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The Uniformed Code of Military Justice Vs. Civilian Law Essay

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I have spent the last thirteen years of my life in the United States Army and have only known primarily one law and that is The Uniformed Code of Military Justice or UCMJ. Now I am making my transition into learning how to be a civilian and getting into the Criminal Justice career field I have to learn the civilian law. It has really become a huge interest in me the similarities and differences between the two different law codes.

According to www.ucmj.us on 30 June 1775, the Second Continental Congress established sixty-nine Articles of War to govern the conduct of the Army. The Articles of War were used until 31 May 1951, then the Uniformed Code of Military Justice took effect after it was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Uniform is used to make the code to be effective across all branches of the military.

For the most part military members are subject to the same freedoms and rights as civilians are. Soldiers have the freedom to religion under the first amendment, the right to due process of law under the 5th amendment and even have double coverage for the right against self-incrimination from Miranda v. Arizona and Article 31 of UCMJ which was well established well before the Miranda case precedence was set. A soldier has many restrictions on freedom of speech as outlined in Articles 89 and 91 that even speaking disrespectfully to somebody of a superior rank no matter what branch or unit has consequences and you can be punished. On the civilian side if you speak disrespectfully to the boss of a company you don’t even work for on the street nothing happens, at worse he or she has a few choice words for you in return. Through my time in the Army I noticed your Forth Amendment is gone completely. At any...


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...uld be brought up on charges against UCMJ that way it could not be considered double jeopardy. I think the most interesting thing I learned through this research even though I am in a “retired” status according to Article 2 I am still subject to the UCMJ. I thought that once I was no longer in the Army that I had to ever worry about being Court Marshalled or anything like that again but I guess not. I still have more to learn about civilian law and the more I learn the more interesting it gets to me.



Works Cited

"UCMJ – United States Code of Military Justice." UCMJ United States Code of Military Justice RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. .

Texas Criminal and Traffic Law Manual. 2013-2014 ed. : Matthew Bender & Company, Inc, 2013. Print.

"ARMY.MIL Features." Don't Ask, Don't Tell. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. .



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