22 May 2008

Article Something or Other

I think that I have previously mentioned that my Capital B Boss* likes to talk to me in military and I like to reply in theater. We understand each other pretty well, largely because these cultures share some deeply held beliefs and traditions.** Like "hurry up and wait" which well captures Tech In. Sure the military likes to do things very early in the day and theater people like to do things very late at night, but those two times often overlap, so my comparison holds.

Anyway, I was smirking smiling about something or other a couple of days ago and Boss pointed out to me that I could be charged under Article 131 for "Silent Contempt." He wandered off to do something important and I wandered over to Google.

The next time he was near my desk I got his attention and pointed out that Article 131 covers Perjury.

"Oh. Well, try Article 133."

"Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman."

It seems that the UCMJ may have been revised and/or expanded, so we have settled on my being prosecuted under Article 134 which is actually referred to as the General Article, but I informally call "Things That Annoy Your Boss." It reads thus:

Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.

As you may have guessed, it is the phrase good order and discipline that really speaks to my Boss. He loves that phrase. And he did tell me a story about someone who was Court Martialed during the war in Viet Nam for "making a gesture of silent contempt" while in the line.

So I told him about a book that Brett owns called (I think) Summer Soldiers and Sunshine Patriots which includes a listing of all courts martial during the American Revolution. One gentlemen, who shares my surname and I desperately hope is a relative, was brought up on charges for "refusing to follow the order of a superior officer and threatening to shoot any soldier who follows same."

And no, he can't get me under Article 88. That only applies to contempt against public officials, not one's Boss.

* Winner Best Boss Ever '05, '06, '07, '08.

** No, no, no. Not rum, sodomy, and the lash. Or, well, maybe....


tommyspoon said...

** No, no, no. Not rum, sodomy, and the lash. Or, well, maybe....

That only works as a Pogues album. Best. Pogues. Album. Ever.

Leta said...

I know! I didn't even know about the Churchhill quote after after I knew about the Pogues.

simonator said...

Of course the British verison of silent contempt is dumb insolence.