Military Authority to Apprehend
The Manual for Courts Martial (MCM, 2016)
describes legal aspects of the authority of the
NCO. It states in part that, “All commissioned
officers, warrant officers and NCOs are authorized
to stop quarrels, frays and disorders among
persons subject to this chapter and to apprehend
persons subject to this chapter who take part
therein.” Severe penalties are imposed for
violations such as disrespect, insubordination,
No one expects you to be an expert on military law,
but as a NCO you should know this information,
apply the rules and procedures and be able to
explain them to your Soldiers.
Note: Noncommissioned and petty officers, not
otherwise performing law enforcement duties,
should not apprehend a commissioned officer
unless directed to do so by another commissioned
officer, in order to prevent disgrace to the service,
or to prevent the escape of one who has
committed a serious offense.
How an apprehension may be made.
In general, an apprehension is made by clearly
notifying the person to be apprehended that person
is in custody. This notice should be given orally or
in writing, but it may be implied by the
Warrants – Neither warrants nor any other
authorization shall be required for an apprehension
under these rules except as required in subsection
(e) (2) of this Rule 302.
Use of force – Any person authorized under these
rules to make an apprehension may use such
force and means as reasonably necessary under
the circumstances to affect the apprehension.
Where an apprehension may be made – An
apprehension may be made at any place, except
in private dwellings, which does not include living
areas in military barracks, vessels, aircraft,
vehicles, tents, bunkers, field encampments, or
similar places. Refer to Rule 302, (e) (A) (B) (C)
and (D) for other exceptions when consent is