Non-judicial punishment (NJP) under Article 15, UCMJ, is a disciplinary tool for Commanding Officers to quickly dispose of minor offenses without initiating the court-martial process. Instead, the Commanding Officer independently determines guilt or innocence and awards punishment. Whether called an “Article 15,” “office hours,” or “Captain’s Mast,” the proceeding and limitations on punishment are very similar.
When confronted with the prospect of NJP, an accused servicemember should weigh the risks and benefits of accepting NJP compared with demanding trial by court-martial. A servicemember cannot be compelled to accept NJP—no chain of command has the authority to force an accused servicemember to agree to this outcome.
Military Justice Attorneys strongly advises any servicemember facing NJP to consult a military lawyer before deciding on a course of action. Contact us now about your military Article 15 concerns right away. During your free consultation with Military Justice Attorneys, you will be able to discuss your legal rights, as well as other collateral consequences you should be mindful of before notifying your command of your decision.