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CG-3307 (“Page 7”

)

In addition to the more serious discipline tools under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (“UCMJ”),
commanders and supervisors may address behavior with a Page 7 entry. Such administrative action is
sometimes called "non-punitive measures. Page 7 counseling can be good or bad (or neither good nor bad,
but rather "informative", "instructive", or "preventative."). You might hear a member say, "I received a
negative Page 7, because I was late for work." This means that the individual's supervisor noted
inappropriate behavior, talked to the individual about the behavior, solicited input or a response from the
individual concerned, and provided avenues or methods to correct the deficiency. While the effects of a
single counseling session are not all that significant, one should be aware that counseling which documents
inappropriate behavior can be used against an individual at a later time, for example in support of an
administrative separation (See handout on Page 7 to Administrative Separation).

Article 15 ("nonjudicial punishment" or "captain's mast" or "Mast")

Article 15, of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, (UCMJ), and Part V of the Manual for
Courts-Martial, constitutes the basic law concerning nonjudicial punishment procedures. This is sort of a
"mini-court martial" with the commander acting as judge and jury. It's used for relatively minor
(misdemeanor) crimes under the UCMJ. The punishment authorized is limited by the rank of the
commander and the rank of the accused. In most cases (except when attached to a vessel), a person can
refuse Article 15 punishment, and demand a trial by court martial instead. To initiate Article 15 action, a
commander must have reason to believe that a member of his/her command committed a “minor offense”
under the UCMJi.

The commanding officer or officer in charge may make inquiry into the facts surrounding minor
offenses allegedly committed by a member of his command, afford the accused a hearing as to such
offenses, and dispose of such charges by dismissing the charges, imposing punishment under the provisions
of Art. 15, UCMJ, or referring the case to a court-martial.

SUMMARY COURT-MARTIAL

A summary court-martial (“SCM”) has jurisdiction over all personnel, except commissioned officers,
warrant officer, cadets, aviation cadets, and midshipmen, charged with a UCMJ offense referred to it by the
convening authority. SCM’s are composed of one commissioned officer on active duty, usually pay grade
O-3 or above. The accused member is not entitled to be represented by a military attorney, but may hire a
civilian lawyer at his own expense. The accused member may object to trial by summary court-martial, in
which case the charges are returned to the convening authority for further action (e.g., disposition other
than by court-martial or action to send the charges to a special or general court-martial). The maximum
punishment a summary court-martial may award is: confinement for 30 days, forfeiture of two-thirds pay
for one month, and reduction to the lowest pay grade (E-1). In the case where the accused is above the
fourth enlisted pay grade, a summary court-martial may not adjudge confinement, hard labor without
confinement, or reduction except to the next lowest pay grade.

SPECIAL COURT-MARTIAL

A special court-martial (“SPCM”) has jurisdiction over all personnel charged with any UCMJ offense
referred to it by the convening authority. A SPCM is composed of not less than three members, which may
include commissioned officers and enlisted members (at the accused’s request) and is presided over by a
military judge (the military judge may conduct the trial alone, if requested by the accused). A military
lawyer is detailed to represent the accused member at no expense to the accused. The member may instead
request that a particular military attorney (of any service, stationed anywhere in the world), if reasonably
available, represent him or her. The member may also retain a civilian attorney at no expense to the
government. The prosecutor is a military lawyer (judge advocate). The maximum punishment a special
court-martial may adjudge is: confinement for 12 months, forfeiture of two-thirds pay for 12 months,
reduction to the lowest pay grade (E-1), and a bad conduct discharge. (Note: In May 2002, maximum
confinement and forfeitures changed from 6 months to 12 months).

GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL

A general court-martial (“GCM”) has jurisdiction over all personnel charged with any UCMJ offense
referred to it by the convening authority. Unless the accused waives this right, no charge may be referred
to a general court-martial until a thorough and impartial investigation into the basis for the charge has been
made. This pretrial proceeding is known as an "Article 32" investigation or preliminary hearing and
essentially serves the equivalent function of a grand jury hearing in civilian jurisdictions. A GCM is
composed of a military judge and not less than five members, which may include commissioned officers
(and enlisted members at the accused’s request). In non-capital cases, military judges may conduct the
trial alone at the accused’s request. A military lawyer is detailed to represent the accused member at no
expense to the accused. The member may instead request that a particular military attorney, if reasonably
available, represent him or her. The member may also retain a civilian attorney at no expense to the
government. The prosecutor must be a military lawyer (judge advocate). A general court-martial may
adjudge any sentence authorized by the Manual for Courts-Martial for the offenses that the accused is
found to have committed
i
Article 15, UCMJ, and Part V, para. 1e, MCM (1998 ed.), indicate that the term "minor offense" means misconduct
normally not more serious than that usually handled at summary court-martial (where the maximum punishment is thirty
days' confinement). These sources also indicate that the nature of the offense and the circumstances surrounding its
commission are also factors which should be considered in determining whether an offense is minor in nature. The term
"minor offense" ordinarily does not include misconduct which, if tried by general court-martial, could be punished by a
dishonorable discharge or confinement for more than one year. The final determination as to whether an offense is
"minor" is within the sound discretion of the commanding officer.