The issue of following military orders from higher ranking military officials that may be unethical has been a disturbing and controversial issue over many years and decades. Many soldiers and service members in general have been put into a situation where they were given in order, knowing well that the situation isn’t right but cannot disobey. The leader giving the order in all likelihood may threaten or set out stiff punishment on to the individual who did not follow the order or hesitates to follow out on the order. It just isn’t fair that these soldiers and service members are put in these situations and get punished for doing the right thing. When this situation may be in question in a court of law because of the severity of the crime, these soldiers may get in trouble for committing the act even though they were just following orders. This is a big problem in the United States military and it’s not fair that these soldiers and service members, who sacrifice their lives for our freedom, are punished and put in this situation. Military members who fail to obey the lawful orders of their superiors risk serious consequences. Article 90 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) makes it a crime for a military member to WILLFULLY disobey a superior commissioned officer. Article 91 makes it a crime to WILLFULLY disobey a superior Noncommissioned or Warrant Officer. Article 92 makes it a crime to disobey any lawful order (the disobedience does not have to be “willful” under this article). In fact, under Article 90, during times of war, a military member who willfully disobeys a superior commissioned officer can be sentenced to death (Powers, N/A). The articles that mentioned above clearly state that a service member cannot disobey a lawful order or they will be punished for the crime, under the article covers their punishment. The excuse of just following orders when they are lawful or not is not an excuse nor will it bold well in a military court....
References: Powers, Rod, (N/A). Military Orders To Obey or Not to Obey?
Retrieved from http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/militarylaw1/a/obeyingorders.htm
Jordan, Bryant, (2010). ‘Birther’ Doc Investigated for AWOL
Retrieved from http://www.military.com/news/article/birther-doc-investigated-for-awol.html
Smith, T. & Hudson, J., (2004). Disobeying Orders
Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/july-dec04/disobey_10-18.html
The Lancet, Volume 378, Issue 9794, Pages 915 - 924, 3 September 2011
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