What It Means To Be AWOL and How It Affects the Readiness of the Armed Forces Introduction AWOL, the abbreviation for Absent Without Official Leave, is very important issue. Under the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice, the person can be accused of AWOL, in case he (or she) is absent from their post or place of duty for no valid reason, pass or leave. The negative impact of AWOL should not be underestimated, as it negatively influences the readiness of the Armed Forces, being conductive to the degradation of the U.S. Army readiness, and goes against the U.S. Army values. Moreover, during the wartime AWOL becomes extremely dangerous, as it may put the lives of other U.S. soldiers at high risk.
The present paper examines the problem of being AWOL, provides general exploration of the topic around U.S. Army regulations, and covers the punitive articles related to AWOL, stressing the importance of the concept and being counted as such. What it means to be AWOL AWOL is the abbreviation for Absent Without Leave (U.K.), or Absent Without Official Leave (U.S.).
The military personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces becomes AWOL in case they are absent from their post or place of duty for no valid reason, pass or leave. The United States Navy and United States Marine Corps call the absence from the post of duty as Unauthorized Absence (U.A.).
Generally, the persons who are dropped from their unit rolls after thirty days then listed as deserters. Yet, in compliance with the U.S. military law, the concept of desertion is not measured by the time the absentee has spent away from his unit of service, but rather: by leaving or remaining absent from their unit, organization, or place of duty, where there has been a determined intent to not return; if that intent is determined to be to avoid hazardous duty or shirk important responsibility; if they enlist or accept an appointment in the same or another branch of service without disclosing the fact that they have not been properly separated from current service. (Absence Without (Official) Leave) It should be also noted that the members of the U.S.
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Armed Forces, who are away for more than thirty days, but return to their units or organization voluntarily, or those, who were absent but indicated a credible intent to return, may still be considered as AWOL. At the same time, people who were away for less than thirty days, but proved to have no intent to return to their organization or unit, may be officially tried for desertion, or even treason, in case there will be enough evidence found (Absence Without (Official) Leave).
In the United States of America, before the Civil War, those members of the U.S. Armed Forces who were proved to be deserters were flogged. After 1861, branding or tattoos were also used. What concerns maximum punishment for the desertion (not for AWOL), the maximum U.S.
penalty for desertion in wartime is death, however, it should be noted that death penalty for desertion was last applied to the U.S. Armed Forces member Eddie Slovik in 1945 (Absence Without (Official) Leave).
The person accused of AWOL (or UA) may also be punished with the nonjudicial punishment (sometimes called “office hours” – in Marines), and it usually punished by Court Martial for repeat or more severe offenses” (Absence Without (Official) Leave).
There is also another term, missing movement used to define the fact when the particular member of the U.S. Armed Forces fails to arrive at the appointed time to move out or to deploy with his (or her) assigned aircraft, ship, or unit. Missing Movement is violation of the Article 87 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and is similar to AWOL, but is treated as more severe accident.
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Yet another term, “Failure to Repair”, is considered as less severe than AWOL, however, the person, who is accused of “Failure to Repair” is also subject to punishment, as this article implies missing a formation, or failure to arrive at the assigned location and time when ordered. AWOL: Punishment and Punitive Articles In order to provide a more thorough explanation of the concept of being AWOL, it is required to conduct a research in the appropriate articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. As far as U.S. government and U.S. army acknowledge that being AWOL poses a threat to the U.S. security, and leads to decline in the U.S. Armed Forces, the Uniform Code of Military Justice contains the basic punitive articles related to the concept. In compliance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Article 86 – Absent without Leave (AWOL) foresees that any member of the U.S.
armed forces, who, without authority either “fails to go to his appointed place of duty at the time prescribed, goes from that place, or absents himself or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty at which he is required to be at the time prescribed” (Punitive Articles – Article 86 Absent without Leave (AWOL)) shall be subject to punishment, as a court-martial may direct. Under this punitive article, the member of the U.S. Armed Forces is accused of being AWOL, if he fails to go to (or goes from) the appointed place of duty, where the place of duty was appointed by the certain authority at a certain place and time of the U.S. Armed Forces member’s duty, or when the accused person knew beforehand of that time and place, and that the accused person failed to go to this appointed place of duty without the authority. Finally, the member of the U.S. Armed Forces is accused of being AWOL in case of his (or her) absence from the unit, organization, or place of duty that the accused person absented himself or herself from the organization, unit, or place of duty at which the U.S.
