Law of Ukraine

"On the Disciplinary Regulations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine"

Date of entry into force:
May 18, 1999

The Law approves the Disciplinary Regulations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (hereinafter referred to as "Regulations").

The Regulations determine the essence of military discipline, the obligation of military servicemen to adhere to it, types of incentives and disciplinary actions, rights of commanders in terms of their application, and the procedure for submitting and reviewing applications, proposals and complaints. All military servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, irrespective of their military rank, official position and track record, must be strictly governed by the requirements to the Regulations. The provisions of the Regulations apply to citizens dismissed from the military service into retirement or reserve with the right to wear the military uniform, while they are wearing the military uniform. These Regulations apply to the State Frontier Service of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine, the interior forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, the troops of the Civil Defense of Ukraine, other military formations created according to the laws of Ukraine, and the State Specialized Transport Service.

According to Article 1 of the Regulations, military discipline is perfect and strict adherence of all military servicemen to the order and rules established by military regulations and other legislation of Ukraine.

Article 4 of the Regulations envisages that military discipline obligates every military servicemen to:
  • adhere to the Constitution of Ukraine, the laws of Ukraine, and the Military Oath, and strictly follow the requirements of military regulations, and the orders of the commanders;
  • stay alert, and preserve the state and military secrets;
  • adhere to the rules of relations between military servicemen established by the military regulations, and strengthen the military camaraderie;
  • express respect to the commanders and to one another, be courteous and observe the military etiquette;
  • act with dignity and honor, refrain from dishonorable acts himself and stop others from such acts.

The commander is responsible for the military discipline in a military formation, unit (division), organization or institution (Article 5 of the Regulations).

According to Article 6, the right of the commander is to issue orders and instructions and the obligation of the subordinate is to follow them, except for cases of clearly criminal order or instruction. The order must be followed conscientiously, precisely and within the specified time. The commander who issued the order is responsible for the order. In case of disobedience or resistance of the subordinate, the commander shall, in order to restore the order, apply all measures of compulsion provided for by the laws and military regulations, up to and including arresting the offender and bringing him to criminal liability.

Chapter II of the Regulations is dedicated to incentives. According to Article 15 of the Regulations, the following incentives are applied to privates (seamen) and sergeants (mates):
  • commendation;
  • relief of earlier disciplinary action;
  • one extra unscheduled day's leave from the disposition of the military unit or from the ship ashore, for military servicemen of the compulsory military service;
  • up to five additional days of leave, for military servicemen of the compulsory military service;
  • informing the parents or community at the place of work or study the military servicemen before his conscription, of his exemplary performance of the military duty and of the incentives received;
  • awarding of diploma, valuable gift or monetary reward;
  • awarding of a photograph on which the military serviceman is pictured next to the unfurled Regimental Banner of the military unit;
  • awarding of the senior soldier (senior seaman) rank;
  • for sergeants (mates) of the compulsory military service that are being retired into reserve, awarding of the next military rank that is one rank higher than the military rank provided for the position that the sergeant or mate held during his retirement into reserve, up to and including the rank of mate and master chief mate;
  • entering the name of the military servicemen into the Book of Honor of the military unit (ship);
  • awarding of rewards of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine.

The rights of commanders (heads) in respect of applying incentives to their subordinate privates (seamen) and sergeants (mates) are defined by Articles 17-22 of the Regulations.

Article 23 of the Regulations envisages that the following incentives are applied to ensigns and sub-officers:
  • commendation;
  • relief of earlier disciplinary action;
  • awarding of diploma, valuable gift or monetary reward;
  • entering their name into the Book of Honor of the military unit (ship);
  • early awarding of the rank of senior ensign (senior sub-officer);
  • awarding of rewards of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

According to Article 27 of the Regulations, the following incentives are applied to officers:
  • commendation;
  • relief of earlier disciplinary action;
  • awarding of diploma, valuable gift or monetary reward;
  • entering their name into the Book of Honor of the military unit (ship);
  • early awarding of the nest military rank, up to and including colonel and captain of the 1st rank;
  • awarding of rewards of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

The procedure for applying incentives is established by Articles 31-44 of the Regulations.

Chapter III of the Regulations envisage disciplinary actions for violation of military discipline. In case a military servicemen fails to execute their official obligations (executes them inappropriately), or violates the military discipline or civil order, their commander must remind them of their duty and, if necessary, apply disciplinary action (Article 45 of the Regulations). According to Article 48 of the Regulations, the following disciplinary actions can be applied to privates (seamen) of the compulsory military service:
  • admonition;
  • reprimand;
  • strict reprimand;
  • depriving of the scheduled leave from the military unit disposition or from the ship ashore;
  • unscheduled work duty – up to 5 shifts;
  • depriving of the rank of senior soldier (senior seaman).

The following disciplinary action can be applied to privates (seaman) of the contract military service:
  • admonition;
  • reprimand;
  • strict reprimand;
  • warning of incomplete fitness for duty;
  • unscheduled work duty – up to 5 shifts;
  • depriving of the rank of senior soldier (senior seaman);
  • dismissal from the contract military service due to unfitness for duty.

