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A series of pertinent – and impertinent – observations on military justice

The Navy has just approved what many are calling the most progressive tattoo rules of any service.    Today, more than one in three sailors sports body art.  Sailors will now be allowed to have tattoos on their neck, arms, or even behind their ears .  Under the  new policy, only head tattoos are forbidden

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Oops!  Somebody thought it was a wonderful idea to rename a law school after late Supreme Court Justice Scalia. The only problem – an embarrassing acronym from the Antonin Scalia School of Law  [ASSOL].

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Wright-Patterson AFB  OH  has removed a Bible from a display on prisoners of war.  Personally, we think this goes too far   This writer recalls a time at the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk way back when.  A rear admiral who had been a POW in Vietnam spoke to the class one day, naming Christianity as his  source of fidelity and sanity in prison.   Some protested this as mixing church and state.  My comment: it was certainly worth hearing with the Admiral had to say – the same as somebody saying he used mathematics or singing songs or writing a book in his head to survive .  Nobody was forcing a particular belief on anyone.

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How the times change!   A recent article in T&P reports on Army Reservist Brig. Gen. Tammie Smith.    Her claim to fame – the first general officer, still serving,  to come out as gay.

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In mid-April, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment that would permit VA doctors to recommend marijuana as a potential medical treatment in states where it is legal.  So far, the rule would cover retirees only.    But with so many states legalizing marijuana, how long will it be before the UCMJ today handles marijuana the same way it deals with alcohol – the offense is IMPROPER use of tee substance — DUI, drunk on duty, incapacitation, and the like.

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A recent Washington Post article suggests a reason why Democrats have disappointed the working classes.   Carlos Lozada suggests that liberalism has abandoned the working class, embracing a new favorite constituency: doctors, lawyers, engineers, programmers, entrepreneurs, designers, writers, financiers, and other so-called creatives .  See Washington Post OUTLOOK  for Sunday, 13 March.


P.A. writes on of her son for whom we’re performing legal services – “thanks for all you’ve done and continue to do for him…s/  A veteran’s mom.”

And  A.T. writes of his success in having his case reopened.   Approached by a Command Sgt. Maj., he was asked to explain  his success.  A.T.’s response cited four things: God, perseverance, support from family and friends, and” J W Kastl’s understanding of the military and its unique system of justice.”   Thank you 


The art of creative charging offenses under the  UCMJ seems to have been lost through the years.   Here are two old favorites:

 ·        The Army missile man who “feigned pseudo–unconsciousness”

·        An airman whose offense was to “flip the bird” to his NCOIC.   The artful wording of the specification:  “In that X…did raise his middle finger heavenward, in a sign of contempt toward Master Sergeant X….”

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