ANSWER: YES. IN THE CASE OF UNITED STATES V. HOLIDAY, 16 CMR 28 (CMA 1954),
THE ACCUSED, WHO WAS IN CONFINEMENT, REFUSED TO RETURN TO HIS CELL AFTER
AN ALTERCATION WITH A GUARD. AS A RESULT, THE GUARD OBTAINED A FIRM
GRASP ON HOLIDAY'S ARM AND PROCEEDED TO LEAD HIM BACK TO HIS CELL. AT
THIS, THE ACCUSED DECLARED "IF I'M NOT WALKING FAST ENOUGH FOR YOU, DON'T
PUSH ME OR I'LL KNOCK YOUR TEETH DOWN YOUR THROAT." FOR THIS COMMENT,
HOLIDAY WAS CHARGED WITH COMMUNICATING A THREAT. IN AFFIRMING HIS
CONVICTION, THE COURT NOTED THAT ALTHOUGH THE STATEMENT "DON'T PUSH ME"
IMPLIED A CONDITION, IT DID NOT NEGATE A PRESENT DETERMINATION TO INJURE AS
THE PRISONER WAS UNRESTRAINED. ADDITIONALLY, THE ACCUSED HAD NO RIGHT
TO IMPOSE SUCH A CONDITION AS HE WAS LAWFULLY BEING LED TO HIS CELL.
Under the elements of this offense, it is not necessary that the threat be made to the victim. It is
sufficient if the communication is made to a third person. The threat itself does not have to speak of
physical harm to the victim. A threat to the victim's reputation is sufficient.
In the case of United States v. Frayer, 29 CMR 416 (CMA 1960), the accused was found guilty of
communicating a threat after he threatened a sergeant by promising to falsely accuse him of various
offenses and by threatening to get other people to make false statements against him. In affirming this
conviction, the Court of Military Appeals noted that a threat to wrongfully damage the reputation or
character of a person has substantially the same tendency to stir up conflict and disrupt good order and
discipline as a threat to injure physically. The court also observed that the potential harm to be inflicted
by attacking a person's reputation may actually be greater than the threat of physical harm. In this case,
the accused threatened to despoil the good reputation of a sergeant. False accusations could easily cost
the victim his noncommissioned officer grade and debase him in the eyes of his subordinates. United
States v. Frayer, 29 CMR 415 (CMA 1960).
B. Bomb Threats (Article 134, UCMJ, para 109). This article covers both bomb threats and the
bomb hoax. In the case of the bomb hoax, the perpetrator initiates emergency action without justifiable
reason, for anyone in the target building as well as for the emergency services agencies. It results in
considerable inconvenience to the residents and expense to the government. Such an action is directly
prejudicial to good order and discipline. United States v. Mayo, 12 MJ 286 (CMA 1982).
C. Provoking Words or Gestures (Article 117, UCMJ). A lesser included offense of
communicating a threat, this offense makes punishable the wrongful use of words or gestures toward a
certain person subject to the UCMJ, when the words or gestures used are provoking or reproachful. As
used in this Article the terms "provoking" and "reproachful" describe those words or gestures which are
used in the presence of the person to whom they are directed and which a reasonable person would
expect to induce a breach of the peace under the circumstances. Historically, the main objective of this
Article is to stop such manifestations of a hostile temper as, by inducing retaliation, might lead to duels
or other disorders. United States v. Thompson, 46 CMR 88 (CMA 1972).