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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 26547
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Im a CPT in the US Army and recently married a SSG in the

Resolved Question:

I'm a CPT in the US Army and recently married a SSG in the Army. I spoke to my wife today and her command is initiating a "Letter of investigation" on our relationship. The details of our relationship are as follows:
Met online (match.com)
Developed a relationship
Identified Rank and out the relationship on hold
We anticipated her getting out on a medboard over a year ago, but the Army has not followed up with it well. Partially due to her having been PCSed twice (Korea then Texas). This entire time we've been separated as I've been in Georgia and she's been in Korea then Texas. We decided to get married in order to keep the relationship and keep it within regulation.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne, we believe our relationship has been in keeping with the regulation and we made every effort to wait. However, the Army has not been diligent in working her through the medical process due to PCS moves. However, when we put in the "Army Married Couples Program" paperwork, her command has decided to 'look into' the relationship. While I do not know for certain what actions they're taking, I'd bet they've initiated at least an informal 15-6 investigation.

My question:
What is our (my wife and mine) obligation to cooperate and what information is required of us? I'm of the mindset to tell any IO to do their best to find what they can, however, I'm not sure if that'd be the right answer. And what would the view of the above noted relationship be in regards XXXXX XXXXX adverse action?

Thank you for your time.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Since you and your spouse are both subject to the UCMJ, both of you could potentially be prosecuted.

That said, there is no obligation to "cooperate"

In fact, under Art 31, UCMJ, you both have the right to give no information at all.

Under the law, both federal and military, there is no crime against marriage between an officer and enlisted soldier. But there is a clear rule, as stated in the Army Command Policy, against illegal fraternization.

So her command can not prosecute the marriage...but they can investigate the relationship prior to the marriage. If there is evidence of an improper personal relationship that pre-dates the marriage, her command could prosecute her for that.

But, as you describe, if you did not have an inappropriate relationship prior to the marriage? Then neither of you should have any issues.

That said, I sure would not help in the investigation...no reason to do so. Unless they can find evidence of an inappropriate relationship, they have nothing to prosecute.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sir,


 


Thank you for the response. This leads me to an additional question regarding the investigation.


 


If her command initiates an investigation on her, does that mean I'm inherently being investigated as well? My concern is the impact on hers and my clearance. If they conduct an investigation, I believe they have to suspend our clearances. That being the case, would it require both BN Commanders to conduct the investigation? Would it also mean that both our clearances would be suspended during the investigation? as a BN S6, I'm not concerned about the BN's current operations and exercises coming up.


 


Thank you.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Only your command can prosecute you.

Her command can certainly investigate the relationship...and can forward the results to your command. But your command would have to take the steps to prosecute you.

As for the clearance? That is up to your security manager (typically the S2) and your battalion commander. The fact that another command is investigating this does not, in and of itself, impact your clearance...suspension would take action by your command...so unless or until your command takes some action, your clearance is not impacted. But I want to make clear, your command COULD take action, like investigate or suspend your clearance, if your battalion deems it appropriate.

P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 26547
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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