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Did You Know? Retired Soldiers and the Uniform Code of Military Justice
WASHINGTON Have you ever heard a retired Soldier say, They cant touch me now; Ive retired.? Fortunately, for the sake of military justice, this is not true when it comes to retired Soldiers who violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) while they were on active duty or in a retired status.
Under Article 2 of the UCMJ, the Army maintains court-martial jurisdiction over retired personnel. Army Regulation 27-10, Military Justice, states Retired members of a regular component of the Armed Forces who are entitled to pay are subject to the provisions of the UCMJ . . . and may be tried by court-martial for violations of the UCMJ that occurred while they were on active duty or while in a retired status. Department of the Army policy, however, does limit these trials to cases where extraordinary circumstances are present. The Army normally declines to prosecute retired Soldiers unless their crimes have clear ties to the military, or are clearly service discrediting. If necessary to facilitate courts-martial action, retired Soldiers may be ordered to active duty.
The regulation adds that Retired Reserve Component Soldiers are subject to recall to active duty for the investigation of UCMJ offenses they are alleged to have committed while in a Title 10 duty status, for trial by court-martial, or for proceedings under UCMJ, Article 15. Forfeitures imposed under the UCMJ, Article 15 may even be applied against a Soldiers retired pay.
Who ordered them to bring the issue up?