UA vs. AWOL, is there a difference?

Not knowing much about military law, this thought came up while watching A Few Good Men.

In the movie, Galloway (Demi Moore) says, “Markinson has gone UA…Unauthorized Absense,” to which Caffey (Tom Cruise) replies, “I know what it means.” (A moment in the movie that reveals he just plays dumb to gain an advantage.)

My question - Is there a difference between AWOL and UA?

Terms from different branches of the miltary? Enlisted vs. Officers? AWOL has been replaced by UA? UL is a pre-lim to AWOL?

UA is the term the Navy uses, which is the same as AWOL.

Back when I was a personnel clerk in the Army ('71 - '74), a person was listed as UA for thirty days, then they were DFR’d (Dropped From (the) Roll). At that time, the FBI was notified as well as the civilian authorities where he lived.

When I was legal officer on my ship in the Navy from '90-'93, we used the term UA, and in my training I learned that our term UA was equivalent to the Army term AWOL.

I don’t know where the term AWOL came from, since the Uniform Code of Military Justice (which all branches use) refers to it as UA (Unauthorized Absence).

I prosecuted several cases of UA on behalf of my ship (I’m not a lawyer, but that didn’t matter under the UCMJ. The respondent always got a real lawyer to represent him, though, so these battles were often quite lopsided.). There are many different UA offenses, ranging in severity from being a few hours late for duty all the way up to desertion.

A conviction for desertion can get you the death penalty, but it’s so difficult to prove most prosecutors don’t ever charge it. Even if the absentee has been on the lam for 30 years, he can always claim “I was going to come back someday!” and it’s almost impossible to demonstrate he didn’t.