It is important to know about this topic to keep those of higher rank in their place.

CMJ Article 134 FRATERNIZATION Or Fraternizing

The military services consider fraternization as a disproportionally familiar personal relationship between an officer and an enlisted member where the relationship does not respect rank or grade difference between the two members, otherwise known as fraternizing.  If the military finds a relationship between an officer and enlisted member brings discredit to the service or is prejudicial to good order and discipline, the service considers that relationship to be in violation of Article 134 Fraternization or potentially Article 92 Fraternization

Rules against fraternizing in the military are intended to prevent inappropriate relationships between higher-ranking personnel and those they oversee. The ultimate goals are to:

  • Maintain order and discipline within a unit
  • Maintain the integrity of supervisory authority within the chain of command
  • Maintain the unit’s ability to accomplish its mission
  • Prevent unfair treatment and the appearance of unfair treatment between an officer and their subordinates
  • Prevent the improper use of rank or position for personal gain
  • Prevent the spreading of military secrets to enemies

Other Circumstances and Exemptions

The following relationships are permitted in the military and not considered fraternization:

  • Dating between enlisted members of the same rank
  • Dating between enlisted members and civilian employees or government contractors
  • Marriage between an officer and enlisted service member if they married before joining the service
  • Landlord-tenant relationships or one-time transactions between enlisted service members
  • Ongoing business or personal relationships based on civilian jobs for officers and service members in the Reserves or National Guard

Be aware that even these permitted relationships could become prohibited if they directly affect morale, discipline, respect for authority, or the ability to carry out a mission.