Military Justice actions in first half of 2017

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Cameron Green
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Staff Judge Advocate Office

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Four military members assigned to Vance Air Force Base received Article 15 non-judicial punishment during the first quarter of calendar year 2017 and two more received non-judicial punishment during the second quarter.

An Article 15 is a disciplinary measure used to encourage positive behavioral changes in service members without the stigma of a court-martial.

In the first quarter, an airman first class, a senior airman, a staff sergeant and a captain were given Article 15s for offenses that included disrespect toward a superior non-commissioned officer, failing to obey a lawful order and two instances of drunken driving.

For the enlisted members, all three cases resulted in suspended reductions in rank. The suspension of a reduction allows a commander the opportunity to monitor the conduct of the member without imposing a severe penalty. In the event of further misconduct the commander can impose the punishment that was suspended.

The members punished for drunken driving received forfeitures of pay. The first forfeited $1,500 per month for two months. The second forfeited $1,062 per month for two months.

In all four cases, the members received reprimands from their commanders.

During the second quarter of calendar year 2017, an airman first class and a staff sergeant received non-judicial punishment for dereliction of duty.

Both members received suspended reductions in grade. However, one member’s reduction in grade was later imposed due to subsequent misconduct.

The members also received extra days of duty ranging from 15 to 30 days. As with the cases in the first quarter, both individuals were given reprimands by their commanders.

An Article 15 can be given for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice or violations of state or federal laws. Punishment under Article 15 can affect promotions, assignments and re-enlistment opportunities.

Commanders tailor decisions on each punishment to the circumstances, seriousness of offenses committed and the member’s past disciplinary history. Non-judicial punishment can have both career and financial repercussions.

During the second quarter there was one administrative discharge. The discharge was based on fraudulent enlistment and minor disciplinary infractions. The member had received previous non-judicial punishment, but was found to have engaged in further misconduct.

In the event of fraudulent entry a member must be discharged unless it is determined that the retention of the individual is not precluded by law and is in the best interest of the Air Force.