All The Major Changes To The UCMJ That Took Effect In 2019

| January 10, 2019

Congress passed its most sweeping reforms to the Uniform Code of Military Justice in decades in 2016, but it didn’t take effect until Jan. 1 of this year. Other changes to the military process and offenses, such as domestic violence, were included in the recently passed 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

Nothing makes a POG happier than an updated UCMJ.  It seems them sticklers for rules got tired of using the ole 134 to do their deed.

Domestic Violence

Anyone who commits a violent offense against a spouse, an intimate partner, or an immediate family member of that person to threaten or intimidate them can now be punished at a court-martial, according to a Navy summary. Domestic violence is already punishable under state law in Virginia. Typically, state and military prosecutors will work together to decide where someone should be charged. But because the UCMJ is a federal law, there is nothing to stop a service member from being charged with crimes by both in unique circumstances.


Adultery has long been a crime in the military but it has been replaced with “extra-marital sexual conduct,” according to the Army. The new offense broadens the definition of sexual intercourse, which now includes same-sex affairs. Previously, prosecutors had to prove traditional intercourse to obtain a conviction for adultery. Now oral sex and other activities are included.

Legal separation also is now a defense against the crime. Previously, service members could be charged with adultery even if they had been legally separated for years but were not divorced, the Army said.

No more threatening the Dependapotamus and I thought Bill Clinton clearly defined what sex was and was not.

Sex With Recruits

Recruiters, drill sergeants and others in “positions of special trust” convicted of abusing their authority over recruits or trainees now face stiffer penalties, the Army said. Those positions of trust include officers and non-commissioned officers, according to the Air Force.

The maximum sentence was increased from two years to five years of confinement for those in authority engaging in prohibited sexual activities with junior personnel, the Army said.

What? No more perks on Recruiting Duty.  I always thought doing 2-5 years on Recruiting Duty was punishment enough for any crime.  Those poor Navy Nurses … I feel so badly now.  They all could have gone to the brig for what they did to me.


The definition of consent has been clarified to reinforce that submission resulting from the use of force, threat of force, or placing another individual in fear does not constitute consent.

Just for the record, I never consented to burned shitters.  I can probably think of one or two hundred other things that I was forced to do without my consent.

Oh, and you can no longer wear Medals of Valor that are not in your official records.  The horror of it all.

Source: All The Major Changes To The UCMJ That Took Effect In 2019

Category: Legal

Comments (41)

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  1. AW1Ed says:

    Had “exra-marital sexual conduct” been in effect during the end of the Cold War, my entire flight crew, excepting the Ordie and myself, would be in the brig.

    And we would likely have letters of reprimand…

    • USAF E-5 says:

      Had a LtC that screwed around on wife #1 with wife #2, rec’d a letter in his personnel jacket, for the promotion board. Then, 2 years later screwed around on wife #2 with wife #3 and was given the option of retiring with 27 yrs if he could get off base before my paperwork hit the JAG’s office. Beat me by 45 minutes. Had a CMSgt (my supervisor) call in “sick at home”. His wife called and asked if I’d seen him in the last 2 days 30 minutes later. I said, “He say’s he’s home sick.” Next day I told the Chief, your wife called looking for you, I told her you were home sick. 2 days later he was retired. I’ve got literally a dozen names of people discharged/retired for doing it in the 70’s and 80’s. Guess I just had different Commanders.

  2. 5th/77th FA says:

    Typical, can’t/don’t enforce some of the laws we have, so let’s pass some more that are already covered by laws on the books. Seems like more and more of the idiotic thinking in the civilian world is spilling over into the Military World. Was clarification needed? Was there too much wiggle room for dirtbags that couldn’t act right? Did a printing contractor need more dental or tuition money for his kids?

    How many of us had to do things we didn’t/wouldn’t normally consent too? Pretty much all of us at one point in time or another. I do remember an Air Force Captain Nurse. Not only did she cross the services line (me Army u AF), she crossed the Officer to Enlisted line. And that’s all I got to say about that. Good times!

  3. 2banana says:


    It is still ok for an E6 cis transvestite who identifies as a male army officer to have relations with a bi-lesbian gender binary coast guard O2?

    • J.R. Johnson says:

      No, that was clarified in 2000 for all services, equally. Though the Cis, Trans identifies as an officer, until it actually gains a commission, the Coasty would be charged with fraternization and/or conduct unbecoming. They can either break off their relationship or one can request discharge from the service.

      • 2banana says:


        Love Trumps Hate

        Plus all that is a bunch of white male privilege

        • rgr769 says:

          Yes, one cannot help who or what one loves. Think of all those lonesome, looking for love, goats in Shitholistan. Obviously, these new rules don’t apply to our turd world allies.

    • Dave Hardin says:

      That’s crazy talk, an E6 would never have relations with someone under O4

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      Only on days that end with the letter “z”…

    • Doc (FMF) says:

      I think the Air Force has a ribbon for that.

  4. Comm Center Rat says:

    What a relief to know that stiffer penalties now apply to extra-marital sexual conduct! I guess it was often too hard to prove adultery involving actual traditional intercourse. Overall, I find the latest UCMJ revisions rather anti-climatic and deflating.

    • 26Limabeans says:

      “too hard”
      Funny as Hell….

      • rgr769 says:

        I think he dropped a “c” and meant anti-climactic. And you forgot “deflating,” as these new rules are apparently meant to keep some things limp in the line of duty.

