Legal Question in Military Law in Texas


Can an officer marry an enlisted member when both are on active duty for the Army if the relationship did not exist prior to March 2000?

Asked on 1/08/06, 11:53 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Neal Puckett The Law Firm of Puckett and Faraj, PC

Re: Marriage

No military regulation can prohibit a man and a woman from getting married. But ironically, it's the relationship itself that is prohibited. So, to the extent that you have already established a relationship across officer/enlisted lines, you are in violation of Army regulations. It is, in essence, a "don't ask/don't tell" thing. You can get married, and then let the Army know (as eveyone who gets married is required to do). Then they will probably do nothing about the prior existing relationship because it will have become legally protected by marriage. But right now, you are definitely in a danger zone. The date of March 2000 is not significant in this regard.

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Answered on 1/08/06, 12:18 pm

Donald G. Rehkopf, Jr. Brenna, Brenna & Boyce, PLLC

Re: Marriage

While I agree in general with the earlier answer, there are insufficient facts to give you a complete answer. If for example, the Enlisted member is in the Officer's chain of command, that would constitute the crime of fraternization, so that is one issue that needs to be addressed. Even if that is not the case, my experience has shown that the Officer will get "marked down" on his/her next Performance Evaluation under "Judgment." It may not be right and it may not be fair, but that is just the way the military thinks. Also, my experience has shown that the Army is downright hostile when it comes to assisting in "joint spouse" assignments. There is no easy answer here, unless one of the two is planning on leaving active duty in the near future. Contact me directly if you have any other questions.

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Answered on 1/08/06, 5:12 pm

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