Many reservists who call the GI Rights Hotline with orders for mobilization ask if all else fails what if they simply don’t report. While it is illegal for GI Rights Hotline counselors to encourage or assist someone in breaking the law, counselors are able to inform callers of the likely consequences of breaking the law. Under the UCMJ, a reservist under Title 10 who fails to report for active duty is subject to the following articles:
§886. ART. 86. ABSENCE WITHOUT LEAVE 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.
§887. ART. 87. MISSING MOVEMENT
Any person subject to this chapter who through neglect or design misses the movement of a ship, aircraft, or unit with which he is required in the course of duty to move shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
It is often the case that reservists who fail to report never go to trial (court-martial) and are instead usually punished with administrative separation with service characterized as “under other than honorable.” Nevertheless situations can vary a great deal and it is recommended that anyone considering or already in this situation contact the GI Rights Hotline for a free, confidential consultation.