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 Article 133, UCMJ. Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman

Any commissioned officer, cadet, or midshipman who is convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.


(1) That the accused did or omitted to do certain acts; and

(2) That, under the circumstances, these acts or omissions constituted conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.

Article 133 provides for punishment of “behavior in an official capacity which, in dishonoring or disgracing the person an officer, seriously compromises the officer’s character as a gentleman, or action or behavior in an unofficial . . . capacity which . . . seriously compromises ther person’s standing as an officer.”  This Article covers an expansive range of conduct and is subject to abuse by inexperienced or overly aggressive prosecutors.  Article 133 is typically charged in conjunction with other military crimes.  Military prosecutors view Article 133 as an easy means of obtaining a conviction in case they are unable to convict on the primary charge.

For more information on this offense including the maximum punishment, potential defenses, and a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case, consult with an experienced military lawyer.

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