Punitive Articles of the UCMJ (Article 91 - Insubordination)

Article 91: Insubordinate conduct toward warrant officer, NCO, or PO

USMC Violations

Whether it is conduct unbecoming or insubordination with a superior ranking official, chances are if made public through social media, your military career is over. The exact phrasing of insubordination is as follows:

Text. “Any warrant officer or enlisted member who—

(1) strikes or assaults a warrant officer, non-commissioned officer, or petty officer, while that officer is in the execution of his office;

(2) willfully disobeys the lawful order of a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer; or

(3) treats with contempt or is disrespectful in language or deportment toward a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer while that officer is in the execution of his office; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Elements.

(1) Striking or assaulting warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer.

(a) That the accused was a warrant officer or enlisted member;

(b) That the accused struck or assaulted a certain warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer;

(c) That the striking or assault was committed while the victim was in the execution of office; and

(d) That the accused then knew that the person struck or assaulted was a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer. Note: If the victim was the superior noncommissioned or petty officer of the accused, add the following elements

(e) That the victim was the superior noncommissioned, or petty officer of the accused; and

(f) That the accused then knew that the person struck or assaulted was the accused’s superior non-commissioned, or petty officer.

(2) Disobeying a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer.

(a) That the accused was a warrant officer or enlisted member;

(b) That the accused received a certain lawful order from a certain warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer;

(c) That the accused then knew that the person giving the order was a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer;

(d) That the accused had a duty to obey the order; and

(e) That the accused willfully disobeyed the order.

(3) Treating with contempt or being disrespectful in language or deportment toward a warrant, non-commissioned, or petty officer.

(a) That the accused was a warrant officer or enlisted member;

(b) That the accused did or omitted certain acts, or used certain language;

(c) That such behavior or language was used toward and within sight or hearing of a certain warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer;

(d) That the accused then knew that the person toward whom the behavior or language was directed was a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer;

(e) That the victim was then in the execution of office; and

(f) That under the circumstances the accused, by such behavior or language, treated with contempt or was disrespectful to said warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer. Note: If the victim was the superior noncommissioned, or petty officer of the accused, add the following elements

(g) That the victim was the superior noncommissioned, or petty officer of the accused; and

(h) That the accused then knew that the person toward whom the behavior or language was directed was the accused’s superior noncommissioned, or petty officer.

Explanation.

(1) In general. Article 91 has the same general objects with respect to warrant, noncommissioned, and petty officers as Articles 89 and 90 have with respect to commissioned officers, namely, to ensure obedience to their lawful orders, and to protect them from violence, insult, or disrespect. Unlike Articles 89, and 90, however, this article does not require a superior-subordinate relationship as an element of any of the offenses denounced. This article does not protect an acting noncommissioned officer or acting petty officer, nor does it protect military police or members of the shore patrol who are not warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officers.

(2) Knowledge. All of the offenses prohibited by Article 91 require that the accused have actual knowledge that the victim was a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer. Actual knowledge may be proved by circumstantial evidence.

(3) Striking or assaulting a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer. For a discussion of “strikes” and “in the execution of office,” see paragraph 14c. For a discussion of “assault,” see paragraph 54c. An assault by a prisoner who has been discharged from the service, or by any other civilian subject to military law, upon a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer should be charged under Article 128 or 134.

(4) Disobeying a warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer. See paragraph 14c(2), for a discussion of lawfulness, personal nature, form, transmission, and specificity of the order, nature of the disobedience, and time for compliance with the order.

(5) Treating with contempt or being disrespectful in language or deportment toward a warrant, non-commissioned, or petty officer. “Toward” requires that the behavior and language be within the sight or hearing of the warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer concerned. For a discussion of “in the execution of his office,” see paragraph 14c. For a discussion of disrespect, see paragraph 13c.

The rules are simple. Do not disobey, disrespect, or defame any military senior, the service, or its people without suffering the consequences. The higher up the chain of command a guilty person's actions climb the more quickly and harshly administered the punishment could be. Be smart. If you are going to be insubordinate or disrespectful do not post it on social media for the world and the military and political establishment to also witness.