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Sailors, Marines Assigned to Ships in Dry Dock Can Now Refuse Nonjudicial Punishment, Navy Announces

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A new Navy policy gives sailors and Marines assigned to ships in dry dock or maintenance the right to refuse nonjudicial punishments when they are accused of violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice by their commanders.

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro announced in an administrative note last week that he is clarifying and loosening the rules around a controversial policy known as the "vessel exception," which held that sailors or Marines could not refuse nonjudicial punishment -- called captain's mast in the Navy -- when they were "attached to or embarked in a vessel."

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