The US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) serves as watchdog for the military justice system. The CAAF has worldwide appellate jurisdiction over active duty military and others subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. In the military system, if there is a sentence of death, punitive discharge, or confinement for one year or more, the Court of Criminal Appeals of the accused's branch of service automatically reviews the case. After that, he or she can appeal to the CAAF, which is equivalent in statute to a US Court of Appeals. The CAAF is composed of five civilian judges appointed by the US president and approved by the Senate. CAAF decisions are subject to review by the US Supreme Court.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is a set of laws by which military personnel must abide. It includes many crimes punished under civilian law (such as murder, rape, and drug use), but goes beyond civil law to punish conduct that impacts military order and discipline. The UCMJ also includes provisions punishing misbehavior before the enemy, improper use of countersign, misbehavior of a sentinel, misconduct as a prisoner, aiding the enemy, spying, and espionage. – less