
to do, the commander must consider the serious- as a soldier and the procedures that must be fol-
ness of the offense, your past record and your lowed in the administration of military justice.
potential for further useful service, and the state
of morale and discipline in the unit. He must de- RIGHTS OF SOLDIERS
cide whether to refer the matter up the chain You have many basic rights under military
of command or dispose of it within the unit by
administrative action or by UCMJ, Article 15 criminal law, including—
(nonjudicial punishment). If he forwards a case The right to a defense lawyer.
to a superior, that officer will apply the same The right to due process of law.
criteria in deciding whether to take appropri-
ate action or to forward the case still higher. The right to remain silent.
Each commander is responsible for both en- Rights under the law of search and seizure.
forcing the law and protecting your rights.
The staff judge advocate (SJA) of the unit’s The Army provides a fully qualified military
division or post has a duty to see that criminal defense lawyer free of charge to any soldier fac-
justice in the command is carried out properly ing special or general courts-martial. As your
and fairly. The SJA advises commanders at representative, the lawyer acts in your interest,
every level about their handling of cases. Judge advising and defending you to the best of his
ability. Discussion about a case between you and
advocates, all fully qualified lawyers, advise and your attorney is confidential under the attorney-
represent soldiers accused of crimes. Although client relationship. This means that the lawyer
available through the office of the staff judge may not reveal what you have told him without
advocate, they are assigned to a separate organ- your permission. If you are facing court-martial,
ization, the United States Army Trial Defense you also have the right to have a civilian lawyer,
Service (USATDS or TDS). but you must pay this cost or obtain the services
without cost to the government. If you are not
MILITARY JUDGES facing a special or general court-martial, you
Military judges are assigned to sit on all gen- may still get advice from an Army lawyer on
eral and most special courts-martial. These military criminal matters by contacting the
individuals are experienced lawyers with train- local office of the staff judge advocate or Trial
ing as military judges. They decide questions Defense Service office.
of law, instruct the court members on law that
applies to the case, and ensure that the trial is Due Process
conducted legally. Due process of the law provides that, at trial,
you have the right to confront and cross-examine
COURT MEMBERS all the witnesses against you. You also have the
The commander selects active-duty soldiers right to present evidence on your own behalf.
to act as court members. An enlisted accused You may not be found guilty of a crime until the
may request that enlisted soldiers hear his or government proves beyond a reasonable doubt
her case. In such an instance, at least one-third that you committed the crime. A finding of guilty

