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Tim Bilecki

Military Law: What is Insubordination?

Feb 12, 2015
The military has a strict sense of organization that allows everyone to recognize who their subordinates and superiors are. This chain of command allows the military to perform duties in a succinct and effective manner while being clear about overall responsibilities. When this chain of command is broken, the servicemember that is accused of assaulting, disobeying, or disrespecting a superior is said to be insubordinate.

Types of Insubordination

Insubordination can be a serious criminal offense. It is governed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the military law in the United States. Depending on the form and facts of the insubordination claim, the penalties that arise as a result can differ. In general, someone convicted of insubordination may find themselves dishonorably discharged, made to forfeit pay, and beholden to any punishment besides death.

There are three main ways that insubordination usually occurs:

  1. Assaulting a superior: Assault can be considered words, gestures, brandishing a weapon, or striking a superior officer. This can be charged as insubordination if the accused knew that the person they were acting violent towards was an officer and the officer was on military duty.
  2. Disobeying a lawful order: Specific and direct orders must be followed by a subordinate when they are given from a superior, so long as it applies to their military duty, is legal, and the subordinate had knowledge of the order.
  3. Disrespecting a superior officer: Any action that fails to uphold the standards expected by the military can be considered disrespect. This does not need to occur in the presence of the officer.

Military Legal Services

Don’t let your career and criminal record be ruined based on claims of insubordination. Working with a court martial defense attorney can help protect your future and help you clear your name.

Don’t let your career suffer for insubordination chargesCall Bilecki Law Group immediately.

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