40.280. Contemptuous words, used against certain officials — court-martial. — Any person subject to sections 40.005 to 40.490 who uses contemptuous words against the President of the United States, Vice President of the United States, Congress, Secretary of Defense, or a secretary of a department, the governor of the state of Missouri, the Missouri general assembly or the adjutant general of the state of Missouri, the governor or the legislature of any state, territory or other possession of the United States in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
In the Sheriff's Auxiliary, this offense also includes conduct against the County Sheriff & County Coroner, the County Commission, and County department heads as they are effectively our executive, legislature, and cabinet secretaries, respectively.
Shall Include conduct by officers and enlisted: In federal service, this offense is limited to commissioned officers. As above, Missouri extends it to "all persons...". The Auxiliary follows Missouri in this respect.
Shall not cover mere political conduct: By tradition and precedent, this offense does not extend to mere political conduct or political disagreement, even contentious political debate. The offense requires contempt to be expressed to or of the person of the official and their authority, not a mere disagreement over policy. Note that political speech in uniform or otherwise representing the Auxiliary or the Sheriff's Office, not directly related to our duties or the needs of the service, may still be inappropriate or against policy even when exempted from this offense.
Against other officials: Contemptuous actions toward other or lesser officials would then be covered under what is referred to as the "General Article" offense: "40.410. Neglecting or prejudicing discipline of the military — bringing discredit to state military services..." or, if the conduct is serious enough, "40.395. Provocative gestures or words, constituting a threat of violence...". The offense of "40.408 Officer's conduct, unbecoming to an officer and a gentleman..." is similar to and more serious than 40.410 but applies only to commissioned officers.
This offense, depending on the seriousness of the specific act, may be punishable by any means within the power of the Auxiliary, including dishonorable discharge.