The Federal Practice Group Blog

Court-Martialing Civilian Contractors Accompanying Our Armed Forces

Posted By fedpractice || 30-Jul-2012

In United States v. Ali, Crim. App. No. 20080559, (2012), a civilian contractor accompanying the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq was court-martialed for wrongful appropriation, wrongfully endeavoring to impede an investigation, and other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (Articles 107, 121, and 134).

At trial level, Ali filed a motion to dismiss arguing that Congress could not exercise military jurisdiction over him, and that the court-martial lacked jurisdiction under Article 2(a)(10).

The United States Court of Appeals for Armed Forces reviewed the case to determine if Ali fell within the scope of Article 2(a)(10) and if so, whether the exercise of jurisdiction violated the Constitution.

Ali argued that there was no jurisdiction because his contract has been terminated, that he did not know that he was subject to the UCMJ, and that he was denied his 5th Amendment right to presentment or indictment of a grand jury, but the military judge rejected all arguments.

The Court found that Ali was accompanying the U.S. Armed Forces and that Congress had the authority to exercise military jurisdiction over Ali.

This case shows that not only Servicemembers but also civilian contractors accompanying Servicemembers are subject to the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

If you are facing charges, have been read rights and asked to answer questions, or have concerns and questions, contact military attorneys at The Federal Practice Group at or 202-862-4360.

This is not legal advice. This information is for general public information only. If you have legal questions, contact an attorney.

Categories: Administrative Investigations, Military Criminal Defense