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Military Protective Orders And No Contact Orders

By Stephanie Kral | September 1, 2023

In the military, both Military Protective Orders (MPOs) and No Contact Orders (NCOs) are legal tools used to address issues related to interpersonal conflicts, harassment, or potential threats within the military community. However, they serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics:

Military Protective Order (MPO):

A Military Protective Order is issued on a DD Form 2873. After it has been issued, it is typically distributed to the protected person, the servicemember’s personnel file, and law enforcement for entry into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

  • Purpose: MPOs are typically issued to protect a specific individual or individuals from harm or potential harm. They are commonly used in cases involving domestic violence, harassment, or situations where one person poses a credible threat to another, in the opinion of the issuing authority.
  • Issuing Authority: MPOs are issued by commanders.
  • Scope: MPOs can include a range of protective measures, such as prohibiting the subject (the person against whom the order is issued) from contacting the protected individual, entering specific areas, or possessing firearms or other weapons. It can also address temporary child custody, required counseling, or other provisions the commander finds applicable to the case.
  • Enforcement: Violating an MPO can result in disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and may lead to criminal charges or administrative actions.

No Contact Order (NCO):

A No Contact Order is issued on unit letterhead. It can be included in a service record, and it is not generally provided to law enforcement for inclusion in NCIC.

  • Purpose: NCOs are often issued to prevent contact or communication between two or more individuals when their interactions could lead to disruptions within the unit or military community. NCOs may be used in cases of interpersonal conflicts, workplace disputes, or other situations where maintaining separation is deemed necessary. It is not necessary that one person poses a threat to another. For example, a NCO can be issued to both parties when there are allegations of adultery or fraternization.
  • Issuing Authority: NCOs are issued by commanders.
  • Scope: NCOs generally restrict contact, communication, or physical proximity between the involved parties.
  • Enforcement: Violating an NCO can result in administrative actions, such as non-judicial punishment (Article 15 or NJP) and criminal charges under the UCMJ.

It’s important to note that the specific details and enforcement of MPOs and NCOs may vary depending on the military branch and the circumstances of the case. Military personnel subject to these orders should consult with KMD to understand their rights and responsibilities.