Dating/Marriage within an NROTC unit.

qwerty1990

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I was wondering what the UCMJ rules are with dating another Midshipmen of the same rank within your NROTC unit. I have been looking all over for an answer, and cannot get a straight forward answer. We will be commissioning/graduating at the same time, but will not be assigned to the same job or place afterwards. We have talked about engagement before graduation, and were not sure if our relationship in general is allowed. Any help on this?
 

Capt MJ

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I was wondering what the UCMJ rules are with dating another Midshipmen of the same rank within your NROTC unit. I have been looking all over for an answer, and cannot get a straight forward answer. We will be commissioning/graduating at the same time, but will not be assigned to the same job or place afterwards. We have talked about engagement before graduation, and were not sure if our relationship in general is allowed. Any help on this?

Google using this search string:
"NROTC unit fraternization policy guidelines rules."

Several unit documents popped up.
 

kking2338

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In my battalion dating another MIDN that is the same rank is perfectly okay as long as they are not in your direct chain of command and it does not interfere with official business. I would still read the ROD it should have a part on fraternization.
 

5Day

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The one document I read from the suggested google search (from Tulane) said exactly what @kking2338 said. But, the policy could be batallion specific.
 

qwerty1990

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Thank you all!
The thing that trips me up the most is after reading,

"Fraternization is defined as any personal relationship between a midshipman and an officer or enlisted member which is unduly familiar and does not respect differences in rank and grade, resulting in favoritism, preferential treatment, personal gain, or involves actions that otherwise may reasonably be expected to undermine good order, discipline, authority, or high unit morale. "

So basically, if we just avoid the same chain of command, and being appointed in a leadership position above one another, it should be okay?
 

qwerty1990

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Would it be a safe bet to ask my military advisor about it or even raise awareness to the battalion command? I can not find our ROD currently. @kking2338
 

5Day

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This is what I read from Tulane's handbook specifically about Mid-Mid relationships http://tulanenrotc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Handbook-3JUL13.pdf

Midshipmen Relationships. Relationships between midshipmen are not considered fraternization. However, relationships between midshipmen within a direct chain of command may give the appearance of impropriety and should be avoided. In cases where such relationships cannot be avoided, the midshipmen involved need to bring the relationship to the attention of the unit staff. One or both midshipmen may be reassigned to different billets within the unit without prejudice to the midshipmen's performance records. It is the responsibility of all senior midshipmen to train and mentor the junior midshipman. Any relationship between 4/C midshipmen and NROTC upperclassmen jeopardizes training goals and is considered prejudicial to good order and discipline.

Somehow you will need to find out what your Battalion's policy is. I would assume that your unit's handbook is silent, I know my DS handbook does not mention fraternization. It would be nice to get @NavyNOLA input on if and how you should ask you chain of command.
 

qwerty1990

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Yes, it seems my Battalions policy and handbook are private; and can not even be found on our battalion website or information page. So if anyone has input on how I should go about asking my chain of command, as @5Day had mentioned, I would appreciate it greatly.
 

5Day

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Just start by asking a friend or your squad leader how you can get a copy of your battalions policy and handbook. That would at least be a start.
 

USMCGrunt

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OP: believe it or not, you are not the first Midshipman to run into this scenario - even at your own unit. it is common. Reaching out to a Forum like this is akin to asking for legal advice from a "barracks lawyer." You have a chain of command and PME advisors within your unit who are there to answer questions and assist you. Use them.
 

NavyNOLA

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UCMJ doesn't apply at NROTC, so that doesn't even need to be part of the calculus here. This issue has been a point of debate at NROTC units the past couple years. The ROD has only been but so specific. However, just last fall NSTC let us know they are working on a new fraternization policy that will provide greater guidance. While not released yet, it is expected to say that freshmen are off limits to juniors/seniors (as well as all STA-21/MECEP students, obviously). Outside of that, relationships are not prohibited among midshipmen, but they should not be prejudicial to good order and discipline. So, it would appear that this example above does not cross any boundaries, based on the information provided.

My general guidance with this stuff is to be up front with your advisor/the staff. If you are in a relationship with another midshipman, especially one where an engagement is being discussed, you should absolutely let your advisor know. Besides giving them the courtesy of being upfront and honest, they can also help with ensuring that neither student is placed in a position/situation where good order and discipline within the unit could be adversely affected.
 

NavyNOLA

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This is what I read from Tulane's handbook specifically about Mid-Mid relationships http://tulanenrotc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Handbook-3JUL13.pdf

Midshipmen Relationships. Relationships between midshipmen are not considered fraternization. However, relationships between midshipmen within a direct chain of command may give the appearance of impropriety and should be avoided. In cases where such relationships cannot be avoided, the midshipmen involved need to bring the relationship to the attention of the unit staff. One or both midshipmen may be reassigned to different billets within the unit without prejudice to the midshipmen's performance records. It is the responsibility of all senior midshipmen to train and mentor the junior midshipman. Any relationship between 4/C midshipmen and NROTC upperclassmen jeopardizes training goals and is considered prejudicial to good order and discipline.

Somehow you will need to find out what your Battalion's policy is. I would assume that your unit's handbook is silent, I know my DS handbook does not mention fraternization. It would be nice to get @NavyNOLA input on if and how you should ask you chain of command.

That one is a few years out of date. Here's the most recent copy. Our frat policy is a little more scaled down in this version.
 

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Pima

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I agree with the others, just be up front.

What I would spend time on is how after 4 yrs of seeing each other on a daily basis how life will be located maybe on different coasts. Long distance relationships are tricky to start with, harder when you maybe going through stressful schools like pilot training where getting away for a weekend is just not going to happen on a whim.

I wish you and your love the best joy and happiness, but just remember that for the military engagement = nothing when it comes to assignments. This might be a long road for you, until both of you are stationed together. Talk about that now.

Thank you both for your service to our country and congrats on your upcoming commissions!
 

kinnem

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Frankly, I'd wait to see if you can weather being stationed apart for a while.... but that's just me. Sorry to be a downer but I've seen too many guys break up with the love of their lives after being apart for less than 6 months!
 

5Day

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That one is a few years out of date. Here's the most recent copy. Our frat policy is a little more scaled down in this version.
Thank you @NavyNOLA, as usual you provided knowledgeable guidance. When I read the olde handbook I did notice that the frat policy seemed over the top. I am sure there is some interesting history around its evolution. I am glad to see the the pendulum has swung back to a more moderate position. I am sure Tulane and New Orleans makes a great party environment.
 
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