Armed Forces member was required to be; in case his (her) absence was without authority from anyone competent to give him or her leave, and that the absence was for a certain period of time” (Punitive Articles – Article 86 Absent without Leave (AWOL)), or in case the person’s absence was terminated by apprehension. The fourth element of being AWOL is abandoning watch or guard, that the accused person was a member of watch, guard, or duty, and absented himself from this watch, guard, or duty section, and that the absence of the accused person was without the authority. Finally, the fifth element of being AWOL from the U.S. Armed Forces implies the absence from the organization, unit, or place of duty with the intention to avoid field exercises or maneuvers that the accused person absented himself from this watch, guard, or duty section where he was required to be, and the absence was without the authority, and the absence was for a certain period of time. As the Punitive Article explains, being AWOL does not necessarily means that the absentee be absent entirely from the military jurisdiction and control, and in relation to the appointed place of duty, the article can be applied whether the place is appointed as a rendezvous for several or for one only. (Punitive Articles – Article 86 Absent without Leave (AWOL)) Under the Article 86(3), there are several variations of AWOL that can be aggravated by such circumstances as a duration of the U.S.
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Armed Forces members absence, a special type of duty from which the accused person absented himself or herself, as well as the particular specific intent accompanied these absences. Under this article, aggravated unauthorized absences are as follows: (a) Unauthorized absence for more than 3 days (duration).
(b) Unauthorized absence for more than 30 days (duration).
(c) Unauthorized absence from a guard, watch, or duty (special type of duty).
(d) Unauthorized absence from guard, watch, or duty section with the intent to abandon it (special type of duty and specific intent).
(e) Unauthorized absence with the intent to avoid maneuvers or field exercises (special type of duty and specific intent).
(Punitive Articles – Article 86 Absent without Leave (AWOL)) AWOL: Facts AWOL is considered an issue of major concern, as it affects the readiness of the U.S.
Armed Forces and has negative impact on the overall operations of the U.S. Army, and poses a threat to the national security. Although it may seem that during the peacetime AWOL can hardly be a severe accident, as it hardly poses a threat to vitally important operations, its negative impact on the overall functioning of the military units and the moral values of the U.S. military members cannot be underestimated. For example, it is a common knowledge that AWOL, leading to desertion, was the major factor for the Confederacy during the last two years of the Civil War. Confederate militaries were fighting to defend their own families, but not the U.S.
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nation. This, and some other factors, along with the terror of the battle, obviously undermined the weak attachment of southern soldiers to the Confederacy (Absence Without (Official) Leave), leading to high desertion rates. During World War II, approximately 21,000 soldiers were accused of AWOL and desertion, and sentenced for desertion. Forty nine soldiers were sentenced to death, however, only one of them, Eddie Slovik, was actually executed. What concerns recent U.S. operations in Iraq, according to Pentagon, over 5500 military personnel deserted in 20032004, following the Iraq invasion and occupation (Absence Without (Official) Leave).
The number of deserters has increased to 8000 by the first quarter of 2006. According to another report (also from Pentagon), approximately 40,000 militaries have deserted, while about more than 50% of them were U.S. soldiers. The vast majority of them have deserted within the United States, while only one soldier has deserted in Iraq. (Absence Without (Official) Leave) As we can see, AWOL is the issue that should be obviously addressed, as it negatively affects the readiness ….