UCMJ – United States Code of Military Justice

933. ARTICLE 133. CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN

10. Punitive Articles

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.


6 Comments for this entry

  • Ellen Sandfer

    For my university class in Amerindian Warfare I’ve chosen to do my research paper on the Court Martial of Major Marcus Reno. I managed to find the court martial document and its states that he was brought up on the charge of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman – Article 133 of the UCMJ.

    I’ve tried to find what exactly are the specifications that qualify as a breach of Article 133.

    Can you help me in this endeavor? How exactly does Article 133 define what is conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentlemen.

    Please let me know.

    Ellen Sandfer

    • A COL

      First, Article 133 of the UCMJ did NOT exist at the time of MAJOR Reno’s Court martial, the UCMJ came into existence in 1951. Prior to 1951, the Army was governed by The Articles of War while the Navy had the Articles of the Navy. That said, the 61st Article of War was “Conduct Unbecoming and Officer and a Gentleman.” What constituted conduct unbecoming was not defined so it was whatever the convening authority deemed to be unbecoming conduct. It was then left up to the Court to determine if the conduct was in fact “unbecoming.” This article was only to be used if none of the other articles properly defined the crime. This article, like UCMJ Article 133 ONLY applied to commissioned officers.

  • R Gabbard

    articla 133, Conduct Unbecoming, If you can get your hands on an Officers or Platoon leaders handbook, you will see that The General Conduct section spells out what that Particular Armed service Considers the Conduct of service is.
    It is generally made to say the following;

    a. You shall abide by all laws of the United Staes of America, Local, State, and Federal.

    b. You shall in all manner and action, conduct yourself as a gentlelman,(lady). You shall not support any conduct that demeans the high moral standards, religious belief, or creed of any person, group, or government.

    c. You shall always Obey all orders of Superior Officers Appointed above you.

    d. You may never use your Rank, Position, or knowledge to corrupt your judgement or your ability to follow orders or complete duties.

    This is just an example of what I can remember from memory, Your local library may have a copy of the UCMj, The Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

    Hope this was some help.

  • John Magner

    First of all, you’re looking in the wrong place. UCMJ came into effect some time after WWII. I think it was 1947. Prior to that, all the branches of the armed forces had their own set of laws.

    Second, to answer your question, this is conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman. NOTE: Despite that idiot’s film, “A Few Good Men,” there is no such law as Conduct Unbecoming a Marine:

    Text.

    “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.”

    Elements.

    (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.

    Explanation.

    (1) Gentleman. As used in this article, “gentleman” includes both male and female commissioned officers, cadets, and midshipmen.

    (2) Nature of offense. Conduct violative of this article is action or behavior in an official capacity which, in dishonoring or disgracing the person as an officer, seriously compromises the officer’s character as a gentleman, or action or behavior in an unofficial or private capacity which, in dishonoring or disgracing the officer personally, seriously compromises the person’s standing as an officer. There are certain moral attributes common to the ideal officer and the perfect gentleman, a lack of which is indicated by acts of dishonesty, unfair dealing, indecency, indecorum, lawlessness, injustice, or cruelty. Not everyone is or can be expected to meet unrealistically high moral standards, but there is a limit of tolerance based on customs of the service and military necessity below which the personal standards of an officer, cadet, or midshipman cannot fall without seriously compromising the person’s standing as an officer, cadet, or midshipman or the person’s character as a gentleman. This article prohibits conduct by a commissioned officer, cadet or midshipman which, taking all the circumstances into consideration, is thus compromising. This article includes acts made punishable by any other article, provided these acts amount to conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. Thus, a commissioned officer who steals property violates both this article and Article 121. Whenever the offense charged is the same as a specific offense set forth in this Manual, the elements of proof are the same as those set forth in the paragraph which treats that specific offense, with the additional requirement that the act or omission constitutes conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.

    (3) Examples of offenses. Instances of violation of this article include knowingly making a false official statement; dishonorable failure to pay a debt; cheating on an exam; opening and reading a letter of another without authority; using insulting or defamatory language to another officer in that officer’s presence or about that officer to other military persons; being drunk and disorderly in a public place; public association with known prostitutes; committing or attempting to commit a crime involving moral turpitude; and failing without good cause to support the officer’s family.

  • R White

    Essentially the court martial board within the following constraints:

    (1) Gentleman. As used in this article, “gentleman” includes both male and female commissioned officers, cadets, and midshipmen.

    (2) Nature of offense. Conduct violative of this article is action or behavior in an official capacity which, in dishonoring or disgracing the person as an officer, seriously compromises the officer’s character as a gentleman, or action or behavior in an unofficial or private capacity which, in dishonoring or disgracing the officer personally, seriously compromises the person’s standing as an officer. There are certain moral attributes common to the ideal officer and the perfect gentleman, a lack of which is indicated by acts of dishonesty, unfair dealing, indecency, indecorum, lawlessness, injustice, or cruelty. Not everyone is or can be expected to meet unrealistically high moral standards, but there is a limit of tolerance based on customs of the service and military necessity below which the personal standards of an officer, cadet, or midshipman cannot fall without seriously compromising the person’s standing as an officer, cadet, or midshipman or the person’s character as a gentleman. This article prohibits conduct by a commissioned officer, cadet or midshipman which, taking all the circumstances into consideration, is thus compromising. This article includes acts made punishable by any other article, provided these acts amount to conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. Thus, a commissioned officer who steals property violates both this article and Article 121. Whenever the offense charged is the same as a specific offense set forth in this Manual, the elements of proof are the same as those set forth in the paragraph which treats that specific offense, with the additional requirement that the act or omission constitutes conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.

    (3) Examples of offenses. Instances of violation of this article include knowingly making a false official statement; dishonorable failure to pay a debt; cheating on an exam; opening and reading a letter of another without authority; using insulting or defamatory language to another officer in that officer’s presence or about that officer to other military persons; being drunk and disorderly in a public place; public association with known prostitutes; committing or attempting to commit a crime involving moral turpitude; and failing without good cause to support the officer’s family.

  • John

    I have recently had a active Army Reserve soldier threaten me. This occured while this person was under my supervision, as my subbordinate at work, and this threat was witnessed by several employees at this place of work. What can I do?

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