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One of the biggest gripes in the military is its legal system. The military has multiple ways of offering punishments and reprimands to those who serve, but it’s not always fair. This is due in part to the way the military judges alleged suspects. While the United States judicial system is biased towards the innocence of the defendant; the military instead leans towards a guilty until proven innocent mentality commonly found in Japan. Which means that without a rock-solid alibi to defend them, a member is going to get punished for a crime they didn’t commit because the evidence wasn’t found for the contrary.

But, why exactly is it biased against the alleged “offender”? Well, the answer lies in the fact that military courts are designed to be used in a wartime scenario, not a peaceful one. The ultimate goal of military justice is to ensure that good order and discipline are maintained within the field, combat zone, ship, base, and unit. For example, thieves aren’t normally considered to have a positive influence on morale around the unit, and as such it’s best to deal with them in a swift and efficient manner. But, these type of cases is easily solved by digging through the perpetrator’s gear and equipment and finding (or not) the alleged goods. It’s instead on larger cases when NCIS has to become involved that things become a lot more complicated, and the bias is noticeable.

Navy Criminal Investigative Service is brought to the scene for actual criminal cases. When they arrive, their only objective seems to be finding a guilty party, regardless of whom it is, additionally bring in anyone who is remotely related to the situation and bring them all down. At this point, nothing will stop the members of the NCIS from digging through computers, phones, messages, accounts, emails, and all forms of communication to make a list of accomplices. A good example of this was during the investigation in CVN-76 the USS Ronald Reagan for the criminal drug ring that was circulating.

Numerous sailors were placed on liberty restrictions (few of whom were absolved of any crimes while the others waited) for months on end. These sailors were not able to leave the base, wear civilian attire, or even leave the ship past 1800 unless they wanted to get in even more trouble for failure to obey their restriction policy. Keep in mind the investigation started in February of 2018 and is still ongoing. The reasoning for their restriction until now, the investigation is still pending? But, isn’t four months long enough for an investigation? They already found the guilty party, what else are they waiting for?

It’s bad enough to lose your freedom when you sign up for the military, and it’s even worse when you lose the remaining freedom for something you didn’t do. There isn’t enough evidence to convict some of the members still under investigation; however, they still keep them waiting. Their liberty is simply a victim of their circumstance, any court worth their salt would have already released these members as free men. But, not in the military because they have to be guilty… no matter what.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Emmanuel "Dash the Bomber" Barbosa

Emmanuel Barbosa, AKA Dash The Bomber, is currently serving in the 7th fleet, and has over 8 years of experience in the military. A writer with a penchant for the humorous and informative, he loves to share his stories with those who would be willing to listen. Having served in deployments that have taken him around the world, Dash has seen and heard about many things that would be hard to believe. A loving father and a faithful husband, he is dedicated to protecting his family and country. For fun he enjoys cosplaying, videogames, and writing for online magazines.

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1 thought on “Military Law

  1. The article is inaccurate and incorrect in any number of ways; it also conflates administrative law with criminal justice process, procedures and law. Very succinctly and bluntly, the military justice system is more fair than the civilian criminal justice system in effect in the states and the US Code (Federal Criminal Law). I know, understand and appreciate the pros and cons of the military justice system and the UCMJ and the pros far outweigh the cons. This is a statute passed by Congress and updated regularly. It follows the criminal common law. It is not a perfect system but then no criminal justice system is. I rose from E-1 to O-6. I served 6 years as a GCM military judge. I heard every kind of case one can think of and some you wouldn’t think of. Don’t knock it unless you really know what you are talking about. Remember, too, everyone subject to military justice and the UCMJ voluntarily agreed to be bound by it and other military law, rules, regulations and lawful General Orders.

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