Questions for military guys.


Spiphel Rike
April 26, 2006, 05:59 AM
Is an ND an offence?
What are the "common service offences" in your country's military?

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April 26, 2006, 06:10 AM
usa military justice is covered by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)

it contains the usual lists of offences and their maximum punishments plus
articles on procedures.

article 15 i believe, covers non judicial punishment: IE commanders kangaroo court.

article 134? covers any action "predudical to the good of the service."

ND's (and anything else) can come under that.


April 26, 2006, 11:16 AM
As for an ND getting you and article 15, I have only seen it happen a couple times and it was always the results of negligence and disobeying a range officer on the firing line.

However, I did recieve threat of one article 15 in my entire career and it was for unauthorized use of a government weapon. I fired several rounds into a rattle snake while on bivouac in the Arizona desert. It was dropped before being instated. My XO was a real jerk.

April 26, 2006, 11:21 AM
Rattlesnakes are why God invented bayonetts, you don't ruin all the good meat that way.:neener:

April 26, 2006, 11:29 AM
An Article 15 is punishment imposed by a company commander (Captain, usually) for minor offenses, and can result in a loss of rank, restrictions, loss of pay, things like that - not incarceration. Major offenses that might involve jail time are handled by a court martial. I picked up a couple of Article 15's, usually for "drunk and stupid" offenses.

I never saw the accidental discharge of a weapon result in any kind of 'official' punishment.

To be honest, the flack and scorn you'd get from your buddies would probably be worse than an Article 15 anyway.

Old Dog
April 26, 2006, 12:53 PM
A negligent discharge is indeed an offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Unless someone is injured or dies, this offense is normally dealt with by non-judicial punishment (NJP), a lesser administrative process, and not a court proceeding as is a court-martial.

Article 134 -21 - (Firearm, discharging— through negligence)
(1) That the accused discharged a firearm;
(2) That such discharge was caused by the negligence of the accused; and
(3) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.
Explanation. For a discussion of negligence, see paragraph 85c(2).
Lesser included offense. . None
Maximum punishment. Confinement for 3 months and forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for 3 months.

There is also a specification under Art. 134 for negligent discharge that endangers a life.

I've also seen personnel charged with violations of Art. 92 (failure to obey an order or regulation) and Art. 108 (damage or destruction of government property) when NDs have happened.

In a 26-year career, I've seen personnel sanctioned for NDs probably five or six times. From stupidity at the range that got someone fired from an MP career, to a shotgun accident in a patrol car, to NDs in the armory ("cleaning accidents" that were most likely stupidity) to one serious event in which a security person was shot (not fatally) by a trainer during a training session ...

James T Thomas
April 26, 2006, 01:08 PM
Vietnam in 1968. The men of Co.D, 2/7, First Air Cav. had finished our operations for the day, and had moved into a jungle area of brush and mounds of several feet high. These were convenient to sit upon, and after eating our meals, the routine of cleaning weapons began.
One of the machine gunners, or one of their assistants, drew his 45 pistol and prepared to clean it. Blam, a ND. The bullet shot sideways to the soldier, and cut the button of of the shirt, "jacket" of the man sitting on the next mound over. Now, that was an offense! Harsh words were spoken, threats were made, and violence was forcefully restrained.

I had heard of a ND incident which was more deadly than this one that same tour of duty. It occurred with an armored unit whereby some brush had caught the trigger of one of the roof mounted M60 machine guns on an armored personnel carrier and the gunfire struck many men who were riding on top of the carriers to the front of this particular one. Tragic.
Perhaps Vern H. knows of that one.

My first week in country, some men were killed by "friendly fire;" not exactly an ND, but they didn't know any different. They had left the company encirclement formation in the jungle at night to relieve themselves, and somehow the information had failed to be passed on to the men on the perimeter where they were at. Yes, some scared soldiers saw the outlines, or heard something, and these men were shot.

If you have to go from this life, leaving by someone's negligence, or your own, is a tragic way to do it.

April 26, 2006, 01:12 PM
We had a guy ND his weapon. He was simply given a page 11.

To explain a page 11, think of charges under the UCMJ as on the same lines as a misdermeanor or felony offence in the civilian world. A page 11 is essentially a traffic ticket.

It goes in your record book, but generally won't hurt your career. Most it would do, at least in the Marines, is you were up for a meritorious promotion, say from a promotion board, and you tied with another guy, if you had a page 11 and he didn't, he'd probably be given the promotion, but it wouldn't effect you getting promoted under normal circumstances. The going joke is that you aren't a real Marine unless you have a page 11...

It can be serious and punishable under UCMJ, but it all depends on if anyone was hurt, anything damaged, how much of a screw up the ND'er is, attitude of higher ups, etc.

April 26, 2006, 01:32 PM
Rattlesnakes are why God invented bayonetts, you don't ruin all the good meat that way.

I was MI so I did not get a rifle. That bayonett would have looked funny mounted to my 9mm. :)

April 26, 2006, 04:42 PM
Seen several. It is indeed an offense. Sanctions will vary widely. Stateside, other than MPs, about the only time your going to have one is at the range. Punishment is up to the commander (unless there is a local policy). An Article 15 would be about the max, and that unlikely. MPs, I dunno, never been one but I would expect the an ND, especially in public, would be at least an Article 15 for starters.

Deployed where you're carrying weapons and ammo all the time..... It depends. In Bosnia and Kosovo (96 and 99) it depended on the general's policy and I saw it vary from "don't do that again!" to GOLAR (general officer letter of reprimand - goes in your permanent file, not good) to Article 15.

