What Are “Covered Offenses” Under the UCMJ?

Starting on December 28, 2023, military commanders are required to report all allegations of “covered” offenses to the Office of the Special Trial Counsel. The OSTC holds exclusive authority to determine whether a reported offense falls under the category of covered offenses. Additionally, the OSTC may also exercise its authority over related offenses, offenses alleged to be committed by the same person accused of a covered offense (known offense), and covered offenses committed prior to December 28, 2023. The OSTC will act as the sole referral authority for offenses falling under its jurisdiction and not subject to deferral. Commanders are not permitted to handle any offense falling under the OSTC’s authority unless a special trial counsel (STC) defers the offense to the commander.

The following offenses under the UCMJ are considered “covered” offenses:

  • Article 117a, Wrongful Broadcast or Distribution of Intimate Visual Images
  • Article 118, Murder
  • Article 119, Manslaughter
  • Article 119a, Death or Injury of an Unborn Child
  • Article 120, Rape and Sexual Assault
  • Article 120a, Mail, Deposit of Obscene Matter
  • Article 120b, Rape and Sexual Assault of a Child
  • Article 120c, Other Sexual Misconduct
  • Article 125, Kidnapping
  • Article 128b, Domestic Violence
  • Article 130, Stalking
  • Article 132, Retaliation
  • Article 134, Child Pornography
  • A conspiracy, solicitation, or attempt to commit a covered offense is also a covered offense.