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UCMJ Article 100: Subordinate Compelling Surrender

At Bilecki Law Group, We believe every service member has earned their right to an aggressive defense on their day in court. We specialize in taking the fight to the prosecution and winning cases that others said were unwinnable.

What is Article 100 Of The UCMJ?

A service member of the United States armed forces who breaks with the lawful chain of command and takes action to compel his commanding officer to abandon or surrender military property or personnel to an enemy may be charged under Article 100 of the UCMJ. Article 100 is a wartime crime, and as such incurs some of the harshest punishment in military law:

  • You could face the death sentence for any offense under Article 100 if referred capital. Even an alleged attempt to surrender could put you in prison for decades.
  • Even if a death sentence is off the table, you could face a decade or longer in prison depending on how capable the government’s prosecutors are.
  • A dishonorable discharge will limit your civilian job prospects, and future promotions will be given to others with less scandalous pasts.

Do not allow one mistake made in the chaos of war to affect your future and your freedoms. Fight back TODAY with the aggressive legal advocacy of Bilecki Law Group.

Defining Article 100 of the UCMJ

Every UCMJ punitive article requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a handful of critical assumptions—known as elements—to convict you of a crime. Article 100 governs three separate charges, each with its own set of elements which must be proven.

  1. Compelling surrender
    1. That a certain person was in command of a certain place, vessel, aircraft, or other military property or of a body of members of the armed forces;
    2. That the accused did an overt act which was intended to and did compel that commander to give it up to the enemy or abandon it; and
    3. That the place, vessel, aircraft, or other military property or body of members of the armed forces was actually given up to the enemy or abandoned.
  2. Attempting to compel surrender
    1. That a certain person was in command of a certain place, vessel, aircraft, or other military property or of a body of members of the armed forces;
    1. That the accused did a certain overt act;
    2. That the act was done with the intent to compel the commander to give up to the enemy or abandon the place, vessel, aircraft, or other military property or body of members of the armed forces;
    3. (d) That the act amounted to more than mere preparation; and
    4. (e) That the act apparently tended to bring about the compelling of surrender or abandonment.
  1. Striking the colors or flag
    1. That there was an offer of surrender to an enemy;
    2. That this offer was made by striking the colors or flag to the enemy or in some other manner;
    3. That the accused made or was responsible for this offer; and
    4. That the accused did not have the proper authority to make the offer.

Summary of the Elements of Article 100: The government must prove that your actions intentionally compelled a commanding officer to surrender his or her position, a body of troops or military equipment to the enemy during wartime. Furthermore, any attempt made by the accused to offer said surrender or attempt to offer that surrender could incur charges under Article 100.

Military Defense Attorney for Article 100 of the UCMJ: Strategies and Tactics

Accusations of criminal acts during wartime are often based on hazy memories, frantic acts of survival and chaotic orders by multiple commanding officers.

Bilecki Law Group will not allow prosecutors to build their narrative of guilt without first confronting the reality of the situation on the ground.

Below are just some of the questions we’ll consider while preparing a strategy for you in court:

  • Did any miscommunications occur regarding orders to surrender? Were there rumors of surrender? Were there conflicting orders from multiple commanding officers? We’ll talk to multiple witnesses to get a full account of what happened before we ever set foot in court.
  • What was the situation on the ground at the time of the events? Was it impossible to communicate with a higher authority? Government prosecutors will not consider how your actions could have been influenced by the fog of war or the death or absence of a commanding officer.
  • Did any surrender of a position or military property actually occur? If not, and the government is accusing you of attempting to compel surrender, could your actions have been misconstrued in the haze of battle?

We’ll perform our own investigation into your actions and attempt to prove you had no intention of compelling surrender.

Wartime crimes are considered some of the most serious offenses in the military. And serious crimes demand equally serious advocacy. Call Bilecki Law Group today for a free consultation

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Timothy James Bilecki

Military law attorney

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Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 100 Charges

Court-martial attorneys Bilecki Law Group defend service members accused of serious offenses. We have secured victory after victory for our clients, and we have the case history to prove it.

Bilecki Law Group will help you fight back against charges under Article 100: Subordinate Compelling Surrender

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UCMJ Article 87b

Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Offenses

Article 100 is considered a wartime offense, and due to the serious nature of the offense and its implications during wartime, the Manual for Court Martial states that a maximum penalty of death for all offenses listed under Article 100 should the case be referred capital.

The traditional meaning of striking the colors of the flag is to surrender a position or body of troops to the enemy. The Manual for Court Martial defines striking the colors of the flag as any attempt to haul down the colors or flag in the face of the enemy or to make any other offer of surrender.

Mutiny as defined by Article 94 of the UCMJ often involves two or more service members acting in concert to overthrow, usurp, or override lawful military authority. Article 100 is different from mutiny in that concert of action is not an essential element necessary to convict a service member of the offense.

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