Kannady Oversees Passage of State Military Justice Code Overhaul

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Contact: State Rep. Chris Kannady
Phone: (405) 557-7337

OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill that revises the entire Oklahoma state military code passed the House of Representatives last week and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

House Bill 2362, authored by State Rep. Chris Kannady, R-Oklahoma City, repeals the current state military code and reconstitutes it with changes that purposefully mirror the active duty Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which is proven and familiar to new members of the national guard coming off of active-duty as well as providing preparation to non-prior service guardsmen for future active-duty deployments.

“This revision of the state Uniform Code of Military Justice was a comprehensive work that took months to complete,” Kannady said. “I worked closely with members of the Oklahoma Legislature’s bicameral, bipartisan Veterans Caucus as well as the Oklahoma Military Department and the Army and Air National Guard JAGs to completely update our state code matching it with our national code.

"The Oklahoma Uniform Code of Military Justice (O-UCMJ) covers all the major areas of military justice such as apprehension, warrants, arrests, restraint, confinement, punishment, court martials, trials, sentencing and punitive articles as well as post-trial procedures and reviews. Perhaps, most importantly for the national guard, the new code provides a robust non-judicial punishment provision which is much more likely than a court-martial to come into play with traditional guardsmen.”

The measure updates language dealing with personal liability in the line of duty, protection of assets vital to national security and gender references. It also brings all Oklahoma military forces under the purview of the O-UCMJ, thus providing the tools necessary for commanders to maintain good order and discipline in their respective units.

Other important changes include a new requirement that all military publications created by the Oklahoma National Guard be published and archived with Oklahoma Secretary of State for the sake of transparency, due process and creation of a good historical record. The measure also creates a more robust and functional appellate process in the event of a court-martial proceeding.