Disciplinary Process, UCMJ, simplification

evought's picture

As discussed in the CLA/2 class material, internal discipline in the Auxiliary uses the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) as its template. The Auxiliary is not precisely a military unit, but it is a hierarchical structure which sometimes must operate in dangerous circumstances within a chain of command. We are, however, quite a bit smaller than an organization like the US military. The State of Missouri, which is also smaller than the US military, adapts and simplifies the UCMJ for use with its national and state guard units in RsMO 40. We do the same thing in our policies with respect to Missouri Chapter 40. Some of these refinements must be made over time as we discover what works and what does not.

Among key differences between ourselves and the US military or the state/national guard units is that we are volunteers. That makes an entire array of disciplinary punishments inapplicable: we cannot readily garnish wages, fine, incarcerate volunteers, etc. If we attempted to do so--- even for a serious offense--- the volunteer may simply leave. Therefore, any offense so serious that it would merit such actions will be turned over to civil or criminal law, or, where that cannot be done, dismissal with cause may be the most serious action we can take.

For a variety of smaller offenses, a balance must be struck between too much focus on discipline which may drive volunteers away and too little which will prevent us from operating effectively in the field (and would likely drive volunteers away). A similar balance must be struck to maintain fairness: in a small organization, bulky disciplinary processes cannot work and yet, efforts must be made to ensure that discipline is fairly and evenly applied, to sort true accusations of misconduct from false ones.

This subsection of our policies will note critical departures in our process from RsMO 40.