Don't know the current policy in Iraq or Afghanistan, but in 2004 it was pretty much "Eh, don't do that again, idiot!"

Generally speaking, the more hostile the environment is, the more things get overlooked.

Did have one major have and AD (yes, I know, ND, but that's what the Army calls it) in a meeting with some locals. And hit one of them. :eek: In the leg fortunately. That resulted in a bit more of an offically disapproving reaction.:rolleyes:

April 26, 2006, 11:41 PM
First of all, there are three types or 'degrees' of Article 15:

-Summarized: max punishment of 7 days of extra duty and/or restriction (usually both-referred to as "7 & 7"); no forfeiture of pay or loss of rank. Generally imposed by company commander (or someone with similar authority in the Navy)

-Company Grade: max punishment of 14 days extra duty and/or restriction; forfeiture of 7 days pay and/or loss of one rank for soldiers E-4 and below. Imposed by company commander. Company commanders do not have the authority to take rank from soldiers in pay grade E-5 and above, although the other punishments may be imposed.

-Field Grade: max punishment of 45 & 45; forfeiture of one month's pay; reduction to E-1 (for E-4 and below); reduction of one pay grade for E-5 and above. Imposed by battalion commander (or someone with similar authority for Navy).

In some cases, loss of pay and/or rank may be put in suspension-as long as the offender doesn't get in trouble for the specified time, they don't lose either. This is referred to as 'suspended pay/suspended bust.'

In my career, I've seen on instance of an Art. 15 for an ND, and that was a main gun (25mm) on a Bradley range. Both the gunner and track commnder got company grades.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers entering a FOB from a convoy or coming off guard duty have to go through a clearing barrel to ensure their weapons aren't loaded. Generally, they do inspection arms (which involves cycling the action with no magazine/belt in the weapon), lock the action open, both the soldier and the squad leader inspection the action, and then they dry fire into the barrel. An ND here, I'm told, results in an automatic Art. 15 for both the soldier and squad leader, although I'm not sure what level.

Spiphel Rike
April 27, 2006, 06:46 AM
Thanks guys. Anyone here got any experiences aside from the US army. The Australian army has a separate offence for an ND (also called a UD) and from what I have been told the punishment is always severe.

Double Maduro
April 27, 2006, 08:15 PM
Article 15 for an nd?

When I was a DI the RO's and the other DI's and I took care of the problem ourselves.


Jeff White
April 27, 2006, 10:04 PM
Playboy Penguin,
What was an MI guy doing with live ammunition for a pistol on a training exercise in the Arizona desert?

I don't recall seeing anything remotely resembling an LFX in STRAC for MI units.


April 27, 2006, 10:26 PM
We had Marines in Cuba that got bored all alone away from everyone and everything, and played with their rifles on post. Every so often one would let one go.

Our procedures included counting rounds out when issued and back when returned. If the Marine was short one, it was considered at least a page 11 . If he was on a post close enough for the shot the be heard it was an article 15 offense. I never saw one that went to court martial.

If the guy was a good Marine, the NCO's tried to keep it undocumented, and the platoon tried to help him out with the missing round. *****birds generally were not assisted as well.

Jeff White
April 27, 2006, 10:55 PM
Ahh yes boredom on guard duty.....

We had a real bright one guarding a field ASP one night. He decided to shoot up the porta-potty with 40mm TP rounds. Well he wasn't satisfied with seeing them splatter so he moved close enough so he was shooting through the plastic walls.

Field grade article 15 for that young troop.


April 27, 2006, 11:01 PM
Jeff White, funny, I don't remember them issuing me any live ammo on bivouac either, at least not in the USA. Even overseas "practice" didn't involve live rounds. Funny how some people just happen to be everywhere, done everything huh?

April 27, 2006, 11:06 PM
We were part of a unit sent out to watch for "human trade" traffic from Ft. Huachuca. It was part of an operation to try and stop the shipping of illegal immigrants for prostitution and slavery. Apparently the desert areas where big transfer spots. It was basically glorified guard duty preventing trucks that had been used to deliver supplies to the base from being used to traffic illegals on their way out of the area. I had just received my butter bars so I was given the hapless task of being baby sitter. They like to put us O-1's someplace where we can't mess things up too badly. It was fun in some ways but sucked in others since, because of the remote nature of some of the roads, we went out for 4-5 days at a time without returning to base. That is why I refered to it a bivouac. If you want to be picky I guess I should have used another term. :)

April 27, 2006, 11:27 PM
Jeff White said: Ahh yes boredom on guard duty.....

Truthfully, I saw more Marines get written up over being caught asleep on post when the relief came by, or when the SOG/COG decided to do an unannounced 3 am tour. 16 hour work days, 7 days a week, got the better of many a man by the end of a week. I think the company averaged about 1 every 45 days if I had to guess.

If the NCO was the hard line, by-the-book type that liked to write folks up, the CO issued the strongest punishment available. If the NCO was interested in developing young Marines into fair, just leaders, he handled it according to the situation. There were far more times Marines wound up owing a Corporal work duties and curtailed liberty than they got official sanctions.

When it was my turn to become a leader, I liked handling things that way, and tried to remember not to ruin a young Marine's chances over mistakes that harmed no one. I also took the opportunity to teach a lesson, without directly telling him I was, about how to be a good leader for when it was his turn in a few years.

I can remember spending a weekend hand digging a fighting pit for a Humvee for loosing the leaf spring off my M-60.

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