What Does Missing in Movement Mean When It Comes to Military Law?

A somewhat interesting military law covered under Article 87 pertains to when an individual’s unit or ship is scheduled to depart, and the person doesn’t show up.

This law was implemented as a result of this occurring frequently during WWII. It is sort of an in-between law. It covers situations that are considered more serious than AWOL, but not as serious as desertion.

Article 87 will come into play when a military member has full knowledge that his ship, aircraft, or unit is departing from a specific area, and the member willingly chooses not to be present in time for departure. However, this is a very rudimentary understanding of the law. It becomes more complex when the specifics of the circumstances are examined.

For example, neither a short marching sprint nor a short distance with the intention of returning to the place of origin is considered a move. Or let’s say an aircraft was changing berths-this would not technically be considered a move under the terms of this law.

We also have to consider that how the move is going to take place is not considered relevant. For example, if a unit is going to be moved by aircraft this makes no difference nor does it constitute an excuse for the offence being committed.

In order for the offence to have merit it must be proven that the individual charged with the offence under Article 87 knew that the move was scheduled to take place. Neither the exact hour nor even the exact date has to be specified. Knowing the approximate schedule of the move is enough.

It takes combined evidence to find one guilty of this offence. For example, circumstantial evidence is enough to prove that the accused had knowledge of the departure plans, but documentary evidence or testimony will most likely be required to show that the move actually took place, and that the accused was somewhere else at the time it took place.

The punishments for those found guilty of this offence can vary. For example, it could be a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 2 years.

It is important that anyone in the military know the laws by which they are bound. Ignorance of these laws will not be sufficient for a defense.

 

 

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