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Nonjudicial Punishment
Defense Section Nonjudicial Punishment (NJP)

You Have the Right to

  • Refuse NJP
  • Appear before the CO during the NJP
  • Remain silent or make a statement
  • Have a spokesperson (other than an attorney)
  • Confront witnesses and documents used against you
  • Plead guilty or not guilty
  • Present matters in your behalf (letters, documents, etc.):
    • In Defense (if pleading not guilty, this shows why you are not guilty)
    • In extenuation (if pleading guilty, this gives good reason why you did it)
    • In mitigation (if pleading guilty, this is a reason why the CO should lessen your punishment)
  • Have witnesses appear in your behalf
    • On the merits of the offense or
    • As good character witnesses
  • Have NJP proceedings open to the public
  • Appeal (if punishment is unjust or disproportionate to the offense)


Maximum Punishment

Company Grade (Company-Level) NJP Field Grade (Battalion-Level) NJP
  • Restriction: 14 days
  • EPD: 14 days
  • Forfeitures: 7 day's pay
  • Reduction: None (CO must have promotion authority to be able to reduce)
  • Restriction: 60 days (45 if in conjunction with EPD)
  • EPD: 45 days
  • Forfeitures: ½ of pay for 2 months
  • Reduction: 1 pay grade


If You Refuse NJP

  • Charges may be dropped or
  • Administrative action may be taken (page 11 counseling, administrative separation, non-punitive letter of caution, etc.) or
  • Charges may be referred to either a summary or special court-martial


Court Martial Punishments

Max Punishment: Summary Court-Martial Max Punishment: Special Court-Martial
  • E-4 and below: to E-1
  • E-5 and above: 1 pay grade
  • Confinement: 12 months
  • Forfeitures: ⅔ pay for 12 months
  • Reduction: to E-1
  • Discharge: Bad Conduct Discharge (BCD)


Making Your Case: Personal & Character Statements

Before you come in for NJP counseling, think about what you will say and what others might say in your behalf. If you plan to make a statement, start work on it and bring it with you when you come in for counseling. If you plan to ask anyone else to be a witness, notify them and ask them if they are willing to be a witness for you. The following documents provide guidance on making statements and preparing character witnesses.



  • Manual for Courts-Martial (2012 Edition)
    • Nonjudicial Punishment Procedure: Part V (pages 429-437)
  • Manual of the Judge Advocate General (JAGMAN)
    • Regulations Implementing & Supplementing the MCM: Chapter 1, Part B (pages 25-44)
    • Accused’s Notification and Election of Rights: A-1-d (pages 112-115)
    • Captain’s Mast/Office Hours Guide (i.e. the script the CO should follow during NJP): A-1-e (pages 115-118)

Defense Services Organization

(760) 830-5271

Legal Assistance

(760) 830-6111

Tax Center

(760) 830-4829

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms