Improving Uniform Code of Military Justice Reform
MILITARY LAW REVIEW, Volume 222, Winter 2014
128 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2019
Date Written: Winter 2014
How might military leaders better shepherd Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) reform? In response to the military’s sexual misconduct crisis, Congress made major reforms to the UCMJ in 2014 for the first time in forty-five years. Many members of Congress are calling for more. Military leaders, however, did not initiate any of these major reforms and are vehemently opposed to any further change. This divergence indicates that military leaders failed in their ethical duty as members of the profession of arms to guide the UCMJ through an ever-changing environment. This thesis is designed to help military leaders better perform this duty. Based upon an in-depth analysis of legislative history, media reports, and scholarship, it first sets forth a six-variable framework to explain when Congress will take unsolicited action to correct a problem with the UCMJ. It then shows that military leaders can use four easily accessible early indicators to diagnose problems years before Congress takes action. Finally, it incorporates both the framework and the four indicators into a revolutionary four-step approach to UCMJ reform designed to help military leaders guide the UCMJ through ever-changing times.
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