Article 134: Sentinel or Lookout: Offenses Against or By
Should a service member in the United States armed forces disrespect an on-duty sentinel or lookout, or be caught loitering or sitting down while on duty in such a capacity, he or she may be accused and convicted under Article 134 of the UCMJ, which governs all minor offenses against or by military sentinels and lookouts.
The duty of a sentinel or lookout is imperative to the security of a mission, base of operations, or of military supplies and personnel. It is therefore considered a significant offenses under military law, and incurs harsh sentencing, even for its less serious offenses:
- Expect prosecutors to request a bad-conduct or even a dishonorably discharge if the offense occurs during wartime.
- Your military benefits—including your retirement and healthcare—are on the line. Losing these could mean the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime.
- Even if you are not immediately discharged from the military, you stand to have a significant amount deducted out of your salary for months and become a prime candidate for an administrative separation.
Do not let a single misunderstanding or mistake destroy what you’ve worked so hard to earn. Fight back TODAY with the help of Bilecki & Tipon LLLC.
What Is Article 134 (Sentinel or Lookout: Offenses Against or By) of the UCMJ?
Every article of the UCMJ requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a handful of critical assumptions—known as elements—to convict you of a crime. Article 134 defines two offenses related to actions taken by and against lookouts and sentinels in the armed forces, each with its own set of elements which must be proven.
(1) Disrespect to a sentinel or lookout
(a) That a certain person was a sentinel or lookout;
(b) That the accused knew that said person was a sentinel or lookout;
(c) That the accused used certain disrespectful language or behaved in a certain disrespectful manner;
(d) That such language or behavior was wrongful;
(e) That such language or behavior was disrespectful toward and within the sight or hearing of the sentinel or lookout;
(f) That said person was at the time in the execution of duties as a sentinel or lookout; and
(g) 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.
(2) Loitering or wrongfully sitting on post by a sentinel or lookout
(a) That the accused was posted as a sentinel or lookout;
(b) That while so posted, the accused loitered or wrongfully sat down on post; and
(c) 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.
Summary of the Elements of Article 134 (Sentinel or Lookout: Offenses Against or By): Depending on the offense in question, prosecutors may attempt to prove either that a) a service member acted disrespectfully toward an on-duty sentinel or lookout, or b) an lookout or sentinel was loitering or sitting down while performing his or her duties.
Military Defense Attorney for Article 134 of the UCMJ: Fighting Back Against Offenses Related to Military Sentinels and Lookouts
Service members who are convicted of offenses concerning military lookouts and sentinels often pay a heavy price for their mistakes. The duties of lookouts and sentinels are so important to the safety of personnel and to the success of missions that prosecutors may feel justified requesting the maximum sentence for even the slightest infractions. And 9 times out of 10, those prosecutors get exactly what they want.
Our job here at Bilecki & Tipon LLLC is to even the odds in court for our clients. An experienced military defense attorney can throw the prosecution’s entire case into doubt, highlighting inconsistencies, identifying testimony which counteracts the prosecution’s witnesses, and ensuring prosecutors never have a chance to define your character or harm your reputation in court.
Here are even more ways we even the odds in court:
- We understand the military’s justice system: Founding attorneys Timothy Bilecki and Noel Tipon are former JAG Corp officers with decades of experienced defending service members from UCMJ charges. Their understanding of courts-martial, military criminal defense and trial advocacy is unequaled.
- We employ exceptional in-house talent: The military’s prosecutors have access to an army of support staff. Going up against that kind of firepower means having a team of your own ready to work day and night to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
- We are a global military defense law firm: Bilecki & Tipon LLLC in located in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii, putting us a flight away from military installations in Korea, Okinawa, mainland Japan, Guam and the United States.
Charges against or by a sentinel are serious. And risking your military career over a single mistake is not an option. Contact Bilecki & Tipon LLLC today for a confidential consultation.
Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 134 Charges
Bilecki & Tipon has decades of experience defending service members against Article 134 offenses. We have secured positive outcomes for service members who have been accused of Article 134 offenses. And we can do the same for you.
Bilecki & Tipon will help you fight back against charges under Article 134: Sentinel or Lookout: Offenses Against or By
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 134: Offenses Specific to Military Sentinels and/or Lookouts
Two separate offenses concerning military sentinels and lookouts are listed under Article 134, each with its own maximum sentence.
Disrespect to a sentinel or lookout:
- Reduction to E-1
- Forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for 3 months
- Confinement for 3 months
Loitering or wrongfully sitting on post by a sentinel or lookout
- Reduction to E-1
- Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
- Confinement for 6 months
- Bad-conduct discharge
If you are charged with this offense during a time of war, the maximum sentence can increase significantly, leading to a dishonorable discharge and up to two years in prison.
I Was Accused of an Offense as a Sentinel or Lookout Abroad. Can You Still Help?
Yes. The attorneys at Bilecki & Tipon tend to travel quite a lot to defend our clients. Regardless of your location, we can reach you quickly, and begin preparing a case to secure the best possible outcome for you in court.