Navy Definition of Fraternization
Fraternization is any relationship between an officer and a recruited sailor that could potentially lead to unrest in the ranks or a perception of bias or favoritism among other recruited members. Because order in the military is sacrosanct, there can be no tolerance for relationships that harm, or are even perceived as such, the judgment and function of the chain of command. The issue of fraternization receives a lot of attention because the offence is so vast and how much damage it can cause to an officer`s reputation and career. Many officers lost everything simply because they wanted to create a stronger bond between themselves and their unit. Allegations of fraternization may be the result of a number of actions or statements on the part of the officer. Gambling, meeting or starting a business with a referred member are just some of the reasons an officer is convicted of fraternization in the navy. By understanding your needs, we will be able to build the best defense so that you can return to your life as soon as possible. If you are court-martialed for fraternization, call us. We offer you a free consultation, after which we actively work to protect your rights and freedoms. Any accusation of fraternization is serious, and the worst-case scenario is not an option.
For this reason, we recommend a full review of your case by an experienced military crimes defense lawyer, no matter how confident you are in court. While the crime can result in formal charges, most fraternization offences do not result in a court martial, and penalties vary depending on the severity of the incident and the overall impact on the chain of command and morale of the unit. If one of the service criteria for fraternization is met, the parties concerned may be subject to a uniformed Code of Military Justice action under section 92 or section 134 in violation of a general legislative provision. (4) that such fraternization is contrary to the custom of the defendant`s service, which officers may not fraternize with conscripts under conditions of military equality; and There are cases where the rules regarding fraternization can be relaxed. The most common case is when an officer and a soldier married before they entered service or before the introduction of the anti-fraternization policy. Another case involves National Guard officers and soldiers who may have had an existing business relationship because of their civilian work. But even these exceptions are subject to fraternization rules if they seem to have a detrimental effect on the chain of command. If fraternization was minor and had little impact on the chain of command, the defendant may receive an oral or written reprimand. Other sanctions may include the following: Prior to 1999, each branch of the military had its own fraternization rules. This year, these rules have been consolidated into a single guideline that states that some relationships are always inappropriate and subject to fraternization rules. These relationships include relationships between officers and recruited military personnel that are personal or involve gambling or routine business. Other prohibited relationships are those that harm the chain of command, even if it is only the appearance of impropriety.
As in a civilian court, the accused is presumed innocent to the point of guilt. This means they can defend themselves against fraternization charges using a variety of legal strategies. These may include evidence that the chain of command was not compromised, evidence of a legal marriage, or evidence that the alleged fraternization was under the auspices of an official duty. If you`re stationed at Fort Carson or Peterson Air Force Base and you`ve been accused of fraternization, you need to seriously rethink your defense strategy. Being convicted of fraternization can have serious consequences on your military career, or even end it prematurely. That`s why you need Colorado defense attorneys who know military law, like those from Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. We have experience in military criminal cases and we make sure you get the best of both worlds. In the context of military life, the potential erosion of respect for the authority and leadership of a rank or higher can have an extremely negative impact on order and discipline, seriously undermining the effectiveness of a unit. Therefore, the prohibition of fraternization serves a valid and essential purpose of the mission. To fully understand when relationships are appropriate and when they are not, it is important to take a look at the definition of fraternization and when it can be charged with a criminal offense.
If you have any further questions about military fraternization in Colorado, please contact our defense attorneys. Under article 134 of the UCMJ, fraternization becomes a criminal offence if it interferes with the chain of command, creating an appearance of bias or undermining good order, discipline, authority or morality. An officer can only be charged if the following conditions are met: Fraternization is considered a criminal offense in all branches of the U.S. military. Since the crime undermines the good order and discipline of the armed forces, it is included in the general article of the UCMJ, Article 134. In addition to Article 134, further details on the Navy`s special fraternization policy can be found in recent OPNAV instructions issued by the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. In this sense, fraternization is a unique military concept, although the abuse of a superior`s position for personal gain and real or perceived preferential treatment are leadership and management problems that also occur in civilian organizations. We`ll review the Navy`s fraternization policy in this article to help officers determine what types of relationships are allowed and which could put you in hot water. The Navy`s fraternization guidelines are contained in OPNAV 5370.2B, Naval Fraternization Policy. According to OPNAVINST 5370.2D and U.S.
Navy regulations, the Navy`s fraternization policy is clear. Personal relations between officers and conscripts who are too familiar and do not respect differences in rank and rank are prohibited and violate long-standing customs and traditions of naval service. Similar relationships which are excessively familiar between officers or between members of different ranks or ranks may also affect order and discipline or be likely to discredit naval service and are therefore also prohibited. Officers and conscripts are prohibited from establishing such overly intimate personal relationships, regardless of the length of the other person`s service or the rules of service, including unreasonably intimate relationships with members of foreign military service. By the Navy`s own admission, it is impossible to explain any act of fraternization that could undermine good order and discipline in the ranks. What we do know is that dating (including sexual acts), gambling, and regular meetings with subordinates for drinks or parties are some of the most common reasons officers are charged and convicted of fraternization. Some types of interactions may seem positive at this point, but the military`s code of conduct sees things differently. If an officer becomes too familiar with a conscripted soldier, he or she can be charged with fraternization, a crime that could seriously affect that officer`s future.