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Though not a rigid test, normal social or business relationships between Marines within the following six divisions do not constitute fraternization.(However, under some instructor-student relationship, even relationships within a particular group, would be considered fraternization): While improper relationships within the same chain of command are the most obvious, there is no blanket requirement under the UCMJ that the relationship is within the same chain of command to be improper.It is important to keep in mind that because customs vary between branches of the armed forces, the Marine Corps' view of fraternization can be different (stricter) than that of the Air Force or the Army. Fraternization is a social or business relationship between Marines of different grades in violation of a custom of the naval service which, in the eyes of one experienced in military leadership, impacts adversely on good order and discipline, or degrades or at least threatens to degrade the character or status of the position that a Marine holds.Let us examine the parts of this definition in detail.
The senior ranking officer in such situations is considered to have greater ability to promptly discontinue any behaviors in breach of policy, but both soldiers are considered equally accountable.
Dating is subject to the same scrutiny as any other form of fraternization.
As such, it must reflect professionalism and cannot engender any favoritism or abuses of position.
Fraternization is the term used to describe improper personal and business relationships among Marines of different ranks or positions.
When contact and relationships exceed these standards and become those of "buddies" or peers, then fraternization exists.