UCMJ 101 – Basic Training
Where Experience Matters Most and Ineptitude Is Inexcusable
Military service members staring down the barrel of a military court martial would spare no expense in their defense if they truly understood what was coming for them. The military justice system is unlike any other jurisdiction in the American legal system. It is not designed to preserve truth and justice. It wasn’t created to ensure 100 guilty men go free, just so long as one innocent man doesn’t lose his freedom. The military justice system exists for the purpose of ensuring order and one way or the other, the military will have its order. For this to happen, a steady stream of “guilty” men and women must be produced to scare the rest of the service into line. If you do not want to be that example, then you need a guide who can walk you through this perilous process from a position of experience and proven results. Ineptitude is inexcusable because that ineptitude will cost you everything.
In many ways, navigating the military court martial process is much like working your way through a land navigation course. There are specific milestones along the way and each milestone must be nailed to perfection. In land nav, a 1 degree mistake in your azimuth might seem like a small error. However, 10 clicks down the road with that bearing and you are so far from your destination you couldn’t find your way home if you tried. So it is with the court martial process. One mistake early in the process and you are dead in the water by the time you arrive at trial, you just don’t know it yet. Experience matters and you don’t want some boot JAG defending your case for the same reason you don’t want some boot Lieutenant leading you on the land nav course.
Understanding the Power Of Your Command In The Process
Take no action at all: This is the best case for any accused, but one that commander’s rarely choose unless you put some pressure on them to do so. The commander has a great deal of pressure on them to come across as hard on crime and a strong defender of military discipline and order. Bringing an experienced attorney in early during the investigation is your best chance at getting the commander to take no action. Your attorney can present the case that the allegations are loose and the evidence scant. In some cases, where even the commander thinks the charges are B.S., but is under pressure to prefer charges on you, presenting the evidence of your own investigation now will give them the excuse to move on. Presenting a strong case to your commander takes tact and consideration. An inexperienced attorney may be able to get a commander to avoid court martial, but upset off the commander to the point they still run you out of the military anyway.
Three Types of Court Martial
The Bilecki Law Group Court Martial Philosophy
Your only chance is to fight like hell and let them make an example of the next guy. This is just the basics of the UCMJ and the court martial process, to win, you will need to understand much more advances tactics, techniques, and procedures. If you have a little fight in you, reach out to us or head over to our Court Martial Defense page and see how we fight and most importantly, how we win.