FM 27-14

may be made only after a court has heard all the maximum punishment depends upon your
evidence relating to your guilt or innocence. rank but may not exceed confinement for
one month, forfeiture of two-thirds pay for
Remaining Silent one month, and reduction in rank. You may
The UCMJ provides that if you are suspected consult a lawyer concerning the case, but
of a crime, you may not be forced to speak against you are not entitled to have an appointed
yourself. Before questioning, you must be ad- military lawyer present at the trial. You
vised of your right to remain silent. Also, if have the right to refuse trial by SCM.
you are in custody, you must be told that you Special court-martial (SPCM). An SPCM
have the right to speak to a lawyer and have a consists of at least three court members.
lawyer present during questioning if you choose The defense counsel must be a lawyer. A
to answer questions. military judge is normally appointed for the
trial. The maximum sentence is confinement
Search and Seizure for six months, forfeiture of two-thirds pay
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution per month for six months, and reduction in
of the United States and the MCM govern exam- rank to the lowest enlisted grade. In some
ination of your person or property to discover instances, the sentence may include a bad-
and remove evidence. Military criminal law re- conduct discharge (BCD).
quires strict compliance with the Constitution and General court-martial (GCM). A GCM tries
the MCM. Searches are permissible only under the most serious offenses. It consists of at
limited circumstances such as the following: least five court members and a military
Search authorized by a commander. A judge. Both the prosecuting (trial) and de-
commander may order a search of your per- fense counsel must be lawyers. A formal
son or property when you are a member of investigation must occur before the trial.
his command. The decision to conduct a The GCM judge may sentence you to any
search, which may be reviewed by a court- punishment authorized by law.
martial, must be based upon probable cause. Just as in other American criminal courts,
Search incident to apprehension. A per- courts-martial are adversary proceedings. That
son legally apprehending you may search is, the government and the accused each present
you and your immediately available prop- matters that apply to their sides and must follow
erty. The property must be in your immedi- certain rules in doing so.
ate control at the time of your apprehension. In either a general or a special court-martial
Consent to search. A search is lawful when with a military judge, you may choose to be tried
made with your free and voluntary consent. by the military judge without the members. If
the judge alone tries you, he decides if you are
Search to prevent removal of criminal guilty or innocent. If the judge finds you guilty,
evidence. If evidence of a crime is in danger he also determines your sentence. If members
of removal or destruction, and if time is not find you guilty, they determine your sentence.
available to secure a commander’s permis- You may plead guilty or not guilty. If you do
sion to search, a lawful search may be made. not make a plea, the judge enters a plea of not
Inspection for military readiness. The guilty. Before trial, you may possibly agree to
commander has the authority to determine plead guilty in exchange for a promise by the
the military readiness of soldiers, organiza- convening authority to approve only a certain
tions, and equipment. Evidence of a crime sentence. This is called a pretrial agreement.
discovered during an authorized inspection The person who ordered each trial reviews its
may be seized and admitted as evidence at result. Either the Judge Advocate General or the
a court-martial. Army Court of Military Review may also review
the court-martial conviction, depending on the type
PROCEDURES FOR COURT-MARTIAL of court-martial and the punishment imposed.
The Army’s court-martial system includes— You may appeal certain convictions to the Court
Summary court-martial (SCM). This type of Military Appeals, which consists of three civil-
of court-martial is composed of one commis- ian judges. The United States Supreme Court may
sioned officer who tries minor crimes. The review its decisions.

FM 27-14

Appendix C shows the maximum imposable oral admonition or reprimand, or any combina-
punishments for the different types of court-martial. tion of these punishments. You must decide to
accept or refuse a summarized Article 15 within
PROCEDURES FOR ARTICLE 15 24 hours. You do not have a right to consult
Under UCMJ, Article 15, you maybe punished with a lawyer, bring a spokesperson to the
for minor offenses. The punishment is nonju- hearing, or request an open hearing. You do
dicial because it is given by the commander in- receive notice of the nature of the offense and
stead of by a court-martial. If you are facing have the following rights:
nonjudicial punishment, you have rights and To present witnesses.
must make important decisions. To remain silent.
The commander may give nonjudicial punish- To appeal.
ment only to soldiers under his command. Before
punishing you under Article 15, the commander Unless attached to a ship, to refuse the
must make sure that— summarized Article 15 and demand trial
by court-martial.
An offense was actually committed.
Simply accepting the Article 15 procedure
The offense may be punished under the UCMJ. does not mean that you admit guilt. Rather,
You committed the offense. you agree to the use of the procedures of Arti-
cle 15 to let the commander, instead of a court-
Article 15 punishment is proper after con- martial, determine your guilt or innocence. If
sidering the type of offense and your record. the commander determines that you are guilty,
The proper type of nonjudicial punishment, the type and amount of punishment the com-
formal or summarized, is selected. mander may impose under formal Article 15 pro-
The commander must tell you, in writing, that cedures depends on his rank, your rank, and the
he plans to give you a formal Article 15. He will size of the unit. (See Appendix C.)
notify you using DA Form 2627, advise you of A warrant officer, lieutenant, or captain may
your legal rights, and tell you where to find the impose an Article 15 punishment. If a heavier
lawyer’s office. You must be given a reasonable punishment is warranted, the case maybe sent
amount of time to see a lawyer. You have the to a field grade commander in the chain of com-
following rights: mand with a rank of major or above with a re-
commendation. The field grade commander
To refuse the Article 15 (unless attached to may act on the recommendation or return the
or embarked on a ship) and demand trial by case to the lower commander for action. The
court-martial. superior commander, however, may not tell a
To know the type of offense committed. subordinate commander when to give an Arti-
cle 15 or how much punishment he should give.
To have a public hearing.
To have the help of a spokesperson. A commander who gives an Article 15 has the
power to grant you clemency. The commander
To present witnesses. may suspend your punishment for up to six
To present matters in defense, extenuation, months. The probation is an incentive to stay
and mitigation. out of trouble. The original punishment is not
effected unless the commander cancels your
To examine documents or physical objects suspension due to further misconduct.
to be used against you.
A commander may also reduce the amount or
To say nothing. type of punishment when your conduct merits
To appeal. it. For example, he may reduce 14 days of ex-
tra duty to 10 days of restriction or 7 days of
Written notification of a summarized Article extra duty.
15 is not required. The commander will record
the proceedings using a DA Form 2627-1. Only A commander may set aside a punishment
enlisted soldiers may receive summarized Ar- when it is clear that the Article 15 should not
ticle 15 punishment. The punishment is limited have been given in the first place. You are
to 14 days’ extra duty, 14 days’ restriction, an then restored all your rights and privileges.

