Military Law Overview

Arresting servicemember

The military justice system is based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which applies to all branches. While the UCMJ is similar to civilian law, it is also more strict in several areas. The UCMJ contains everything from a list of crimes and offenses to rules for trials and sentencing. All active duty personnel, activated reservists & Guard members as well as retirees are subject to the UCMJ at all times. If a military member commits a crime while off-duty that does not involve the military they can still be subject to the UCMJ as well as civilian penalties.

Violation of any of the articles of the UCMJ can bring punishments ranging from loss of privileges to forfeiture of pay, confinement and discharge.

You can also find more information about:

See the links below to find out more about military law, the rights you have as an active duty service member, and guides to help you in times of legal trouble.

Dept. of Justice - Servicemember's Rights Center
The Federal Government's newest resource for military service members provides information on how the government can help you, and what you can do to protect your rights under the law.

Judge Advocates Association
An-depth look at JAGs and military law includes articles, news, links and event updates.

Office of General Counsel
Browse the homepage of the General Counsel of the Department of Defense (DoD).

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