united states coast guard

R 261300 NOV 18
UNCLAS //N05810//
ALCOAST 394/18
A. National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Public Law 114-328
B. Exec. Order No. 13825, 80 Fed. Reg. 46 (Mar. 8, 2018)
1. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is changing; on January 1, 2019,
the biggest reforms to the military justice system since the Korean War go into
effect. These changes affect every member of the service.
2. The Military Justice Act of 2016 (MJA 16), passed as Division E of REF (A),
contains the most comprehensive changes to the UCMJ in over sixty years. On
March 1, 2018, President Trump signed REF (B), which implements these changes
and amends significant portions of the Manual for Courts-Martial. REF (B) is
posted on the Joint Service Committee on Military Justice public webpage, located at Most of the changes will take effect on January 1, 2019.
3. MJA 16 modernizes courts-martial practice and incorporates best practices
from the federal criminal system, adds new investigative tools for criminal
investigators, and alters the responsibilities of commanders and judges within
the military justice system. Some of the most notable changes include:
    a. Updated and New Punitive Articles to the UCMJ. For example, a new criminal
offense will now prohibit sexual relations, regardless of consent, between
service members serving in accessions/training roles (e.g. recruiters, company
commanders) and their recruits/trainees. The law also added offenses that
criminalize theft carried out using credit and debit cards (Article 121a),
stalking and cyber-stalking (Article 130), and acts of retaliation against
victims and persons who report crimes (Article 132).
    b. New Investigative Authorities. Government lawyers will now be able to use
subpoenas to obtain evidence earlier in the investigative process. In addition,
amendments to the Stored Communications Act will also enable investigators to
obtain orders and warrants from a military judge to compel disclosure of the
contents of electronic communications from an electronic services provider
(e.g. Google, Facebook).
    c. New Judge-Alone Special Court-Martial. A new form of special court-martial
will allow commanders to refer cases to a judge-alone court-martial with no
right for a members panel (jury), with punishments limited to six months
confinement and six months of forfeitures. There is no ability to refuse this
type of court-martial. This type of court-martial will allow commanders to
prosecute lower-level misconduct more efficiently.
    d. Additional victim-centric provisions. The rights of military crime victims
expands to legal guardians of the victim or representatives of the victim’s estate,
family members, or any other person designated by the military judge. The law will
require the accused’s lawyer to interview alleged victims through the Special
Victim’s Counsel.
    e. Expanded Jurisdiction over Reservists. Article 2 has been amended to address
jurisdictional gaps of Reservists on inactive-duty training (IDT). MJA 16 extends
UCMJ jurisdiction throughout the entire drill period, including after working
hours and while the Reservists are traveling to and from the IDT training site.
4. Required Training. MJA 16 includes an amendment to Article 137, UCMJ, which
requires officers with authority to convene general or special courts-martial or
to administer non-judicial punishment (NJP) to receive periodic training on the
purpose and administration of the UCMJ. Enlisted personnel with authority to
administer NJP are also required to receive this training. All commanders,
commanding officers, and officers-in-charge have an obligation to become familiar
with the UCMJ, to include MJA 16 changes, before they take effect on January 1, 2019.
5. Staff Judge Advocates (SJAs) will ensure all personnel with authority to convene
general or special courts-martial and administer NJP within their respective
commands receive MJA 16 training no later than Monday, December 31, 2018. After
January 1, 2019, all courts-martial convening authorities and personnel with the
authority to administer NJP must receive MJA 16 training from the cognizant Staff
Judge Advocate’s office before exercising such authority.
6. Staff Judge Advocates will document completion of UCMJ training for respective
personnel within their commands and report completion to COMDT (CG-LMJ) via e-mail
to the listed POC no later than Tuesday, January 15, 2019.
7. Training materials related to MJA 16 are posted on the following CG Portal site:
8. POC: LCDR Emily A. Rose, COMDT (CG-LMJ), or (202) 372-3811.
9. RADM S. J. Andersen, Judge Advocate General and Chief Counsel, sends.
10. Internet release is authorized.