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9-3. Policy on Relationships between Soldiers


The Army has historically relied upon customs and traditions to define the bounds of acceptable personal relationships among its members. Soldier relationships have always been judged with reference to customs and traditions of the service.

It is difficult to predict which relationships (strong friendships, parent-child, sibling, career, and business) can create or appear to create an adverse impact on discipline, authority, morale or mission. Therefore, the Army prohibits all unprofessional relationships that compromise the chain of command, because partiality or unfairness, involve the improper use of grade for personal gain or are perceived to be exploitive or coercive in nature.

Relationships that may create or appear to create an adverse impact on discipline, authority, morale, or mission accomplishment are also prohibited.

Professional Relationships: Professional relationships are interactions consistent with the Army values.

Professional relationships are those that contribute to the effective operation of the Army.



Unprofessional Relationship: Unprofessional relationships occur when they detract from the authority of superiors or result in or create the appearance of: favoritism, misuse of office or position, or the abandonment of organizational goals for personal interests.

Unprofessional relationships negatively affect our ability to carry out our mission. History shows unprofessional relationships erode morale, respect for authority, unit cohesion, and mission accomplishment.

Due to the damage to that might occur, maintaining an unprofessional relationship is specifically prohibited and could result in disciplinary action.
Fraternization

The Army’s fraternization policy prohibits personal relationships between officer and enlisted personnel regardless of their service. This policy applies to different-gender relationships and same-gender relationships.

Violations of the fraternization and improper relationships policy may be punished under Article 92 and/or 134, UCMJ, as a violation of a lawful general regulation.

Categories of personal relationships may include:



  • Dating.

  • Shared living accommodations.

  • Engaging in intimate or sexual relations.

  • Business enterprises.

  • Commercial solicitations.

  • Gambling or borrowing.

  • Writing personal letters

  • Text messages

  • Emails (Unrelated to the training mission)

  • Personal telephone conversations (Unrelated to the training mission)

  • Friending through Social media sites

Improper Relationships

There are two major categories of illegal associations: relationships between permanent party members and BCT/OSUT/AIT Soldiers (Cadre-Trainee) and relationships between BCT/OSUT/AIT Soldiers (Trainee-Trainee).



Any relationship between permanent party personnel and Trainee Soldiers not required by the training mission is prohibited.

There are no consensual relationships between Cadre-Trainee or between Trainee-Trainee during BCT/OSUT/AIT.

Trainers will sign a form with explicit and strict command guidance that acknowledges their understanding and responsibilities regarding the policies prohibiting inappropriate behaviors and relations outlined in DOD instructions.

This form will be retained in the trainer’s record while they are assigned to the training duty and will be revalidated annually.

This includes, but is not limited to, the following:



  • Drinking, dancing, or gambling.

  • Writing and/or receiving personal letters or emails.

  • Riding in permanent party privately owned vehicles.

  • Having sexual conversations, contact (kissing, hugging, caressing, fondling, handholding, etc.), or intercourse.

  • Sending and/or receiving text messages or phone calls.

  • Personal telephone conversations (Unrelated to the training mission)

  • Friending through Social media sites

IET Soldiers are prohibited from having any relationship with permanent party personnel without regard to the installation assignment of the permanent party member or the trainee.

For example, personnel assigned or attached to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command may not have any relationship with potential prospects, applicants, and members of the Delayed Entry Program or Delayed Training Program, not required by the recruiting mission.

After receiving the training on the policies stated in the DOD instructions all Soldiers will sign a form with explicit and strict command guidance acknowledging their understanding and responsibilities as outlined in the instructions.

This form will be retained in the Soldier’s file until they detach from the training command or school to which they are assigned or attached.

Unlawful associations between Trainee Soldiers involve any actual or attempted consensual contact or socializing between or among Soldiers who are BCT/OSUT/AIT. Soldiers will therefore avoid the following associations and acts:


  • Consensual contact or socializing (between or among Soldiers who are in BCT, OSUT or AIT) which involves handholding, embracing, caressing, kissing, touching, massaging or fondling of a sexual nature, engaging in sexual intercourse, or sodomy.

  • Use of sexually explicit, suggestive, or obscene language or gestures directed towards, or with respect to another Soldier in BCT, OSUT or AIT.

  • Gender-based or race-based harassment or disparaging language or actions (by a Soldier or a group of Soldiers in BCT, OSUT or AIT) directed towards another Soldier or group of Soldiers in BCT, OSUT or AIT.

  • Entry into the living quarters, latrines, or other areas designated for the exclusive use of Soldiers of the opposite sex, unless required by training mission/ official duties or for health or safety emergencies.

However, language or socializing of a non-sexual, non-harassing nature between BCT, OSUT and AIT Soldiers is not illegal if the interaction is based on the esprit and enthusiasm generated by the basic training mission and the professional development associated with BCT, OSUT and AIT.

Finally, there is no prohibition against Trainee Soldiers of the same or opposite sex talking to one another or developing friendships.

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