UNITED STATES, Appellee
Daniel L. RASNICK, Airman Basic
U.S. Air Force, Appellant
Crim. App. No. S30004
United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
Decided January 17, 2003
For Appellant: Captain Antony B. Kolenc, Colonel Beverly B. Knott, and Major Terry L. McElyea.
For Appellee: Major John D. Douglas, Colonel LeEllen Coacher, and Lieutenant Colonel Lance B. Sigmon.
Military Judge: Patrick M. Rosenow
This opinion is subject to editorial correction before final publication.
Pursuant to his pleas of guilty, the Appellant was convicted at a special court-martial of three specifications of disrespect toward a superior commissioned officer, insubordinate conduct toward a non-commissioned officer, and disobeying an order, in violation of Articles 89, 91, and 92, Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 USC §§ 889, 891, 892, respectively. Officer members sentenced him to a bad-conduct discharge, restriction to the limits of Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, for two months, and forfeiture of $500 pay per month for two months. The convening authority approved only so much of the sentence that provided for a bad-conduct discharge and forfeiture of $500 pay for one month. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed in an unpublished opinion.
On Appellant’s petition, we granted review of the following issue:
At Appellant’s court-martial, the military judge instructed the court-martial panel as follows with respect to the possibility of adjudging a punitive discharge:
If a military judge declines to give a requested instruction, the denial is reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard. United States v. Damatta-Olivera, 37 M.J. 474, 478 (C.M.A. 1993). Although the word "ineradicable" provides an appropriate means of describing the future impact of a punitive discharge, see United States v. Rush, 54 M.J. 313 (C.A.A.F.), it is not the exclusive means of doing so. The instructions provided by the military judge in the present case adequately advised the members that a punitive discharge was a "severe" punishment, that it would entail specified adverse consequences, and that it would affect Appellant’s "future with regard to his legal rights, economic opportunities, and social acceptability." The instructions were sufficient to require the members to consider the enduring stigma of a punitive discharge.
The decision of the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals is affirmed.