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Reduction in grade. RCM 1003(b)(4); UCMJ art. 58a
- “Unless otherwise provided in regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary concerned, a court-martial sentence of an enlisted member in a pay grade above E-1, as approved by the convening authority, that includes
- a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge;
- confinement; or
- hard labor without confinement,
- reduces that member to pay grade E-1.”
- ARMY. The automatic reduction to pay grade E-1 mandated by Article 58a applies only to enlisted soldiers with an approved sentence, whether or not suspended, that includes EITHER a punitive discharge OR confinement of more than 180 days (if adjudged in days) or six months (if adjudged in months). AR 27-10, para. 5-29 e .
- NAVY. The Navy and Marine Corps’ implementing regulation provides for automatic reduction to the grade of E-1 when sentence, whether suspended or not, includes EITHER a punitive discharge OR confinement in excess of ninety days or three months. JAGMAN, 0152c(1).
- AIR FORCE. Requires, as part of the approved sentence, a reduction AND either confinement, a punitive discharge, or hard labor without confinement before an airman is “automatically reduced” HOWEVER only reduced to the grade approved as part of the adjudged sentence (i.e., there is no automatic reduction to the grade of E-1). AFI 151- 201, para. 9.10 (26 Nov 03).
- COAST GUARD. As a matter of policy does NOT permit an automatic reduction. Military Justice Manual, Commandant Instruction M5810.1D, Chapter 4, Para.
- United States v. Combs , 47 M.J. 330 (1997). Punishment to reduction in rank, when unlawfully imposed, warrants sentence relief. The accused’s court- martial sentence included reduction to the grade of E-1, but was subsequently set aside. Pending rehearing on sentence, the accused’s chain of command ordered that he wear E-1 rank on his uniform and that he get a new identification card showing his grade as E-1. The court awarded the accused twenty months sentence credit, equal to the period of time he was ordered to wear reduced rank pending a rehearing.
- Rank of retiree, in Army, may not be reduced by court-martial, or by operation of law. United States v. Sloan , 35 M.J. 4 (C.M.A. 1992).
- Restriction.. No more than 2 months; confinement and restriction may be adjudged in the same case but together may not exceed maximum authorized confinement (where 1 month confinement equals 2 months restriction).
- Hard labor without confinement.. No more than 3 months; confinement and hard labor may be adjudged in the same case but together may not exceed maximum authorized confinement (where 1 month confinement equals 1.5 months hard labor w/o confinement); enlisted members only; court-martial does not prescribe the hard labor to be performed.