Conduct Unbecoming Law & Legal Definition
Conduct unbecoming refers to the conduct on the part of a certified professional that is contrary to the public interests, or which harms his/her standing of the profession in the eyes of the public. Certified professionals, such as lawyers, judges, engineers, social workers, doctors and nurses and chartered accountants, often have to abide by their professional conduct handbooks which prohibit them from certain specified conduct.
Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman (or conduct unbecoming for short) is an offense subject to court martial in the armed forces of the United States.
The offense is defined in the punitive code, Article 133, of the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), enacted at 10 U.S.C. § 933. Article 133. Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman: Any commissioned officer, cadet, or midshipman who is convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. The elements are:
- That the accused did or omitted to do certain acts; and
- That, in the circumstances, these acts or omissions constituted conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
Here “officer” is understood to include commissioned officers, cadets, and midshipmen of both sexes, hence the more common term conduct unbecoming. A gentleman is understood to have a duty to avoid dishonest acts, displays of indecency, lawlessness, dealing unfairly, indecorum, injustice, or acts of cruelty.
We perceive from reading the previous paragraphs a recognized need and expectation of proper conduct from individuals in order to preserve honor, dignity, trust and respect to professions and to positions of authority. Professionals and Officers must conduct themselves in a manner becoming (suitable) of the positions they hold, not only to instill the trust of those in the public but also to encourage unity and accountability among themselves.
Perhaps we can see a similarity in the Apostle Paul’s admonitions found in Ephesians 4:1-3 – I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, We are called by the Gospel, we must conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of being called a Christian. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Starting in verse 22 thru the end of the chapter we see two contrasting Codes of Conduct.
Ephesians 4:22-32 – That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
A new Code of Conduct which includes an attitude of humility, meekness, patience and love that promotes unity and peace. Conduct that is suitable in bringing glory to God.
An old Code of Conduct which included selfishness, anger, lying, stealing, evil speech and unrighteousness. Conduct Unbecoming a Christian.
By: Scott Jacques
Here is the PDF file for printing: CONDUCT-UNBECOMING