FM 27-14

Every soldier who receives an Article 15 has actions discussed earlier to lessen the punish-
the right to appeal. You may appeal if you be- ment; he may not, however, increase the punish-
lieve that you are not guilty, if the commander ment. The appellate commander must refer an
did not follow the rules for giving an Article 15, Article 15 appeal to the SJA for a legal opinion
or if the punishment is too severe. The com- if the Article 15 contains any of the following
mander who acts as the appellate authority punishments:
normally is immediately superior to the com- Arrest in quarters of more than 7 days.
mander who issued the Article 15. In other
words, if a company commander issues the Ar- Correctional custody of more than 7 days.
ticle 15, the battalion commander will act as Forfeiture of more than 7 days’ pay.
the appellate authority. An appellate author-
ity may reject an appeal that is submitted Reduction in rank from a pay grade of E-4
more than 5 days after the commander and above.
imposes punishment. Extra duty of more than 14 days.
In deciding what to do on appeal, the appel- Restriction of more than 14 days.
late commander may take any of the clemency

FM 27-14

FM 27-14

FM 27-14

FM 27-14

FM 27-14


Army Board for Correction of Military expiration term of service
Records FM
ADAPCP field manual
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and GCM
Control Program general court-martial
admonition GCMCA
A warning or reminder not to repeat certain general court-martial convening authority
ADRB gratuities
Army Discharge Review Board free gifts
Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board inspector general
appellate court JTR
A court that has the authority to review the Joint Travel Regulation
judgement of another. MCM
AR Manual for Courts-Martial
Army regulation MOS
ATTN military occupational specialty
attention MPRJ
AWOL military personnel records jacket
absent without leave OMPF
BCD official military personnel file
bad-conduct discharge OPM
bde Office of Personnel Management
brigade Pcs
bn permanent change of station
battalion power of attorney
CCF A legal document that authorizes one person
central (personnel security) clearance facility to act on behalf of another.
company release from active duty
DA remission
Department of the Army Cancellation of any punishments that have
not been served.
DC reprimand
District of Columbia A formal act of scolding an offender for
DOD misconduct.
Department of Defense SCM
due process of law summary court-martial
The premise that a soldier must be considered sec leader
innocent until proven guilty at a trial by legal section leader
and competent evidence.

FM 27-14

SJA underground newspaper

staff judge advocate A newspaper published to express criticism
SP4 against the United States, the military, or its
specialist fourth class officials.
special court-martial United States
Social Security Administration United States Army Trial Defense Service
Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act United States Code
TDS will
(United States Army) Trial Defense Service A legal document that ensures that when
someone dies, his property will go to
TJAG whomever he specifies. A will also permits
The Judge Advocate General parents to nominate guardians for their minor
UCMJ children in the event of the deaths of both
Uniform Code of Military Justice parents.