The following disciplinary action can be applied to sergeants (mates) of the compulsory military service:
  • admonition;
  • reprimand;
  • strict reprimand;
  • depriving of the scheduled leave from the military unit disposition or from the ship ashore;
  • demotion in official position;
  • demotion in military rank by one rank;
  • demotion in military rank by one rank, and demotion in official position;
  • depriving of the sergeant (mate) rank.

According to Article 51 of the Regulations, the following disciplinary action can be applied to sergeants (mates) of the contract military service:
  • admonition;
  • reprimand;
  • strict reprimand;
  • warning of incomplete fitness for duty;
  • demotion in official position;
  • demotion in military rank by one rank;
  • demotion in military rank by one rank, and demotion in official position;
  • depriving of the sergeant (mate) rank;
  • dismissal from the contract military service due to unfitness for duty.

The rights of commanders (heads) to apply disciplinary measures on their subordinate privates (seamen) and sergeants (mates) of compulsory and contract service are established by Articles 53-61 of the Regulations.

According to Article 62 of the Regulations, the following disciplinary action can be applied to ensigns (sub-officers):
  • admonition;
  • reprimand;
  • strict reprimand;
  • warning of incomplete fitness for duty;
  • demotion in official position;
  • demotion of senior ensigns (senior sub-officers) in rank, by one rank;
  • dismissal from military service due to unfitness for duty;
  • depriving of the military rank of ensign (sub-officer) and senior ensign (senior sub-officer), with dismissal from military service into reserve.

Application of disciplinary action in special cases is done based on Articles 75-82 of the Regulations.

Articles 83-95 of the Regulations determine the order of applying disciplinary action.

According to Article 96 of the Regulations, a disciplinary action is usually performed immediately, and in exceptional cases, within three months of the day of its application. After the end of this term, the action is not taken, but only recorded in the service record of the military servicemen. Persons who are responsible for the failure to perform the disciplinary action bear disciplinary responsibility. In case a complaint is filed to the senior superior, performance of the disciplinary action is not stopped until an order is received from him to cancel the appropriate action.

When applied, disciplinary actions are announced:
  • for privates (seamen) – personally or before the unit formation;
  • for sergeants (mates) – personally, at a meeting or before the formation of sergeants (mates);
  • for officers and servicemen of the contract military service – personally, in a written order, at a meeting or before the formation of military servicemen with military ranks (official positions) that are equal or higher than the military rank (official position) of the offender.

Tearing off shoulder straps, cutting off chevrons and other actions that debase military servicemen are forbidden. During the announcement of demotion in rank, the serviceman is given time to replace appropriate insignia (Article 101 of the Regulations).

Article 104 of the Regulations envisages that direct superiors shall report on the orders on incentive and disciplinary actions as follows:
  • those applied to privates (seamen) and sergeants (mates) – to company commanders and other equal ranks – on a daily basis;
  • those applied to ensigns (sub-officers) and officers – to commanders of military units – weekly;
  • those applied to commanders of military units, generals and admirals – to the high command – monthly.

All incentives and disciplinary actions (except admonitions) provided for by the Regulations, including incentives announced by the commander to the entire contingent of the division (team) or military units, are recorded in the service record of the military servicemen (Article 106 of the Regulations).

According to Article 110 of the Regulations, all military servicemen have the right to address, in writing or in person, military officials, the Law and Order Service management body, bodies of pre-trial investigation, and other state bodies, in cases of:
  • illegal decisions, actions (inaction) of commanders or other servicemen in their respect, violation of their rights, lawful interests and freedoms;
  • illegal assigning of obligations to them or illegal bringing to liability.

In other matters of service activity, the complaint is fired to the direct commander of the person whose actions are being contested, and if the complain filer does not know through whose fault their rights had been violated, the complaint is filed in the order of subordinance (Article 111 of the Regulations).

According to Article 117 of the Regulations, a proposal, application or complaint that was properly prepared and filed, are subject to compulsory acceptance and review. If the matters which the proposal, application or complaint concerns are not included in the competence of the commander or the body of military command, they are forwarded to an appropriate official or body within five days, and the serviceman who had filed the proposal, application or complaint is informed accordingly. If the proposal, application or complaint does not contain the information required for the body or the official to make a well-founded decision, they are returned to the servicemen within the above term, with appropriate explanation. Applications and complaints of servicemen cannot be sent to officials or bodies whose actions or decisions are being contested.

All proposals, applications or complaints are reviewed and decided upon within one month of their receipt, and those not requiring additional study and verification immediately, but within no more than fifteen days of their receipt. If the matters brought up in the address cannot be resolved within one month, the commander sets a new deadline, of which the serviceman who had filed the address is informed accordingly. The total term of reviewing the proposal, application or complaint shall not exceed forty-five days (Article 119 of the Regulations).

Article 121 of the Regulations envisages that commanders of military units and heads of military management bodies shall personally receive military servicemen, their family members and other citizens to discuss issues related to their activity.
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