On being property of the US Government

Over at Patterico’s, in a thread about the death penalty for child rapists, commenter “psyberian” claimed that service members are the government’s property. ABSOLUTELY NOT! They are members of the service, not property. They willingly agree to place themselves under the jurisdiction of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). It’s right there in the Oath of Enlistment. They surrender no constitutional rights. The UCMJ provides the same protections for a persons constitutional rights as any other court.
If you think this change of jurisdiction is odd, consider this. You willingly place yourself under a different jurisdiction every time you cross a state line.

2 thoughts on “On being property of the US Government”

  1. I think a lot of that comes from the old saw about how you could get Article 15’ed for getting a sunburn and “damaging government property”. Fact is, while you COULD get in trouble if you got a sunburn off duty that prevented you from performing your duty, it was NOT for “damaging government property”. But “being an irresponsible slacker” doesn’t sound as cool when you try to explain why you got in trouble.

  2. Heh, that old saw. Your real risk there was a “line of duty” investigation and having them decide that since the injury wasn’t received for doing your job, you got to pay the price of the medical care, you didn’t get paid for time lost, and your enlistment extended the same amount of time.

    I broke my arm rappelling on my own time. The Bn CO told me he was going to do a “LOD” on me. I said that was just fine, since I was heading over to the IG to ask why the 5 guys in the BN with torn ACLs from skiing didn’t get LOD’ed.

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