Joseph Ralston, who withdrew his nomination for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after an adultery complaint was lodged against him.
Under the new rules, personal relationships between officers and enlisted service members are prohibited, including "dating, sharing living accommodations, engaging in intimate or sexual relations, business enterprises, commercial solicitations, gambling and borrowing money." This is the case even when the individuals belong to different military services.
All personal relations between recruiters and recruits are forbidden, as are personal relationships between instructors and trainees during initial training."By their very nature, these personal relationships may create a perception or pose a substantial risk that officers may be influenced by inappropriate factors in decision making, and thus misuse their position by granting preferential treatment," said Rudy de Leon, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, who led the Pentagon study team.
Existing marriages between officers and enlisted personnel would not be affected, de Leon said.
Cohen's new rules call for more uniform but tougher treatment of fraternization between commissioned and enlisted personnel.
Fraternization was an issue in the Army's recent training center scandal at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
The sex scandal involved relations between superiors and trainees.It also figured in the sexual misconduct court-martial of former Sgt. of the Army Gene Mc Kinney, who lost his job as highest-ranking enlisted soldier and was reduced one grade in rank after being accused of sexual misconduct with subordinates and a female officer.WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary William Cohen on Wednesday ordered the armed services to be more lenient and consistent in punishing adultery in the military but to get tougher on fraternization between officers and enlisted personnel.The new rules emphasized the need for equal treatment of violators, regardless of branch of service or rank.The rules result from a yearlong, top-level Defense Department study of the military's handling of sexual misconduct cases, including those of Air Force Lt.Kelly Flinn, dismissed for lying about an affair, and Air Force Gen.