l Place of alleged offense
l Statement of facts that allege the offense
In pleading these elements on the charge sheet, you
should stick to certain rules such as the following:
l In pleading rate, spell out the words instead of
using the abbreviation for the rating; for example,
Storekeeper Third Class, Seaman, and Hospitalman
Third Class. If the rank or grade of the accused has
changed since the date of the alleged offense(s), identify
the accused by his or her present rank or grade followed
by his or her former rank or grade; for example. In that
Seaman John A. Doe, U.S. Navy, then Seaman
Apprentice John A. Doe, U.S. Navy . . . .
. Set forth the accuseds first name, middle initial
or name, and last name in that order. Capitalize the first
letters in each name only; for example, Seaman John
Adam Doe or Seaman John A. Doe. Charge the accused
under the name he or she admits to be his or her true
name. If the accused is known by more than one name,
usc the acknowledged name of the accused. List the true
name of the accused first, followed by any known
aliases; for example, In that Seaman John A. Doe, alias
Seaman John A. Doezynckyski . . . .
. Never allege the social security number (SSN) of
. Show the branch of service as U.S. Navy, U.S.
Naval Reserve, or U.S. Marine Corps.
l In the unit or organization portion, show only the
name of a ship.
Do not allege the hull number.
Capitalize only the first letter of the ships name; for
example, USS Independence. In alleging shore or
overseas activities, give the name and the location of the
activity. For overseas activities, you may use FPO or
APO numbers instead of the physical location. You can
use Roman or Arabic numerals if they are a part of the
title of the unit.
. In alleging personal jurisdiction for military
members on active duty, the phrase on active duty must
be added immediately after the description of the
accused. Also, for members of Reserve components on
active duty, the specification must contain the phrase on
active duty. Since reservists not on active duty are not
subject to the UCMJ, failure to show that the member is
on active duty is sufficient cause to raise the question of
. In alleging times and dates, use a 24-hour clock;
that is, time runs 0100, 0200, 0300, up to 2400. Where
the date or exact time is uncertain, use the phrase at or
about or on or about; for example, In that ***** did, at
or about 1223 hours, on or about 17 July 19CY . . . . The
exact hour of an offense is not normally alleged in a
specification except in certain absence offenses.
. In alleging the place of the offense, if the offense
occurred at the accuseds unit, allege as on board said
ship or at said base. When the offense occurs at a
place other than the accuseds unit, describe the location
of that place in enough detail so no question arises as to
its location; for example, at or near the intersection of
Third and Garden Streets in the town of Pensacola,
. Before drafting the specification, you should
analyze the facts and refer to the pertinent paragraphs of
the MCM. This is where the elements of proof of
various offenses appear and examples of the forms of
specifications arc shown. Include all elements of an
offense. Allege any intent or state of mind that is
expressly made an essential element of an offense.
Thus, where appropriate, allege the offense as having
been committed knowingly, willfully, wrongfully,
unlawfully, without authority, or dishonorably. One
specification should not allege more than one offense.
However, if two acts or a series of acts constitute one
offense, you may allege them together. For the vast
majority of cases, you can usc the suggested forms and
wording contained in part IV of the MCM. For those
few cases where no form is shown, you must make sure
you cover all the elements of the offense in the
. U.S. and USS are permissible abbreviations. Do
not use any other abbreviations in specifications.
. The specification is typed using the block form
in what is called margin-to-margin fashion. After typing
your charge line, drop down two lines and begin typing
directly under the word Charge.
EXAMPLE: Charge: Violation of the UCMJ, Article
Specification: In that . . . . . . . . .
SUFFICIENCY OF SPECIFICATIONS. If a
specification that the accused has been found guilty fails
to allege any offense under the Code, the proceedings as
to that specification are a nullity and must be declared
invalid. If a specification alleges an offense under the
Code, the proceedings as to that specification should not
be held invalid solely because the specification is
defective. However, if it appears from the record that
the accused was misled by the defect or that his or her