UCMJ – United States Code of Military Justice

History

History On 30 June 1775, the Second Continental Congress established 69 Articles of War to govern the conduct of the Continental Army.

Effective upon its ratification in 1789, Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution provided that Congress has the power to regulate the land and naval forces. On 10 April 1806, the United States Congress enacted 101 Articles of War (which applied to both the Army and the Navy), which were not significantly revised until over a century later. The military justice system continued to operate under the Articles of War until 31 May 1951, when the Uniform Code of Military Justice went into effect.

The UCMJ was passed by Congress on 5 May 1950, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, and became effective on 31 May 1951. The word Uniform in the Code’s title refers to the congressional intent to make military justice uniform or consistent among the armed services.

The current version is printed in the latest version of the Manual for Courts-Martial (2008), incorporating changes made by the President (executive orders) and National Defense Authorization Acts of 2006 and 2007.


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