Army`s Regulation on Fraternization is Too Strict
ARMY’S REGULATION ON FRATERNIZATION IS TOO STRICT 1
Army’s Regulation on Fraternization is TooStrict
Army’s regulation on fraternization is toostrict
The army’s manuals and contexts see socialrelations among unrelated people in different classes astransgressions of moral, legal, and professional standards of thearmy. In fact, the army has developed a rather strict code thatdenotes fraternization as unprofessional, improper, and unethical(Tinoco & Arnaud, 2013 Byers, 2012)).The stringent regulation on fraternization suffices especially onpersonal association of military officers outside professional dutiesas well as acquainted relationships among officers of differentstatuses especially when they are in the same series of command. Thefraternization policy suffices on the background of professional andethical values required of military people, but the policy has becometoo strict, as it is difficult to define impropriety in someconsensual relationships or sex acts. In this regards, the discoursedelineates fraternization in the army and develops a body ofelucidations as to the sternness of the regulation on fraternization.
The gist of fraternization offenses revolvesaround familiar relationships among officers of different ranks.However, such relationships must breed impropriety, irregularity, orunprofessionalism for the military to recognize them as offenses(Department of the Army, n.d.). In thisregards, the regulation on fraternization becomes strict since itcultivates a broad scope that may regard interpersonal relationshipsamong officers as improper or fitting fraternization. In someinstances, the military has regarded normal relationships as forms offraternization even when such relationships have failed todemonstrate unprofessionalism. In fact, the current fraternizationpolicy regards even relationships that do not breed contempt oremasculate the chain of command or professionalism of the military asinstances of fraternization. In addition, the policy regards familiarrelationships including business and personal relationships betweenenlisted members and officers as forms of fraternization, oftencalling them detrimental to the good command of the military.However, as suggested earlier defining the scope or the severity ofrelationships to hurting the professionalism of the army becomes aproblem since people can construe normal relationships as toofamiliar.
On the other hand, not all forms of familiarrelationships can breed contempt, unprofessionalism, or break theseries of command in the military. In fact, the army objects so muchto the circumstances of the familiar relationships rather than theirresults, for example, a relationship between married people mayresult in the same outcome as a relationship between unmarriedpeople. In addition, the regulation becomes too strict as instead ofreprimanding the officers involved, the policy goes to the extent ofdismissing the officers involved bearing in mind that sometimes it isdifficult to determine whether a relationship has developed into aconsensual sexual relationship. In this regards, the policydisadvantages officers who have developed a normal but familiarrelationship with one another. In some instances, the policy hasdisadvantaged enlisted members and officers especially those in thesame series of command, as the policy overlooks relationships betweenofficers of the same rank in different chains. For example, duringthe Second World War, Gen Dwight Eisenhower, the then chief commanderhad an intimate relationship with his secretary, but was notdismissed despite the existence of the fraternization policy onfamiliar relationships (Byers, 2012). Inthis regards, the policy cultivates a strict regulation of enlistedmembers.
Perhaps, the austere nature of the fraternizationpolicy appears in guidelines on business relationships. Most businessrelationships apart from those involving lending, borrowing, orgambling do not prejudice the series of command or theprofessionalism of the army. In fact, the regulation of businessrelationships suggests unfairness and tries to limit officers tostrict relationships that do not go beyond duty. In addition,business relationships do not warrant descriptions of familiarrelationships, and even if they do, they may not compromisediscipline of cause general discredit to the army unless they involveborrowing or lending. On the other hand, even if the army deemedrelationships as forms of fraternization it should transfer officersinvolved or reprimand them instead of dismissals or warnings, orsuspensions. In addition, the army should treat fraternization casesindividually by looking at the circumstances surrounding therelationships, as well as the outcome of the relationships. Forexample, policies that do not tolerate sexual conduct betweensuperiors and juniors demonstrate unprofessionalism or impropriety,but the investigating officer should produce evidence to show thatthe officers involved had indeed an intimate relationship (Departmentof the Army, n.d.). In addition, asaforementioned, such relationships must have prejudiced theprofessionalism of the army as convicting officers of businessrelationships or normal relationships may render the policy to anunfair policy.
Although the discourse reveals, the austerenature of the fraternization regulation proponents of thefraternization regulation may see the policy as good and lenient.Proponents of the policy may argue that familiar relationshipsespecially those involving intimacy, outings, romance, and gamblingamong other breed contempt and prejudices the series of commandespecially when they involve senior officers and enlisted members(Tinoco & Arnaud, 2013). In fact,studies show that romantic relationships in the army incline tocompromise discipline, cause suspicions, and discredit the army as itbecomes difficult for officers to reprimand or assign duties topeople they are close to in most cases. In some other cases, jealousofficers engage in blackmail or hurt other officers if they suspectintimate relationships developing between officers they love andother officers. In addition, Tinoco & Arnaud (2013)contend that the regulation on fraternizationallows officers to avoid relationships that may be described as formsof fraternization thus, the current state of the regulation allowsofficers to maintain professionalism. As such, the regulation onfraternization according to its proponents may act as the only policyto maintain decorum and professionalism in the army. In addition, theArmy should deal callously with close relationships as they may harmthe work of the army in securing the nation. In this regards, somepeople may see the regulation as lenient rather than strict in itsentirety.
The army has developed strict policies andmeasures regarding fraternization among officers in the army. Infact, it has become difficult in some instances to define the scopethat befits fraternization since delineating relationships as normalor familiar may become complex. In this regards, the regulation onfraternization demonstrates an austere nature, which disadvantagesofficers and enlisted members into developing relationships amongthemselves. In addition, most cases of fraternization attract jailterms, fines, dismissal, or warnings rather than reprimand ortransfers thus, their strict nature. As the discourse maintains thearmy requires the regulation, but it has sufficed as strict in itscurrent form thus, the evaluation of this strict nature.Conclusively, the discourse has revealed the strict nature of theregulation, but that does not mean that the army does not need thepolicy.
Byers, J. A. (2012). The Sexual Economy of War: Regulation ofSexuality and the US Army, 1898-1940 (Doctoral dissertation,Duke University).
Department of the Army. (n.d.). Relationships between Soldiers ofDifferent Rank. Retrieved February 17, 2015, fromhttp://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/command/doc
Tinoco, J., & Arnaud, A. (2013). The Transfer of Military Cultureto Private Sector Organizations: A Sense of Duty Emerges. Journalof Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, 17(2),37.