Legal Question in Military Law in Maryland

Officer/Enlisted Relationship

Army officer, AF enlisted relationship (not married), both active duty, lasting in duration of 18 months, and 2 duty stations. Resulted in birth of child, in her custody. We never worked together, never in the same organization, or base for that matter when we met. She is threatening to notify her chain of command due to things not working out. What are the implications for the officer, and conversely, what are the implications for the enlisted SM?

Asked on 1/31/09, 9:05 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

William J. Holmes Attorney at Military Law

Re: Officer/Enlisted Relationship

The law of fraternization varies from service to service and sometimes in how it is applied even between various commands of the same service. At least in theory, you both could be deemed to have engaged in improper fraternization. Although it is usually the senior person who is deemed most culpable, both of you could get in trouble for it. Thus, she could be putting herself in jeopardy as well if she reports this. The fact that the two of you are not in the same service, did not have a direct working relationship and were not even in the same unit are important factors in demonstrating that this was not fraternization in violation of any regulations or customs of the service.

I hope this has helped. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any further questions.

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Answered on 2/02/09, 10:23 am

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