Punitive Articles of the UCMJ

Article 108 - Destruction of Government Property

Text

“Any person subject to this chapter who, without proper authority-

  1. sells or otherwise disposes of;
  2. willfully or through neglect damages, destroys, or loses; or
  3. willfully or through neglect suffers to be lost, damaged, destroyed, sold, or wrongfully disposed of, any military property of the United States, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

    Elements

    1. Selling or otherwise disposing of military property.

    • That the accused sold or otherwise disposed of certain property (which was a firearm or explosive)
    • That the sale or disposition was without proper authority;
    • That the property was military property of the United States, and
    • That the property was of a certain value.

    2. Damaging, destroying, or losing military property.

    • That the accused, without proper authority, damaged or destroyed certain property in a certain way, or lost certain property;
    • That the property was military property of the United States;
    • That the damage, destruction, or loss was willfully caused by the accused or was the result of neglect by the accused; and
    • That the property was of a certain value or the damage was of a certain amount.

    3. Suffering military property to be lost, damaged, destroyed, sold, or wrongfully disposed of.

    • That certain property (which was a firearm or explosive) was lost, damaged, destroyed, sold, or wrongfully disposed of;
    • That the property was military property of the United States;
    • That the loss, damage, destruction, sale, or wrongful disposition was suffered by the accused, without proper authority, through a certain omission of duty by the accused;
    • That the omission was willful or negligent; and
    • That the property was of a certain value or the damage was of a certain amount.

      Explanation

      1. Military property. Military property is all property, real or personal, owned, held, or used by one of the armed forces of the United States. If is immaterial whether the property sold, disposed, destroyed, lost, or damaged had been issued to the accused, to someone else, or even issued at all. If it is proved by either direct or circumstantial evidence that items of individual issue were issued to the accused, it may be inferred, depending on all the evidence, that the damage, destruction, or loss proved was due to the neglect of the accused. Retail merchandise of service exchange stores is not military property under this article.

      2. Suffering military property to be lost, damaged, destroyed, sold, or wrongfully disposed of. “To suffer” means to allow or permit. The willful or negligent sufferance specified by this article includes: deliberate violation or intentional disregard of some specific law, regulation, or order; reckless or unwarranted personal use of the property; causing or allowing it to remain exposed to the weather, insecurely housed, or not guarded; permitting it to be consumed, wasted, or injured by other persons; or loaning it to a person, known to be irresponsible, by whom it is damaged.

      3.  Value and damage. In the case of loss, destruction, sale, or wrongful disposition, the value of the property controls the maximum punishment which may be adjudged. In the case of damage, the amount of damage controls. As a general rule, the amount of damage is the estimated or actual cost of repair by the government agency normally employed in such work, or the cost of replacement, as shown by government price lists or otherwise, whichever is less.

      Lesser included offenses.

      (1) Sale or disposition of military property.

      (a) Article 80—att empts

      (b) Article 134—sale or disposition of non-military government property

       

        (2) Willfully damaging  military property.

        (a) Article 108—damaging military property through neglect

        (b) Article 109—willfully damaging non-military property

        (c) Article 80—attempts

         

          (3) Willfully suffering military property to be damaged.

          (a) Article 108—through neglect suffering military property to be damaged

          (b) Article 80—attempts

           

            (4) Willfully destroying military property.

            (a) Article 108—through neglect destroying military property

            (b) Article 109—willfully destroying non-military property

            (c) Article 108—willfully damaging military property

            (d) Article 109—willfully damaging non-military property

            (e) Article 108—through neglect damaging military property

            (f) Article 80—attempts

             

              (5) Willfully suffering military property to be destroyed.

              (a) Article 108—through neglect suffering military property to be destroyed

              (b) Article 108—willfully suffering military property to be damaged

              (c) Article 108—through neglect suffering military property to be damaged

              (d) Article 80—attempts

               

                (6) Willfully losing military property.

                (a) Article 108—through neglect, losing military property

                (b) Article 80—attempts

                 

                  (7) Willfully suffering military property to be lost.

                  (a) Article 108—through neglect, suffering military property to be lost

                  (b) Article 80—attempts

                   

                    (8) Willfully suffering military property to be sold.

                    (a) Article 108—through neglect, suffering military property to be sold

                    (b) Article 80—attempts

                     

                      (9) Willfully suffering military property to be wrongfully disposed of.

                      (a) Article 108—through neglect, suffering military property to be wrongfully disposed of in the manner alleged

                      (b) Article 80—attempts

                        Maximum punishment

                        (1) Selling or otherwise disposing of military property.

                        (a) Of a value of $500.00 or less. Bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowance, and confinement for 1 year.

                        (b) Of a value of more than $500.00 or any firearm or explosive. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 10 years.

                         

                          (2) Through neglect damaging, destroying, or losing, or through neglect suffering to be lost, damaged, destroyed, sold, or wrongfully disposed of, military property.

                          (a) Of a value or damage of $500.00 or less. Confinement for 6 months, and forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for 6 months.

                          (b) Of a value or damage of more than $500.00. Bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 1 year.

                           

                            (3) Willfully damaging, destroying, or losing, or willfully suffering to be lost, damaged, destroyed, sold, or wrongfully disposed of, military property.

                            (a) Of a value or damage of $500.00 or less. Bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 1 year.

                            (b) Of a value or damage of more than $500.00, or of any firearm or explosive. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 10 years.

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                              Above Information from Manual for Court Martial, 2002, Chapter 4, Paragraph 32

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