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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 32818
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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I am Army Enlisted IRR and I am dating a Marine Active Duty

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I am Army Enlisted IRR and I am dating a Marine Active Duty Officer. We met as civilians through mutual friends but are concerned about the fraternization policy. The Marine Policy is unclear about the Reserves and IRR while the Army policy states the relationship is ok. Since he is the active duty individual we are more concerned with the Marine policy. Can you provide some guidance. Thank you.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

I agree with you, the Marine Corps policy is broad. But I do not believe it is unclear.

I can also tell you (from my personal experience) that most Marine Corps officers tend to view potential fraternization. Basically, if it could be fraternization, it is for most Marine officers.

Not to say that they are always correct.

My point is that most Marines, particularly Marine officers will view any relationship between an officer and an enlisted service member as fraternization.


Here is the Marine Corps policy

Personal relationships between officer and enlisted members that are unduly familiar and that do not
respect differences in grade or rank constitute fraternization and are prohibited.

That is pretty darn clear.

Unlike the Army, where they allow exceptions (like, for example, between active duty and reservists) the Marine policy includes everyone.

And this is consistent with the general opinion of most Marine officers that if it looks like fraternization, it is.

Now...there is one potential "loophole"

You mention IRR.

If you are truly in the IRR, then I do not see a problem.

The Marine Corps policy make the relationship criminal if they are between an officer and enlisted. Technically, a member in the IRR is not subject to the UCMJ (unlike reservists that are subject to UCMJ during periods of drill).

So if you remain IRR? Then this is a non issue

If you ever activate, you would need to end the relationship. Immediately. Or risk the Marine Officer's career

Let me know if you have more questions...happy to help if I can

P. Simmons and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can you provide me with the regulation that states IRR are not subject to UCMJ so can have it as a reference.


Thank you

There is not would be a legal argument

The reference is the Marine Corps Manual 1100.4 (which contains the Marine Corps policy. It is the one I pasted).

See also OPNAVINST 5370.2C (the current policy that applies to Navy including Marines). The language is the same.

Again, unlike the Army where they have exceptions, there are no exceptions to this policy.

But legally a soldier in the IRR is not subject to the UCMJ

This comes from Art 3 UCMJ. So if you are looking for a reference, that would be it.

While the soldier in the IRR is subject to recall, they are not otherwise subject to military authority. For example a soldier in the IRR, who lives in a state that allows medical marijuana, could use it if licensed to do so. The same would not be true for a reservist or an active duty soldier.

Fraternization is a "2 party crime" need to have both sides. If one side is not subject to the UCMJ, you do not have fraternization.

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