Resourceful Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Criminal Attorney

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is located in Anchorage, Alaska. The base is a combination of two former military bases from two different branches: Elmendorf Air Force Base and the United States Army's Fort Richardson. The two bases officially merged in 2010.

If you currently serve at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and face potential military discipline, contact former Marine Corps military judge and attorney Patrick J. McLain today.

Types of Military Justice at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

The two frequently used forms of military justice at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson are nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial. Both forms of discipline are unique, and both carry serious consequences.

Nonjudicial Punishment

Nonjudicial punishment (NJP) is a form of administrative discipline initiated by your commanding officer. Known informally as Article 15 in both the Army and Air Force, this procedure is not a formal criminal hearing and will not result in a conviction on your permanent record.

The process is informal, but the outcome can greatly affect your future in the military. If your commanding officer renders an adverse decision, you have the right to appeal. However, that appeal will go up the chain of command instead of being heard in an appellate court.

If you would rather take your chances with a trial by court-martial, you have the right to reject an Article 15. While the potential penalties for a court-martial are higher, many prefer having someone other than their commanding officer deciding their fate. The decision to accept or reject an NJP is important and should only be made after first consulting with an experienced military defense attorney.


A trial by court-martial is different from an NJP in that it is a formal criminal hearing. If convicted, your criminal record will reflect a conviction. This conviction can lead to your separation from the military and follow you through your civilian life.

A trial by court-martial is far more formal than an NJP. Military judges oversee these trials, and strict rules of evidence are enforced. If convicted, you are entitled to appeal. In fact, many cases face appellate review automatically. To learn more about how to fight back at your trial by court-martial, contact experienced civilian defense counsel right away.

Common Offenses at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

Some of the conduct that commonly leads to an Article 15 or court-martial are listed below.

Common NJP Offenses

  • Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
  • Drunk on duty
  • Fraternization
  • Violation of orders
  • Destroying government property

Common Court-Martial Offenses

Potential Penalties 

If you are convicted at an NJP, you may face a number of penalties, including:

  • Restriction
  • Loss of pay
  • Loss or rank
  • Extra duties.

The penalties for a conviction at trial by court-martial can be even more severe. In addition to confinement, you can also potentially face separation proceedings. These penalties are only enforced if you are unsuccessful at trial, but with the right legal counsel, winning is a real possibility. 

You have the Right to Civilian Defense Counsel

Whether you are facing an Article 15 or trial by court-martial, you are entitled to strong representation from a military defense attorney. To discuss your case with a former military judge, contact attorney Patrick J. McLain right away.