Article 15 Procedures - DEPRECATED

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This is the Document Release Information
Article Number: 7CAV-R-017
Scope: Article 15 Procedures
Version: Version 1.1
Effective Date: 06 AUG 18
Last Modified Date: DDMMMYYYY
Approving Authority: Regimental Commanding Officer
Point of Contact: Regimental Chief of Staff


Commanding Officer's Non-Judicial Punishment (Article 15)

Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) allows a Commanding Officer to decide the innocence or guilt of an alleged offender and administer Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP) to the offender if necessary for offenses that not serious enough to warrant a Court Martial but exceed the purpose of a Negative Counseling Statement. These NJP are limited to specific punishments in line with the seriousness of the offense.

Definitions

  • Convening Authority: Any officer at Company level or higher given the responsibility of investigating the alleged offence and making the recommendation on whether to convene an Article 15 or not.
  • Presiding Authority: The officer at Battalion level or higher who will conduct the Article 15 hearing, decide on the guilt or innocence of the accused and administer punishment. The Presiding Authority may not also be the Convening Authority.

Limitations on Punishments

The following are the only punishments allowed under an Article 15 proceeding:

  1. Officers Accused of Misconduct:
    • Maximum penalty of 30 days suspension from the Regiment.
    • No favorable action for 30 days.
    • Notation on their Milpacs record.

  2. Enlisted Members Accused of Misconduct:
    • Maximum penalty of 30 days suspension from the Regiment.
    • Reduction in rank by one grade for Non-Commissioned Officers.
    • Reduction in rank by one or more grades for regular enlisted members.
    • No favorable action for 30 days.
    • Notation on their Milpacs record.

The Article 15 Process

An officer at the level of Platoon Leader or higher may refer an incident to their next higher in the Chain-of-Command for an Article 15.

Notification

Upon receiving the referral, the Convening Authority will notify the following:

  1. The Chief Judge Advocate General: Identifying the accused and apprising them of the circumstances and nature of the offense.
  2. The Accused: The accused will be notified in writing via Private Message (PM) on the forums of the following:
    • The nature of the charge(s) against them.
    • Arrangements to meet for a preliminary interview, the point of which is to hear the accused's version of events.
    • Their right to have a member of the Judge Advocate General Department present as an adviser at all interviews and the hearing.
    • A clear explanation of the Article 15 process.

Investigation

The Convening Authority will conduct a preliminary investigation as follows:

  • Ensure the offense is not serious enough to exceed the limitations on punishments required for an Article 15.
  • Interview the accused, accuser and any witnesses.
  • Determine whether the accused intends to plead Guilty or Not Guilty.

Based on the investigation, the Convening Authority may decide to:

  • Refer the matter to Court Martial as too serious for an Article 15.
  • Refer the matter to the Presiding Authority to conduct an Article 15 hearing.
  • Recommend a lower form of discipline, i.e. Negative or Verbal Counseling Statement.
  • Recommend the matter be dropped.

Convening an Article 15 Hearing

If the accused intends to plead Guilty to the charges against them, an abbreviated process will take place. See Abbreviated Article 15 Hearing below for more on this. Otherwise, if the Convening Authority has decided to convene an Article 15 Hearing ('the Hearing'), the following must occur:

  1. The accused must be notified in writing that they will face an Article 15 Hearing and that they have seven (7) calendar days to respond and reach an accommodation with the Convening Authority on a date for the Hearing. The Hearing must be conducted with fourteen (14) days of this notification.
  2. The Convening Authority must meet with the Chief Judge Advocate General and review the investigation with them prior to the Hearing.
  3. The Convening Authority will meet with the Presiding Authority and turn over a copy the investigation and recommendations to them prior to the Hearing.

The Article 15 Hearing

The Article 15 Hearing will be conducted in the JAG Command Staff channel of Teamspeak as follows:

  1. The following must be present:
    • The Presiding Authority.
    • The Accused.
    • A JAG member.
    • The Convening Authority.
  2. The JAG member will record the Hearing and take notes for later reference.
  3. The Presiding Authority will read the charges and specifications and then question the Accused and Convening Authority as required.
  4. The Accused will be asked if they have any statement to make.
  5. The Presiding Authority will pass judgement and if necessary administer punishment.
  6. The Accused will be asked if they wish to appeal the punishment. The verdict may not be appealed, only the punishment.

Abbreviated Article 15 Hearing Procedure

If the accused has declared a Guilty plea, the Presiding Authority may simply pass judgement and administer a punishment without the requirement of a formal hearing. In this case, the Guilty member must be notified of the punishment and be given the opportunity to appeal the punishment.

Appealing the Punishment of an Article 15 Hearing

Only the punishment may be appealed. If the guilty party wishes to appeal the punishment, the Presiding Authority will register the appeal with the Chief Judge Advocate General who will carry out a review of the preliminary investigation and arrange for a review board to be convened to affirm or change the punishment. Appeals must be requested in writing within 14 days of finalization of the article 15 process.

See Also