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Its focus is the detriment to good order and discipline resulting from the erosion of respect for authority inherent in an unduly familiar senior-subordinate relationship, not the sex of the members involved.In this sense, fraternization is a uniquely military concept, although abuse of a senior's position for personal gain and actual or perceived preferential treatments are leadership and management problems that also arise in civilian organizations.While the existence of a direct senior-subordinate supervisory relationship is not a prerequisite for a relationship between juniors and seniors to constitute fraternization, the fact that individuals are in the same chain of command increases the likelihood that an unduly familiar relationship between senior and junior officers, or between senior and junior enlisted members will result in prejudice to good order and discipline or discredit to the naval service.Conduct, which constitutes fraternization, is not excused or mitigated by a subsequent marriage between the offending parties.This loss of objectivity by the senior may result in actual or apparent preferential treatment of the junior, and use of the senior's position for the private gain of either the senior or junior member.The actual or apparent loss of objectivity by a senior may result in the perception the senior is no longer capable or willing to exercise fairness and make judgments on the basis of merit.



This custom recognizes the need to prevent the use of a senior grade or position in such a way that it results in (or gives the appearance of) favoritism, preferential treatment, personal gain, or involves actions that otherwise may reasonably be expected to undermine good order, discipline, authority, or high unit morale.Such relationships are prejudicial to good order and discipline and violate long-standing traditions of the Naval service.c.When prejudicial to good order or of a nature to bring discredit on the Naval service, personal relationships between officer members or between enlisted members that are unduly familiar and that do not respect differences in grade or rank are prohibited.Violation of these policies subject the involved members to disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

Navy has historically relied upon custom and tradition to define the bounds of acceptable personal relationships among its members.

Commands are expected to take administrative and disciplinary action as necessary to correct such inappropriate behavior.