Uniform Code of Military Justice

Congress enacted the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in 1950, applying the code of military criminal laws to service members worldwide (Figure 1). The president implemented the UCMJ through the Manual for Court-Martial, which contains the Rules for Court Martial and Military Rules for Evidence.

The UCMJ brought into the modern era the U.S. military and criminal justice system, which commenced with the British Articles of War of 1774. The American Articles of War predated the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. The Articles of War, written in 1775, governed military justice until after World War II. Military expansion and modern requirements required changes in the military justice system. During this era, approximately 16 million Americans served in the armed forces, with 2 million court-martial ...

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