Morale: US Navy Revises Fraternization Rules

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June 13, 2007: The U.S. Navy has tightened up its fraternization policy. By fraternization is meant too cozy off-duty relationships with subordinates. In the navy this not only means officers and Chief Petty Officers (those in the top three of the nine enlisted ranks) dealing with lower ranking enlisted personnel, but also relationships between senior and junior officers. Historically, fraternization meant partying or gambling with subordinates, or borrowing money from them. But in the last three decades, as more women joined the navy, and better paid sailors could afford to maintain their own apartment or house off base, so fraternization came to include who you shared living quarters, or had sex, with. The new rules include members of other services, to deal with the thousands of sailors who are working with the army on the ground in Iraq. Also covered now are relationships between recruiters and new recruits (usually young women) they have just signed up.

The fraternization rules insure that a proper social distance is maintained between those who give the orders, and those who take them. This is because, in the military, those orders can often have life-or-death consequences.

 


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