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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 15963
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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I am an Army (National Guard) Medical Officer and I recently

Resolved Question:

I am an Army (National Guard) Medical Officer and I recently became engaged to an Active Duty Navy Enlisted? I contacted an Army JAG, and because our relationship is based entirely outside the military, he said I was ok but I don't know if the actual marriage would change the situation. He went on to say generally the Army would only take action against the officer, but he was unsure of the Navy's policy.


First, am I able to marry my fiance now, or do I have to wait until they're no longer in the Navy (plans to get out in 3 years.)


Second, if this is not allowed, under what circumstances would this actually be a pursued issue as we are not even remotely connected in a military setting.


Third, what would your recommendation be if you were advising us to minimize potential problems? We are not going to end our relationship under any circumstances.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I have nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines, including JAG.

 

1. If the relationship outside of marriage is fine, then marriage is actually better. All of the fraternization laws exempt those that are married. It's actually the non-married period of the relationship that raises the legal issue. Fraternization is an "officer only" offense.

 

2. Again, it is the relationship outside of marriage that would be the issue, not marriage itself. The only thing that marriage might do is bring the pre-marriage relationship to the attention of command and if they had a problem with the pre-marriage relationship, they could choose to address that relationship even once you are married.

 

3. Obviously, the absolutely most safe thing to do is not be in the relationship, but as that is not a real option here, get married.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I only know that the army side of the relationship is ok according to AR 600-20 paragraph C2D and a little applicable in C2C. What about the Navy? Under what circumstances would the relationship be questioned? Is there any instance where the enlisted would be held accountable?
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

The Navy uses the exact same UCMJ as the rest of the military and fraternization is an officer only violation.

 

An unprofessional relationship is the only possible charge against an enlisted as, as you are not in the same branch, same unit, same command, etc., it isn't going to be invoked in that instance. It doesn't fit the more broad definition.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So botXXXXX XXXXXne is only I, the officer could be in question, and the Army's exception for reservists exempts me based on its civilian only capacity and marriage doesn't change that exception. The Navy wouldn't have grounds here to pursue the active enlisted as I've described it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
Awaiting response
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry. I was taking my kids to the day camp.

 

And yes, you've essentially restated my position exactly.

Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 15963
Experience: Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Military Lawyer
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Lawyer and current JAG officer.