Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Good Order and Discipline

When John Kerry testified before the Senate in 1971, he was still a commissioned officer in the Naval Reserve. I have to wonder if that testimony violated the following punitive article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

Linked to the Beltway Traffic Jam on Outside the Beltway.


John of Argghhh! said...

Status matters. Was he in Title 10 status (on active duty), Title 18 status (I think that's the title) Drilling Reservist (i.e., in current drill status?)?

Status makes a difference in whether or not, and how, you are subject to the code.

This is a discussion of AF reservists - but the principle applies to all.


John said...

Those statuses have a lot to do when determining if the UCMJ has jurisdiction over the individual. There's another status that might be pertinent in this case and that's Kerry's commission. When he testified, had he resigned his commission yet?

John of Argghhh! said...

On the legal note, his commission doesn't matter in regard to status under the UCMJ - otherwise, my regular commission, still in force, would be applicable (and it isn't, as long as I'm in the retired reserve).

That point made - if you are griping from a personal note about the behavior of a commissioned officer - I understand.

John said...

I think you hit the nail on the head. As a commissioned officer, I am upset at the behavior of a commissioned officer.