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Author Topic: The Uniformed Code of Military Justice and the Stargate Program  (Read 936 times)

Kendrall

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Since my character Sean is a stickler for the UCMJ (Uniformed Code of Military Justice) and some of you don't seem to have an issue having your characters flaunt the various regulations (no names need to be mentioned), I did a little research on how the UCMJ applies to the Stargate Program.  Sure, it's largely an international program under the directive of the United Nations Security Council, but since the SGC itself is organized under the Department of the Air Force...

Sorry, boys and girls, but the UCMJ forms the basis of military law throughout the entire Program, even though Russia had its own Stargate at one point.  While United States Code (USC) is readily available on the Internet, the latest version of the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM) wasn't quite so easy to find, but goes more into detail on the various examples of what's defined as 'punitive articles' and 'predefined offenses'.

The Uniformed Code of Military Justice is pretty much set in stone regarding relationships between enlisted personnel and commissioned officers; and to an extent, two commissioned officers or NCOs of disparate ranks (10 USC § 934, Articles 133 and 134; each service branch also has its own instruction or policy regarding improper relationships). Technically, it can also extend to someone in the military who's in a relationship (married or otherwise) with a civilian who's currently working as a full-time employee or contractor assigned to the same post.

As for civilian employees/contractors, they can be still subject to the UCMJ, as per Article 2(a), Section 10:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/802

(a) The following persons are subject to this chapter:

    (10) In time of declared war or contingency operation, persons serving with or accompanying an armed force in the field.


...since the Stargate Program would probably qualify as a "contingency operation," and "in the field" (as they're pretty much all over the place), ALL civilian personnel currently attached to the Program would be subject to the UCMJ, and therefore can face similar punishment as defined by the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM).

The same rules apply for international detachments assigned to the SGC or any of its posts, as per Section 11 and 12:

(11)  Subject to any treaty or agreement to which the United States is or may be a party or to any accepted rule of international law, persons serving with, employed by, or accompanying the armed forces outside the United States and outside the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

(12) Subject to any treaty or agreement to which the United States is or may be a party or to any accepted rule of international law, persons within an area leased by or otherwise reserved or acquired for the use of the United States which is under the control of the Secretary concerned and which is outside the United States and outside the Canal Zone, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 11:02:49 AM by Kendrall »
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Re: The Uniformed Code of Military Justice and the Stargate Program
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2013, 11:16:55 PM »

:yes: :D :)
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Re: The Uniformed Code of Military Justice and the Stargate Program
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2013, 12:25:01 AM »

Finally, what I've been trying to tell the others all the time, here in Russia any civilian could be court-martialed because our ministry of defense is above on jurisdiction level than others. :P So someone can get busted if something goes really wrong... *shifty eyes*
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 04:22:20 AM by Kendrall »
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Re: The Uniformed Code of Military Justice and the Stargate Program
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2013, 05:03:13 AM »

Sorry guys, but I think I need to break this down in to a more, sort of plain, English due to the language barrier.  :redface:

As far as I understand it, it has to do with what kind of relationship the different categories and ranks can have between each other?

No real news though - An enlisted can't date an officer. If there are to many steps between officers you can't date either. All of this also applies to the civvies we have here that has the equivalent ranks of the military personnel?
If a civilian breaks any rules they can be court marshaled?

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Kendrall

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Re: The Uniformed Code of Military Justice and the Stargate Program
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2013, 08:59:13 AM »


As far as I understand it, it has to do with what kind of relationship the different categories and ranks can have between each other?



Correct.  While each branch of the US Armed Services have their own policy or instruction regarding "improper or unprofessional relationships"; as I said before, the UCMJ is the final authority.  For a commissioned officer or even a warrant officer to get involved in a personal relationship (i.e. dating, FWB, etc) with an enlisted person (E-1 to E-3) or an NCO (E-4 and above) could easily be misconstrued as a breakdown of the chain of command, a lack of discipline, a lack of respect for the superior, showing favoritism or partiality towards the enlisted person, and so forth.  Ergo, anything that could reflect badly on the officer cadre (or the service branch as whole).  And yes, if there are too many steps between officers (or even NCOs) then that relationship is also frowned upon.


All of this also applies to the civvies we have here that has the equivalent ranks of the military personnel?  If a civilian breaks any rules they can be court marshaled?


Well, I believe the correct term would be "facing a court-martial."  Up until 2007, civilian employees working with the US Armed Services could only be subject to the UCMJ during a declared war.  The law was changed in 2007 with the added provision of "contingency operation" as operations in Iraq and Afghanistan were never a formal declaration of war.  Since the nature of SGC can be considered as a "contingency operation"; i.e. it's an ongoing operation that maintains a deterrent from space-borne threats (El Aenir, Goa'uld, Wraiths, Hozgura, etc), civilians working at the SGC or any of its outposts (or even on a starship) are subject to the UCMJ.

