The Uniform Code of Military Justice, or UCMJ allows for two ways of handling violations of the Code:  nonjudicial punishment, and court-martial.

Nonjudicial punishment is known as “Article 15” in the Army, after Article 15 of the UCMJ.  It’s also known as “Captain’s Mast” in the Navy, and “NJP” in the Marine Corps.  It is a means of ensuring that violations of the UCMJ are handled fairly and, if appropriate, punished without leaving a lasting markon a Servicemember’s record.

Courts-martial are a form of judicial punishment, and a conviction by court-martial will result in a Federal conviction on the Servicemember’s record.

There are three levels of Article 15 and court-martial.  Under Article 15, you have Summarized, Company Grade, and Field Grade.  For courts-martial, you have Summary, Special BCD, and General.  I will discuss each of these in the near future.