Baumholder Legal Center
Nonjudicial punishment provides commanders with an essential and prompt means of maintaining good order and discipline and also promotes positive behavior changes in service members without the stigma of a court-martial conviction. Use of nonjudicial punishment is proper in all cases involving minor offenses in which nonpunitive measures are considered inadequate or inappropriate.
Requests: The commander will fill out an Article 15 Request form and forward it with ALL supporting documents and a copy of the soldiers ERB to the Military Justice section of the Legal Center. Military Justice personnel will prepare the DA Form 2627 (normally within 24 hours) and return the action to the unit.
Notification: The imposing commander will ensure that the soldier is notified of his intention to dispose of the matter under the provisions of Article 15, UCMJ. The soldier will also be notified of the maximum punishment which the commander could impose. The commander may delegate the initial reading to an E7 or above. However, the commander must sign the DA Form 2627. The soldier will be provided with a complete copy of the packet with items 1 and 2 completed on the DA Form 2627, including the signature of the imposing commander. The soldier must be advised of the following rights:
Decision Period: The soldier will be given a reasonable time to consult with counsel, including time off from duty, if necessary, to decide whether or not to demand trial by court-martial. The soldier is entitled to consult with a Trial Defense attorney before making decision. Soldiers being punished under Summarized proceedings are not entitled to consultation with an attorney.
Hearing: Once a soldier accepts an Article 15, the commander must examine all of the evidence. The commander is not bound by formal rules of evidence and and may consider any matter, including unsworn statements. Punishment will not be imposed unless the commander is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the soldier committed the offense(s). If the commander determines that nonjudicial punishment is is not warranted, the soldier will be notified that the proceedings have been terminated and all copies of DA Form 2627 will be destroyed. If the commander decides to impose punishment, the commander will announce the punishment to the soldier and inform the soldier of his/her right to appeal. A punishment worksheet will be provided in the Article 15 packet. Commanders are asked to use this worksheet and send the packet to the legal center to ensure the correct punishment is typed on the DA Form 2627.
Appeal: Only one appeal is permissible under Article 15 proceedings. An appeal submitted more than 5 calendar days after punishment is imposed will be presumed to be untimely, unless the superior commander determines it to be timely. The next superior authority to the commander who imposed the Article 15 will act on an appeal. The appeal will be forwarded through the imposing commander to the superior authority. The superior authority will act on the appeal. The imposing commander may suspend, mitigate (lessen), remit, or set aside any part of the punishment before the action is forwarded to the superior authority. In this case, the soldier will be notified and asked if he/she wishes to withdraw the appeal. Once the superior authority receives an appeal, he/she will act on it expeditiously. The appeal should normally be decided within 5 calendar days (3 days for summarized proceedings). If the appeal is not decided within this period, and if the soldier so requests, the performance of those punishments involving deprivation of liberty will be interrupted pending decision on the appeal. The superior authority may suspend, mitigate (lessen), remit, or set aside any part of the punishment. However, the superior authority cannot change a filing determination.
Filing Determination: A commander's decision whether to file a record of nonjudicial punishment on the performance fiche of a soldier's OMPF is as important as the decision relating to the imposition of nonjudicial punishment itself. Records of nonjudicial punishment imposed on soldiers in the grade of E1 through E4 will be filed locally in the unit nonjudicial punishment files (maintained by the legal office). These will be destroyed at the end of two years from the date of imposition of upon the soldier's transfer to another General Court-Martial Convening Authority (GCMCA). Records for E5 and above will be forwarded to the soldier's OMPF. In these cases, the commander must make a determination as to whether the record will be filed in the soldier's performance fiche or restricted fiche. However, if the soldier has a has a previous Article 15 filed in his restricted fiche, the present Article 15 will be automatically filed in the soldier's performance fiche.
Reservation of Article 15 Authority: The Commander, 1st Armored Division withholds jurisdiction to exercise Article 15 authority over:
The Commander, 1st Armored Division reserves jurisdiction to the Special Court-Martial Convening Authority (SPCMCA - Normally Brigade Commanders) to exercise Article 15 authority over senior noncommissioned officers in the ranks of MSG and SFC.
The Commander, 1st Armored Division, also reserves jurisdiction to exercise Article 15 authority over the following offenses:
Statute of Limitations: Nonjudicial punishment may not be imposed for offenses which were committed more than two years before the date of imposition. The period of limitations does not run when the soldier is AWOL or fleeing from justice.
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