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Can a Soldier have multiple UCMJ actions pending at the same time?

Can I receive two Article 15's at the same time?

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Generally, no.  Paragraph 3-10, AR 27-10 (Military Justice) states,

When nonjudicial punishment has been imposed for an offense, punishment may not again be imposed for the same offense under UCMJ, Art. 15. Once nonjudicial punishment has been imposed, it may not be increased, upon appeal or otherwise. When a commander determines that nonjudicial punishment is appropriate for a particular service member, all known offenses determined to be appropriate for disposition by nonjudicial punishment and ready to be considered at that time, including all offenses arising from a single incident or course of conduct, will ordinarily be considered together and not made the basis for multiple punishments. This provision does not restrict the commander’s right to prefer court-martial charges for a non-minor offense previously punished under the provisions of UCMJ, Art. 15.

The key part of this paragraph you want to pay attention to is highlighted. Basically, all known charges should be brought forward at the same time on one Article 15. If you are receiving multiple Company or Field Grade (or a combination of the two) Article 15’s at the same time, then you need to let your Defense Counsel know when you speak with them. You must be provided the opportunity to speak to legal counsel at Trial Defense Services when receiving a Company or Field Grade Article 15. Do not waive this right and speak to an attorney.

Common misconceptions

Now, there are a couple situations when a Soldier may appear to be receiving multiple Article 15’s at the same time, but they actually are not. I will cover those next.

Situation 1:

Soldier received a Field Grade Article 15 and the process was complete.  The punishment imposed was reduction to PFC, extra duty, and restriction for 45 days. At some point during the extra duty, the Soldier was late to extra duty on two occasions (violation of Art. 86, Failure to Report to place of duty). While the Soldier is completing the 45 days extra duty from the initial Article 15, he receives a 2nd Article 15 for the two times he was late to extra duty. The punishment from the 2nd Article 15 was reduction to PV2 and 45 days extra duty and restriction. As long as he states his intent when the punishment is being imposed for the second Article 15, he may direct that the 45 days extra duty and restriction not begin until after the extra duty and restriction from the first Article 15 has been completed. The Soldier ends up performing 90 consecutive days of extra duty and 90 consecutive days of restriction. This is legally sound.

Situation 2:

Soldier received a Field Grade Article 15 for being AWOL and the process was complete. The punishment imposed was reduction to PFC, suspended for 180 days, forfeiture of 1/2 months pay for 2 months, suspended for 180 days, 45 days extra duty, and 45 days restriction. As long as the Soldier has no misconduct for 180 days after imposition, the Soldier will not be reduced to PFC and will not have monies taken from his pay.

90 days after imposition of the first Article 15 (before the 180 suspension is up)  the Soldier participates in a unit urinalysis and pops hot for marijuana. Due to the marijuana misconduct the imposing commander of the first Article 15 vacates the suspension of the reduction and forfeiture of pay. The Soldier is then reduced to PFC and has the 1/2 months pay for two months taken from his pay as imposed on the first Article 15. The Soldier also receives a 2nd Article 15 for the positive UA in which he is reduced to PV1, forfeiture of 1/2 months pay for 2 months, 45 days extra duty and 45 days restriction.

This is not double jeopardy and the Soldier is not receiving 2 Article 15’s at the same time. The suspended reduction to PFC and first forfeiture was implemented because the Soldier failed to stay out of trouble for 180 days. The reduction to PV1 and 2nd forfeiture was due to the positive UA.

These situations can be confusing. Be sure to speak with legal counsel at Trial Defense Services if you have any concerns.

I hope you found this helpful.

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and any views presented are my own and are not to be
interpreted as legal advice. Furthermore, my views do not necessarily
represent the views of DoD or its Components.

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Staff Sergeant(R) Douglas “Eck” Eckstein is a former Paralegal NCO with over eleven years of service in the Army. He has served overseas tours in Korea and Iraq. Eck served on active duty for seven years working in the personnel administration field then, after a break in service, returned to active duty in 2009 when he earned the Military Occupational Specialty, 27D (paralegal). He has worked in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate from Division level down to unit level. He has expertise in all aspects of military law, with extensive emphasis in Administrative Law and Soldiers Rights. “I am not an attorney and any views presented are my own and are not to be interpreted as legal advice. Furthermore, my views do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its Components.”

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  • Anthony


    currently I have completed my company grade punishment and they are now pushing for a field grade article for the same offenses, i was just wondering if this even possible

  • John doe


    I received a field grade article 15 under article 92 and they habe it listed 2 times for different dates. Prior to thus i received a GOMAR for the same offense 3 months prior. am i missing something? Is this right?

  • Jon Doe


    I was told I was being chartered out, talked with the commander and he gave me an article 15 and just told me my punishments. Now they’re initiating my chapter.. is this possible

  • joseph de jesus


    I’m a Basic Leader Course Student, for my oral presentation I want it to be from CSM mark Gerecht, English is not my first language and i bought a few of Mark Gerecht books and it’s been awesome. any ideas on my presentation will be appreciate.

  • John doe


    I’ve received a field grade article 15 for a positive ua 1 month ago ,I’m also in the process of getting chaptered and I completed my phase 2 physical yesterday; but I took another ua 2 weeks ago and it came back positive again can the commander impose another article 15 for the same thing

    • Eck


      Yes, you can receive a second Article 15. While it may appear to you that they would be for the same thing, the Article 15’s are for two separate infractions. You don’t get a free pass on subsequent drug use just because you are being chaptered for the first drug use. And, if you are receiving a General – Under Honorable discharge, the Command has the option to rescind that Chapter and re-initiate a Chapter for an Other Than Honorable discharge.

      Hope this helps.

  • guidance


    I had my first reading of my Article 15 at BDE. I had a total of 6 charges 1 an Article 92 (Disobeying a lawful order) and the 5 of Article 107 (Making a false statement) since the five fell under the same Article why didn’t they or can they just role it into one. They all fall under the same Article as stated to me when they read it. Just need some guidance

    • Eck


      The five charges of violating Article 107 should be listed separately. Each incident is a separate violation and requires a separate stipulation. You could be found guilty or not guilty of some or all of the five stipulations.

      I hope this helps.


      • Guidnace


        Thank you it did.

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