Some possible examples of activities encompassed by the term “fraternization” are: Military court decisions and the Manual for Courts-martial make clear that fraternization can occur between enlisted Marines.
Thus, each case must be scrutinized by applying this “hypothetical leader” test. The responsibility for maintaining the customary and traditional standards of conduct lies with the senior.
The military services demand a regard for authority by juniors towards their seniors which experience has shown is enhanced by the observance of decorum, tradition, custom, usage, and conventions which are peculiar to the services alone. Non-judicial punishment (often followed, in the case of officers, by processing for administrative separation). The line between acceptable conduct and fraternization will not be crossed unless the senior allows it to happen.
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“Custom” is a long-established practice which, by common consent, has attained the force of law within the military.