  5. Dennis - not chevy says:

    When I was on instructor duty the General would sign an order that stating instructors would not have sex with students and that violating that order would result in a courts martial under Article 92 UCMJ. A lot of folks got DD’s for not keeping it in their pants. If the instructors were so in need of a shot of leg, they should have remembered what Platoon Sergeant Toomey said, “Do unto yourself what you would do unto others.” Two years confinement at hard labor, loss of all pay and allowances, reduction in grade to E-1, and dishonorable discharge was more than I wanted to pay for a roll in the hay.

  6. Green Thumb says:

    Hopefully this will make it easier to get rid of shitbags.

  7. 26Limabeans says:

    “Now oral sex and other activities are included.”

    Can we see a detailed list please?
    Asking for a friend.

  8. Alberich says:

    Previously, service members could be charged with adultery even if they had been legally separated for years but were not divorced, the Army said.

    Except…adultery was an Article 134 offense, so the government had to prove that the adultery was “prejudicial to good order and discipline” or “tended to bring the Armed Forces into disrepute.” Long-separation cases don’t meet that element, or at least I never saw one that did.

    (What I dislike about the charge is the way prosecutors use it as a tack-on in dubious sex assault cases…the Defense wins on the sex assault, “but we still got him on something, woo-hoo! Court-martial conviction for you…” I’m not sure what the right reform is, but I hate to see that.)

  9. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    Dave – those Navy Nurses are real “manipulators”, aren’t they? “Snake” charmers…

    And “dipping the DEPpers”… who would want to have relations with someone old enough to be your son/daughter? Saw it happen too many times when I was a MED Programs recruiter.

    • Dave Hardin says:

      Sure, make wave jokes now that EX-PH2 has a broken computer.

      She will be back…and you will pay.

      • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

        Hey – I was ordered to “perform my duty” by a superior officer… multiple times! I was “just following orders”!

    • IDC SARC says:

      Know why Navy Nurses have sex with their eyes closed?

      They can’t stand to see a Corpsman having a good time.

    • NHSparky says:

      How do you think Admiral Tony Watson (and my first Chief Recruiter, among others) got hammered back in the day?

      Of course, recruiters, being the sly, devious, and cunning creatures they are, just put asthma on the fair female prospect’s P-card, stuck it in the dead file, and they were fair game.

      So I heard….

  10. Hondo says:

    All joking aside, given the SCOTUS’ unilateral legalization of same-sex marriage the adultery specification in the UCMJ desperately needed to be updated.

    As I recall, the previous UCMJ and implementing MCM defined adultery in terms of different-gender sex only. That meant that a male/female liaison was prosecutable as adultery – but that a same sex liaison almost certainly was not. (I say “almost certainly” because I don’t know that the subject was ever tested at court-martial and/or by subsequent appeal.)

    Regardless of anyone’s personal opinion concerning whether same-sex marriage should be permitted, it now is. So that bit of asinine inequality in the UCMJ needed to be fixed.

    • Alberich says:

      Yes, adultery under the old Manual required actual “insert Tab A into Slot B” sexual activity, so if one of the two parties lacked the requisite parts, Article 134 adultery could not take place.

      (But you could still commit “conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline” or “unbecoming an officer” even if it wasn’t specified elsewhere in the manual.)

  11. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    Totally agree with you on the updates/changes to the UCMJ, Hondo.

    Question – Have you seen anyone actually convicted of adultery at a courts-martial? I’ve seen it charged, but it’s usually been dropped or changed to a lesser charge during the process.

    • NHSparky says:

      Weren’t there a bunch of BUFF pilots convicted of it back at Minot back in the 90’s?

    • Alberich says:

      I’ve seen it, but only when it was a “tack-on” charge to a sexual assault. And in the case I’m thinking of, the Soldier was acquitted of all the bad stuff but had to live with a court-martial conviction of (extremely consensual) adultery (I mean, both the Soldier’s spouse and the “third party” consented). Pretty rotten use of the law, overall.

  12. SFC D says:

    “Typically, state and military prosecutors will work together to decide where someone should be charged. But because the UCMJ is a federal law, there is nothing to stop a service member from being charged with crimes by both in unique circumstances.”

    I’m no lawer, but that sounds a little off. Is that statement saying that you can be tried by the state, and then tried at a court martial because it’s federal? Tried by the state and also getting punishment under Article 15 is allowable, but that sounds like double-jeopardy territory.

    • MrBill says:

      No, it’s permissible under the “dual sovereign” principle. An example of this is the case of MSG Timothy Hennis, who was acquitted of murder in state court, but subsequently convicted at a court-martial.

    • Mason says:

      As Bill says, you can be charged both federally and at the state level for the same crime. Though even in civilian cases, it’s rare to see it charged in both. In practice, it’s usually a one or the other kind of deal.

      • SFC D says:

        Well I’ll be damned. I was always taught that you couldn’t do that, ART 15 on top of a trial was ok because it’s NJP, but dual trials was a no-go. Thanks for the education.

  13. streetsweeper says:

    I recall an SSG that couldn’t keep his thang outta a PFC’s yaya box, riding patrol with her every night on one of our fine resorts/garrisons. They were found out about only after the climbing in the backseat of their cruiser in which, the rear doors couldn’t opened from within and failed to answer the hourly time checks.
    He went from hero to zero and she got a BCD. lol.