Posted on Dec 27, 2018
Richard Wilbanks
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Hypothetical: A 4-star general/admiral is court-martialed. There are no 4-star ranking ranking military judges, so who presides over the trial?
Edited 3 y ago
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SFC Retention Operations Nco
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Yes, in fact a general was tried by a colonel a few years ago at Bragg.
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SGT Michael Thorin
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Edited 3 y ago
DISCLAIMERS: While I have served next to many MP’s, and witnessed a couple of court martials, I am definitely not a subject matter expert, so if anyone sees anything wrong in what follows, please correct me, as I would like to make sure the info I’m providing is reliable.

With that being said Richard Wilbanks, as a caveat to MSgt Steve Sweeney’s response, think of it this way.

Justice supersedes rank. The easier way to understand is that MP’s have arresting powers, regardless of rank.

There are more junior enlisted MP’s on patrol by virtue of the rank structure and organization (from what I have experienced) than NCO’s and Officers.

That responsibility requires the lesser ranking MP’s have authority for everything from initiating a traffic stop to apprehending a suspect who may have committed a crime or murder.

They can only do this if their actions are based on justice and not on rank. If it were based on rank and not justice, every MP unit would have to have a General or Admiral patrolling to be able to enforce justice.

So, justice trumps rank in matters of law enforcement and judicial punishment.

That being said, I would hate to be a PFC who has pulled over a 4 star General, LOL.


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SGT Michael Thorin
SGT Michael Thorin
3 y
I appreciate you expounding on that MSgt Steve Sweeney. I thought MP’s might be a good example, I just wasn’t positive of the intricacies of it. Thanks for setting me straight, and I am glad to have learned something new today.
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SGT Michael Thorin
SGT Michael Thorin
3 y
You’re really upping the bar on this, but I would go so far as to say an entire week SGT (Join to see).
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MSgt Steve Sweeney
MSgt Steve Sweeney
3 y
SGT Michael Thorin - I don't think I set you straight. I think you hit the nail right on the head and provided an illuminating example. I was actually trying to think of one, and you hit it dead on.
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SGT Michael Thorin
SGT Michael Thorin
3 y
I appreciate that MSgt Steve Sweeney. It was a different perspective of it I did not consider. I liked the way you explained how authority is the cog that makes the clock tick (so to speak), LOL.

I didn’t think you were shooting what I said down, and I feel that input will help clear up some questions others may have.
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MSgt Steve Sweeney
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Yes to your first question. The military judge to your second.
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