Since 1941, the United States Army has operated Fort Campbell on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. The fort is home to both the 101st Airborne Division and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. If you are facing military discipline while serving at Fort Campbell, contact attorney Patrick J. McLain today.
Types of Military Justice at Fort Campbell
There are two commonly-used forms of military justice at Fort Campbell: nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial.
Nonjudicial punishment (NJP) is a form of administrative discipline. In the Army, this process is informally known as Article 15. An NJP is initiated by your commanding officer. The process is less formal than a criminal trial, including the rules regarding witnesses and evidence. While it is not a formal criminal proceeding, an adverse outcome will still result in serious consequences.
You have the right to reject an Article 15 in favor of a trial by court-martial. This choice is a tradeoff, as a trial by court-martial offers more rights but steeper penalties. The choice to reject an NJP is important and should never be made without first consulting legal counsel.
If you are convicted, you have the right to appeal. However, the appeal is heard up your chain of command as opposed to a dedicated appellate court. The possible grounds for an appeal include:
- the outcome was unjust, or
- the punishment was disproportionate.
A trial by court-martial is a formal criminal proceeding. Unlike an NJP, a conviction will end up on your permanent record. This conviction can impact your life after your military career is over. A trial by court-martial is a formal proceeding overseen by a military judge. The rules regarding witness testimony and evidence are more restrictive than in an NJP.
If you are convicted, you have the right to appeal. In many cases, a conviction will automatically trigger an appellate review. The two appellate courts that deal with Army court-martial appeals include:
- the Army Court of Criminal Appeals; and
- the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Common Offenses at Fort Campbell
Any violation of the UCMJ can lead to either an Article 15 or a trial by court-martial. However, minor charges are more likely to result in an NJP. Some common offenses are listed below.
Common NJP Offenses
- Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
- Drunk on duty
- Violation of orders
- Destroying government property
Common Court-Martial Offenses
The potential penalties from an NJP or trial by court-martial can follow you for the rest of your career. Common penalties in an NJP include:
- loss of pay
- extra duties
- loss of rank.
The penalties for a court-martial are similar, but can also include incarceration or a punitive discharge. Unfortunately, a conviction in either proceeding can lead to separation proceedings.
Your right to a Fort Campbell Civilian Defense Counsel
If you are anticipating disciplinary proceedings against you at Fort Campbell, do not hesitate to reach out to your choice of civilian defense counsel. Contact attorney and former military judge Patrick J McLain today.