As a Yeoman (YN) you will become
extensively involved with all aspects of
nonjudicial punishment, commonly called
either NJP or mast. In this chapter we discuss
duties and procedures required before, during,
and after NJP proceedings.
Although both commanding officers (COs)
and officers in charge (OICs) can conduct
mast, we will use only the abbreviation CO in
For a discussion on the
differences between masts held by COs and
OICs, see Article 15, Uniform Code of
Military Justice (UCMJ), and part V of the
Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM).
The term nonjudicial punishment and the
abbreviation NJP are used interchangeably.
They refer to certain limited punishments that
can be awarded for minor disciplinary
offenses by a CO to members of his or her
NJP proceedings are called
captains mast or simply mast.
Article 15 of the UCMJ, part V of the
MCM, 1984, and part B of chapter 1 of the
Manual of the Judge Advocate General
(JAGMAN) contain the basic laws about NJP
procedures. The legal protection afforded an
individual subject to NJP proceedings is more
complete than is the case for nonpunitive
measures, but, by design, is less extensive
than for courts-martial.
NJP is not
administrative and is nonadversarial in nature.
When punishment is imposed, it is not
considered a conviction, and when a case is
dismissed, it is not considered an acquittal.
The word mast also is used to describe
three different types of proceedings: request
mast, meritorious mast, and disciplinary mast.
Request mast is a hearing before the CO, at
the request of service personnel, for making
requests, reports, statements, and for airing
Meritorious mast is for the
o f p u b l i c ly
commending a member of the command for
noteworthy performance of duty. This chapter
discusses disciplinary mast. When we use the
term mast, that is what is meant.
Mast is a procedure used by the CO to
inquire into the facts surrounding minor
offenses allegedly committed by a member of
his or her command; to afford the accused a
hearing as to the offense(s); and to dispose of
such charges by dismissing the charges,
imposing punishment, or referring the case to
NATURE AND REQUISITE OF
NJP is a disciplinary measure more serious
than administrative corrective measures, but
less serious than trial by court-martial. NJP
provides commanders with an essential and
prompt means of maintaining good order and
discipline and also promotes positive behavior
changes in service members without the
stigma of a court-martial conviction.
AUTHORITY TO IMPOSE
Authority to impose NJP under Article 15,
UCMJ, may be exercised by a CO, an OIC, or
by certain officers to whom the power has
been delegated by the Secretary of the Navy
In the Navy and Marine Corps, billet
designations by the Chief of Naval Personnel
and Headquarters Marine Corps identify those
persons who are COs.
So the term
commanding officer has a precise meaning and
is not used arbitrarily.