These are the sources quoted or paraphrased These documents must be available to the
in this publication. intended users of this publication.
AR 15-6 DA Form 2028
Procedures for Investigating Officers and Recommended Changes to Publications and
Board of Officers. 11 May 1988. Blank Forms.
AR 20-1 DA Form 2627
Inspector General Activities and Procedures. Record of Proceedings Under Article 15,
15 December 1989. UCMJ.
AR 27-3 DA Form 2627-1
Legal Assistance. 11 March 1989. Summarized Record of Proceedings Under
AR 27-10 Article 15, UCMJ.
Military Justice. 22 December 1989. DD Form 256A
AR 27-20 Honorable Discharge Certificate.
Claims. 28 February 1990. DD Form 257A
AR 210-7 General Discharge Certificate (Under
Commercial Solicitation on Army Honorable Conditions).
Installations. 15 December 1978.
AR 600-15
Indebtedness of Military Personnel. 19 March
AR 600-8-2 These readings contain relevant
Suspension of Favorable Personnel Actions supplemental information.
(Flags). 1 March 1988.
AR 600-50 AR 15-130
Standards of Conduct for Department of the Army Clemency Board.
Army Personnel. 28 January 1988. AR 15-180
AR 600-85 Army Discharge Review Board.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and AR 15-185
Control Program. 27 April 1988. Army Board for Correction of Military
AR 630-5 Records.
Leave and Passes. 1 July 1984. AR 27-1
Judge Advocate Legal Service.
AR 635-200
Enlisted Personnel. 1 December 1988. AR 27-40
AR 930-4
Army Emergency Relief. 1 April 1985. AR 27-50
Status of Forces Policies, Procedures, and
Constitution of the United States Information.
Mist Pub 8-1 AR 27-55
Joint Federal Travel Regulation. Authority of Armed Forces Personnel to
Mist Pub 9-2 Perform Notarial Acts.
Manual for Courts-Martial, United States. AR 190-22
1984. Searches, Seizures and Disposition of
United States Code (U.S.C.) Property.

FM 27-14

AR 190-24 AR 600-290
Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Boards Passports and Visas.
and Off-Installation Military Enforcement. AR 601-280
AR 195-2 Total Army Retention Program.
Criminal Investigation Activities. AR 608-3
AR 195-5 Naturalization and Citizenship of Military
Evidence Procedures. Personnel and Dependents.
AR 210-1 AR 608-8
Private Organizations on Department of the Mortgage Insurance for Service Members.
Army Installations. AR 608-9
AR 210-51 The Survivor Benefit Plan.
Army Housing Referral Service Program. AR 608-61
AR 340-21 Application for Authorization to Marry
The Army Privacy Program. Outside of the United States.
AR 350-30 AR 608-99
Code of Conduct/Survival, Evasion, Family Support, Child Custody, and
Resistance and Escape (SERE) Training. Paternity.
AR 360-5 AR 623-105
Army Public Affairs, Public Information. Officer Evaluation Reporting System.
AR 360-61 AR 623-205
Community Relations. Enlisted Evaluation Reporting System.
AR 380-53 AR 630-10
Communications Security Monitoring. Absence Without Leave and Desertion.
AR 405-16 AR 633-30
Homeowner’s Assistance Program. Military Sentences to Confinement.
AR 405-20 AR 635-40
Federal Legislative Jurisdiction. Physical Evaluation for Retention, Retirement
AR 600-4 or Separation.
Remission or Cancellation of Indebtedness— AR 635-100
Enlisted Members. Officer Personnel.
AR 600-9 AR 635-120
The Army Weight Control Program. Officer Resignations and Discharges.
AR 600-20 AR 930-5
Army Command Policy. American National Red Cross Service
AR 600-37 Program and Army Utilization.
Unfavorable Information. DA Pam 25-30
AR 600-40 Consolidated Index of Army Publications and
Apprehension, Restraint, and Release to Civil Blank Forms.
Authorities. DA Pam 25-51
AR 600-43 The Army Privacy Program-System Notices
Conscientious Objection. and Exemption Rules.
AR 600-240
Marriage in Oversea Commands.


FM 27-14

✩ U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1992 0 - 311-831 (61417) 29

FM 27-14
16 APRIL 1991

By Order of the Secretary of the Army:

General, United States Army
Chief of Staff

Colonel, United States Army
The Adjutant General

Active Army, USAR, and ARNG: To be distributed in accordance with DA Form 12-11E,
requirements for FM 27-14, Legal Guide for Soldiers (Qty rqr block no. 1090).
PIN: 045550-000