(Incidentally, DoD private contractors and civilian employees working with the US Armed Services overseas are also subject to what's referred to as the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, or MEJA.  I'll touch on that particular topic at some point in the future, especially if a civilian member of an SG team or assigned crewman aboard a ship commits an offense punishable by jail time of more than a year.)

But can a civilian employee or contractor be *tried* under the UCMJ; that is, actually face a court-martial? 

In March 2008, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (yes, the real-life Secretary of Defense whom held that post from December 2006 to July 2011) issued a memorandum to all Service Secretaries, the Chairman of the JCS, the Under-secretaries of Defense, and to the Commanders of the Combatant Commands regarding the UCMJ and how it applied to DoD civilian employees, contractors, and "other persons serving with or accompanying the Armed Forces overseas during declared war and in contingency operations."   While you can read a public copy of that memorandum here, I'll do my best to explain it in layman's terms.

The short answer is "No."  The combatant commander (in this case, Sean) would have to formally notify Gates (our version of the SECDEF) of the charges filed against the civilian employee, and in turn Gates has to notify the Department of Justice, and then wait for fourteen calendar days to a reply if the DoJ intends to exercise its jurisdiction.  If after 14 calendar days have gone by and the DoJ says "We need more time to review," then Gates will tell Sean to wait.  If the DoJ says, "We're not going to handle this," then and only then can Sean be given the go-ahead by Gates to proceed with the legal process provided by the UCMJ.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 12:27:01 PM by Kendrall »
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Re: The Uniformed Code of Military Justice and the Stargate Program
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2013, 03:40:05 PM »

What does this mean for military members from other nations?
Because I know that the rule here is (As I remeber it again from anouther helpful british army hand book, this one is current. 'Relationships.' By the way these are now e books but you cant buy current issue ones. Most soldeirs tend to print them off. (Like my uncle.) Bring them home and then forget about them. this is from 2010)
Technicly aslong as you are not officially in a relationship acording to the rules lid down by her Majesty court. (Married) you can serve in the same battalion. (However it is normaly decided  between company commanders and the battalion commander or XO to make sure they are not in the same company.)
And anybody out side the British army is not under their control so they don't do anything.

Thats to the extent I know it.
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Kendrall

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Re: The Uniformed Code of Military Justice and the Stargate Program
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2013, 08:13:25 PM »

That's a fair question, and I'll do my best to answer it.

The very definition of a "relationship" has slight nuances between each of the US Service Branches, but all of them are pretty much the same.  For example, Air Force Instruction 36-2909 goes into detail regarding the difference between a "professional" and an "unprofessional" relationship.  I'll reference the articles from About.com as it does a pretty good job of converting the military lingo into layman's terms for each service branch:

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/airforce/a/fraternization.htm  (Air Force)

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/navy/a/fraternization.-uqE.htm  (Navy)

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/marines/a/fraternization.-fAM.htm (Marine Corps)

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/army/a/fraternization.-u3q.htm (Army)

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/coastguard/a/fraternization.-u8N.htm (Coast Guard)

I'll also include the About.com article regarding fraternization:

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/justicelawlegislation/a/fraternization.-ukn.htm

So how does this apply to international military or civilian personnel currently attached to a United States military base?

The basic premise would be "When in Rome, do as the Romans do;" i.e. if you're a member of an international military unit currently attached to a United States post, it's expected that you would respect the military laws as provided under the UCMJ, and therefore adhere to them.  To my knowledge, while said member technically couldn't be tried in a court-martial, if he or she has been accused of violating any part of the UCMJ, the very worse that can happen is to be dismissed from attachment duty and recalled back to his or her home nation.

If you're not "technically" in a relationship (and that's usually up to a company commander or above to make that call, and not the actual persons involved), then there's no issue.  Both persons can be assigned to the same posting, provided there's enough open slots for their respective jobs.   If there is evidence of a personal relationship, then the company commander has to determine if there will be any possibility of compromising the chain of command, discipline, order, or even morale, then take the appropriate actions as afforded to him under the UCMJ.

If both persons are married and are both serving, each service branch has what's known as a 'JOIN SPOUSE' program.  Long story short, the military will try as hard as it can to station spouses at the same base or within 100 miles of each other, but there's no promise they can do so.  There has to be enough open slots at the base, and a new slot can't be created to accommodate the other person.  If both persons are in the same service branch, the odds of being posted together (or near each other) are much greater versus a married couple who are in different branches.
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