Nonjudicial punishment promotes positive behavioral changes

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Laura Rosenzweig
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Staff Judge Advocate Office
Commanders use several tools to help them ensure good order and discipline within their units. These tools can range from something as simple as a verbal counseling to more stringent measures such as serving charges for a court-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. However, there are other tools in between that commanders can use based on various factors and determined on a case-by-case basis. 

An Article 15, also known as nonjudicial punishment, is a disciplinary measure normally used to promote positive behavioral changes in servicemembers without the stigma of a court-martial and federal conviction. Action under Article 15 can be based on a violation of the UCMJ or violations of state or federal laws. Punishment under Article 15 can affect promotions, assignments and re-enlistment opportunities. 

In the past, people received Article 15 punishment for alcohol-related incidents. Some people assume they can drink as much as they want as long as they have a ride home. However, this is not the case. Although drunk driving is an alcohol-related incident, there are other things to worry about when deciding to go out drinking. In the past, Team Vance members were arrested by the Enid Police Department for public intoxication and were later punished by their commanders. You don't have to be doing anything illegal to be arrested for public intoxication - you just have to be in public and intoxicated. Another thing to think about is drinking too much the night before reporting to work. This could render you incapacitated to drive or perform your duties. Any of these offenses could result in an Article 15 action or worse. 

The legal office provides Article 15 information to the Vance community at least quarterly to inform military members of Article 15 actions and related consequences that occurred. The sharing of this information should help deter future incidents. The key is for other military members to learn from the errors of others and to know that there are consequences for misconduct.