This question on Aviation SE asks whether pilots in the US have to hold a driver's license (they don't). In a comment the poster explained why they asked the question:

The reason and details cannot be publicly disclosed, but I am an ex A.W.O.L. soldier from the U.S. Marines. A court marshal [sic] ordered that I can't ever obtain a driver's license.

I know nothing about law or courts martial, but that seems to imply that a military court can impose a lifetime driving ban on someone. Which, once the poster is discharged and becomes a civilian, would presumably require individual states to uphold and enforce the military ruling.

So, could a court martial actually impose that penalty? Can court martial sentences 'carry over' into civilian life and be enforced there? More broadly, what penalties can they impose, beyond imprisonment or the death penalty?

  • Interesting question. I don't recall any such sanction being authorized under the UCMJ. Summary here military.com/join-armed-forces/… Only a general court-martial if any could do that, if any could, but I don't think that it can either.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 20, 2018 at 23:52
  • @ohwilleke IIRC, the UCMJ is extremely vague on what sentences are authorized.
    – cpast
    Aug 20, 2018 at 23:57
  • The relevant statute is here: See here: law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/subtitle-A/part-II/chapter-47/… I think it is clear that below a general court marital couldn't and i suspect you'd have to look to case law, but it would not be a conventional punishment and the military may not have the right to tell the states what they can do with respect to driver's licenses and the military may lose jurisdiction to enforce upon discharge.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 21, 2018 at 0:02
  • @cpast: Vague indeed. 10 USC 886 art 86: "Any member of the armed forces who, without authority— (1) fails to go to his appointed place of duty at the time prescribed; (2) goes from that place; or (3) absents himself or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty at which he is required to be at the time prescribed; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct." Aug 21, 2018 at 2:40
  • That inserted comment is highly dubious. No Marine would ever call himself a soldier.
    – user35069
    Mar 28 at 9:15


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