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Article 134, UCMJ. FRATERNIZATION.

Each of the military services has created regulations, directives, and orders that govern conduct between personnel of different ranks.  In 1999 and 2000, each of the services conducted a review of their respective rules governing fraternization and attempted to create uniformity among the service branches. Fraternization is sometimes charged as a violation of Article 92, failure to obey an order or regulation.

Elements:

(1) That the accused was a commissioned or warrant officer;

(2) That the accused fraternized on terms of military equality with one or more certain enlisted member(s) in a certain manner;

(3) That the accused then knew the person(s) to be (an) enlisted member(s);

(4) That such fraternization violated the custom of the accused’s service that officers shall not fraternize with enlisted members on terms of military equality; and

(5) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

Fraternization is considered antithetical to cohesion in military units. For more information on this offense including the maximum punishment, potential defenses, and a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case consult with an experienced military lawyer.

Fraternization in the military

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