Changes In Uniform Code of Military Justice Loom
Focus on The Family,
June 21, 2001
By Mark Cowan, correspondent
SUMMARY: Those people who complain that our military is more concerned
with social engineering than defending our shores have another reason to
worry. An independent commission is recommending the Pentagon drop sodomy and
adultery charges from the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
The panel, made up of former military lawyers and judges, suggests dropping
the charges because they claim that adultery and sodomy are normally committed
by consenting and, often, married adults.
David Sommers, who heads the Non-Commissioned Officers Association, said
this recommendation uses the military to undertake yet another societal
"It started with the homosexual issue (which) in my opinion has been
forced (upon the military) . . . and now weve got this. Its very
disturbing," Sommers said.
Campbell University law professor and former Army legal officer William
Woodruff said the commission wants to make military and civilian justice more
"As the military becomes less a combat force and more of a
peacekeeping force, the needs and justifications for these unique rules to
support unit cohesion so soldiers lay down their lives for one another becomes
less and less important," Woodruff said.
Col. Ron Ray, a former deputy assistant to the secretary of defense, sees
"This is a deliberately designed and direct attack on the first
principle of American military service, which required virtue and honor and
patriotism among all leaders as an example," Ray said.
Other recommended changes in the UCMJ include: setting up a fund to pay for
civilian lawyers in death penalty cases, and reducing the influence of
commanding officers over court-martials.
An attempt was made to water down adultery charges during the Clinton
administration, but critics used the Marine Corps motto "Semper Fidelis"
always faithful as an effective argument against the change. The
policy remained intact, but it appears the victory was short- lived.
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