Navy Updates Fraternization Policy
Navy NewsStand has a story about how the CNO recently issued an updated "Navy Fraternization Policy" instruction. The new policy (an HTML version can be found here; the PDF file is here) has supposedly been updated to reflect the more "joint" nature of 21st century military service; apparently, the previously-issued policy hadn't been clear enough that a Navy officer can't bang an enlisted person just because they're in the Army or whatever.
While all of us think back to how we have never seen officer/enlisted gambling (especially not in the form of NCAA Basketball pools), I want to direct your attention to an example the article uses to illustrate a potentially prohibited behavior:
For example, the executive officer (XO) of the command holds a Monday Night Football party every Monday night during football season. She invites the wardroom and the chief's mess. She is guilty of fraternization because the XO is in a leadership position, and she is creating an unduly familiar relationship with members of her command. However, if she held a Super Bowl Party annually and invited the entire command, or the wardroom and the chief's mess, this would not be fraternization as it would be considered a social event, not unlike a holiday party. However, the XO cannot invite only selected enlisted members, as that constitutes disparate treatment and it would be prejudicial to good order and discipline.So what are they saying here? To be honest, the real point flew over my head -- I personally don't see anything wrong with a weekly get together -- because I was fixated on the story using a female XO as the "guilty" party. How did this get past the Diversity Directorate at NavPers? It seems they wouldn't want to make people think that female XOs just go around breaking rules, but this article could lead one to that conclusion. Or did they decide it's more important to make people think that a female XO is completely unremarkable, and they use little stories like that to reinforce this point? The world wonders...