(a) Courts of inquiry to investigate any matter may be convened by any person authorized to convene a general court-martial or by any other person designated by the Secretary concerned for that purpose, whether or not the persons involved have requested such an inquiry.

 (b) A court of inquiry consists of three or more commissioned officers. For each court of inquiry the convening authority shall also appoint counsel for the court.

 (c) Any person subject to this chapter whose conduct is subject to inquiry shall be designated as a party. Any person subject to this chapter or employed by the Department of Defense who has a direct interest in the subject of inquiry has the right to be designated as a party upon request to the court. Any person designated as a party shall be given due notice and has the right to be present, to be represented by counsel, to cross-examine witnesses, and to introduce evidence.

 (d) Members of a court of inquiry may be challenged by a party, but only for cause stated to the court.

 (e) The members, counsel, the reporter, and interpreters of courts of inquiry shall take an oath to faithfully perform their duties.

 (f) Witnesses may be summoned to appear and testify and be examined before courts of inquiry, as provided for courts-martial.

 (g) Courts of inquiry shall make findings of fact but may not express opinions or make recommendations unless required to do so by the convening authority.

 (h) Each court of inquiry shall keep a record of its proceedings, which shall be authenticated by the signatures of the president and counsel for the court and forwarded to the convening authority. If the record cannot be authenticated by the president, it shall be signed by a member in lieu of the president. If the record cannot be authenticated by the counsel for the court, it shall be signed by a member in lieu of the counsel.


 (a) The following persons on active duty or performing inactive-duty training may administer oaths for the purpose of military administration, including military justice, and have the general powers of a notary public and of a consul of the United States, in the performance of all notarial acts to be executed by members of any of the armed forces, wherever they may be, by persons serving with, employed by, or accompanying the armed forces outside the United States and outside the Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, and by other persons subject to this chapter outside the United States.

 (1) All judge advocates

 (2) All summary courts-martial.

 (3) All adjutants, assistant adjutants, acting adjutants, and personnel adjutants.

 (4) All commanding officers of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

 (5) All staff judge advocates and legal officers, and acting or assistant staff judge advocates and legal officers.

 (6) All other persons designated by regulations of the armed forces or by statute.,

 (b) The following persons on active duty or performing inactive-duty training may administer oaths necessary in the performance of their duties:

 (1) The president, military judge, trial counsel, and assistant trial counsel for all general and special courts-martial.

 (2) The president and counsel for the court of any court of inquiry.

 (3) All officers designated to take a deposition.

 (4) All persons detailed to conduct an investigation.

(5) All recruiting officers. 

(6) All other persons designated by regulations of the armed forces or by statute. 

(c) No fee may be paid to or received by any person for the performance of any notarial act herein authorized.

 (d) The signature without seal of any such person acting as notary, together with the title of his office, is prima facie evidence of his authority.



(1) The sections of this title (articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice) specified in paragraph (3) shall be carefully explained to each enlisted member at the time of (or within six days after)–

 (A) the member’s initial entrance on active duty; or

 (B) the member’s initial entrance into a duty status with a reserve component.

 (2) Such sections (articles) shall be explained again– 

(A) after the member has completed six months of active duty or, in the case of a member of a reserve component, after the member has completed basic or recruiting training; and

 (B) at the time when the member reenlists.

 (3) This subsection applies with respect to sections 802, 803, 807- 815, 825, 827, 831, 837, 838, 855, 877-934, and 937-939 of this title (articles 2, 3, 7-15, 25, 27, 31, 38, 55, 77-134, and 137-139).

 (b) The text of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and of the regulations prescribed by the President under such Code shall be made available to a member on active duty or to a member of a reserve component, upon request by the member, for the member’s personal examination.


 Any member of the armed forces who believes himself wronged by his commanding officer, and who, upon due application to that commanding officer, is refused redress, may complain to any superior commissioned officer, who shall foreword the complaint to the office exercising court-martial jurisdiction over the officer against whom it is made. The officer exercising general court-martial jurisdiction shall examine into the complaint and take proper measures for redressing the wrong complained of; and he shall, as soon as possible, send to the Secretary concerned a true statement of that complaint, with the proceedings thereon.


 (a) Whenever a complaint is made to any commanding officer that willful damage has been done to the property of any person or that his property has been wrongfully taken by members of the armed forces, he may, under such regulations as the Secretary concerned may prescribe, convene an board to investigate the complaint. The board shall consist of from one to three commissioned officers and, for the purpose of investigation, it has the power to summon witnesses and examine them upon oath, to receive depositions or other documentary evidence, and to assess the damages sustained against the responsible parties. The assessment of damages made by the board is subject to the approval of the commanding officer, and in the amount approved by him shall be charged against the pay of the offenders. The order of the commanding officer directing charges herein authorized is conclusive on any disbursing officer for the payment by him to the injured parties of the damages as assessed and approved.

(b) If the offenders cannot be ascertained, but organization or detachment to which they belong is known, charges totaling the amount of damages assessed and approved may be made in such proportion as may be considered just upon the individual members thereof who are shown to have been present at the scene at the time the damages complained of were inflicted, as determined by the approved findings of the board.


The President may delegate any authority vested in him under this chapter, and provide for sub delegation of any such authority.