circumstances should the investigation of a claim be
delayed because criminal charges are pending.
The investigation makes findings of fact and
opinions on whether the claim:
is by a proper claimant (in writing and for a
is made within 90 days of the incident that gave
rise to it.
is for property belonging to the claimant that was
the subject of damage, loss, or destruction by a
member or members of the naval service.
specifies the amount of damage suffered by the
The investigation also makes recommendations
about the amount to be assessed against the responsible
parties. If more than one service member is responsible,
the investigation must make recommendations
concerning the amount to be assessed against each
A preponderance of the evidence is necessary for
pecuniary liability under Article 139.
Normally, the measure of a loss is either the repair
cost or the depreciated replacement cost for the same or
similar item. Depreciation for most items depends on
the age and condition of the item. The Military
Allowance List-Depreciation Guide should be used in
determining depreciated replacement cost.
If all offenders are attached to the command
convening the investigation, the CO assures that the
offenders have an opportunity to see the investigative
report and are advised that they have 20 days in which
to submit a statement or additional information. If a
member declines to submit further information, he or
she will so state, in writing, during the 20-day period.
The CO reviews the investigation and determines
whether the claim is in proper form, conforms to Article
139, and whether the facts indicate responsibility for the
damage by members of the command. If the CO finds
that the claim is payable, he or she fixes the amount to
be assessed against the offender(s).
If the CO has authority to convene a GCM, no
further review of the investigation is required. If the CO
does not have GCM CA, the investigation and the COs
action is forwarded to the OEGCMJ over the command
for review and action. The OEGCMJ will then notify
the CO of his or her determinations, and the CO will take
action consistent with that determination.
If the offenders are members of different
commands, the investigation is sent to the OEGCMJ
over the commands to which the alleged offenders are
assigned. The OEGCMJ makes sure the alleged
offenders are shown the investigative report and are
permitted to comment on it before action is taken on the
The OEGCMJ reviews the investigation to
determine whether the claim is properly within Article
139 and whether the facts indicate responsibility for the
damage on members of his or her command. If the
OEGCMJ determines that the claim is payable, he or she
fixes the amount to be assessed against the offenders and
direct their COs to take action accordingly.
The OEGCMJ may, upon request by either the
claimant or the member assessed for the damage, reopen
the investigation or take other action he or she believes
is in the interest of justice. If the OEGCMJ anticipates
acting favorably on the request, he or she will give all
interested parties notice and an opportunity to respond.
If the claim is for $5,000 or less, the claimant or the
member against whom pecuniary responsibility has
been assessed may appeal the decision to the OEGCMJ
within 5 days of receipt of the OEGCMJs decision. If
good cause is shown, the OEGCMJ may extend the
appeal time. The appeal is submitted via the OEGCMJ
to JAG for review and final action. Imposition of the
OEGCMJs decision is held in abeyance pending final
action by JAG.
RELATIONSHIP TO COURT-MARTIAL
Article 139 claims procedures are entirely
independent of any court-martial or nonjudicial
punishment proceedings based on the same incident.
Acquittal or conviction at a court-martial may be
considered by an Article 139 investigation, but it is not
controlling on determining whether a member should be
assessed for damages. The Article 139 investigation is
required to make its own independent findings.
Facts. YN3 Snootfull got uproariously drunk, stole
street of Anywhere, Florida, at 85 mph. Finding this less
a U.S. Government sedan, and drove down the main