Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Love Dating Romance Affairs Marriage in Defence Services – Is there a Fraternization Policy in Indian Armed Forces...?

LOVE – DATING  ROMANCE – AFFAIRS  AND  STEALING AFFECTIONS  IN THE DEFENCE SERVICES (ARMY NAVY AIR FORCE)


IS THERE A FRATERNIZATION POLICY IN THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES...?
Ramblings of a Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE 


IS THERE A NEED FOR A FRATERNIZATION POLICY IN INDIAN ARMED FORCES...?

Stealing Affections of Brother Officers’ Wives is an offence in the Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force).

Yes  stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife is deemed to be conduct unbecoming of an officer and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline.

It is considered a grave offence which may even lead to dismissal from service.

However  stealing the affection of a “sister officer” is considered okay.

In fact  “brother officers” are permitted to marry “sister officers” – yes  male officers are allowed to marry female officers.

There are many “in-service couples” in the Armed Forces  and this trend of DIUC (Double Income Uniformed Couples) is increasing in the 3 Defence Services.

Someone even said that the Army Navy and Air Force encourage marriages between uniformed officers by providing various sops like spouse postings and dual accommodation seniority carry forward etc.

Does this not go against the tenets of “fraternization”...? 


FRATERNIZATION

What is the meaning of the term “Fraternization” in the context of the Military Armed Forces...?

Any “unduly familiar relationship” between a senior and a junior is deemed to be Fraternization.

Hence – Marriage (which includes intimate sexual relationship) is an “unduly familiar relationship”.

Many other relationships like dating, living together and other intimate friendships can also be deemed to be “unduly familiar relationships”.

Suppose  in the Navy  a male Commander marries a female Lieutenant  or  in the Army  a male Lieutenant Colonel marries a female Captain – is it not a case of “fraternization”...? 

Considering the considerable difference in ranks/seniority between husband and wife – is it not an “unduly familiar relationship” between a senior and a junior which can be deemed to be fraternization...?

It appears that  at least in the Indian Armed Forces  a lot of leniency is shown as far as relationships between male and female officers are concerned (despite their difference in rank).

This is evident if you observe the increasing number of marriages between male and female officers in the uniformed services.

Marriages and Relationships between officers is not considered fraternization in the Indian Armed Forces.

But  what will happen if a Female Officer wants to marry a Male Soldier, Sailor or Airman...?

It can happen – anyone can fall in love with anyone.

(At present – in the Indian Armed Forces – there are women only at Officer Level – but later – when women are inducted in all ranks – reverse gender situations can also occur – of women soldiers falling in love with male officers and wanting to marry them) 

At present – Indian Armed Forces allow Male and Female Officers to marry each other irrespective of the inter-se seniority.

Will the Indian Armed Forces allow Officers to marry Soldiers, Sailors or Airmen...?

For example  will the Army allow a Lady Officer to marry a Male JCO?

Can Officers Marry, Date, Romance or have Relationships with PBOR (Personnel Below Officer Rank)...?

Will this be treated as Fraternization...?


DO THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES HAVE A FRATERNIZATION POLICY...?

Is there a statutory Fraternization Policy in the Indian Armed Forces...?

I do not know.

“Fraternization” is a uniquely military concept.

Military custom demands that seniors must maintain thoroughly professional relationships with juniors at all times. 

“Fraternization” is the term traditionally used to identify personal relationships that contravene the customary bounds of acceptable senior-subordinate relationships.

“Fraternization” means any relationship in the military chain of command that is prejudicial to good order and discipline.

Fraternization Rules date back to the time of the Roman Army.

The purpose of such Fraternization Constraints is to:

1. Maintain good order and discipline.

2. Preserve military sanctity and ensure the integrity of the chain of command.

3. Prevent adverse impact upon a junior’s response to orders, the senior’s exercise of command, or the perception of others regarding the senior’s impartiality (In most cases of fraternization, perceptions matter more than reality).

4. Promote relationships of mutual respect and confidence between juniors and seniors.


FRATERNIZATION POLICY FOR INDIAN ARMED FORCES

I am sure you have seen Marriages between Serving Officers of the Armed Forces.

But – have you ever come across Marriage between an Officer and a PBOR (Personnel Below Officer Rank)...?

Do tell us if you have come across a marriage between a serving officer and a serving soldier.

Is there a need for a statutory Fraternization Policy to regulate unduly familiar personal relationships in the Armed Forces (Army Navy and Air Force)...?

Well  that is for the powers-that-be to decide.

With the entry of women in the armed forces in the 1990’s  have the archaic Army Act, Navy Act and Air Force Act been amended to include a Fraternization Policy...?

Yes  with the advent of women into the Army, Navy and Air Force  there has been a lot of pontification about “gender-sensitization” – but has a statutory fraternization policy been formulated and promulgated...?


MILITARY FRATERNIZATION POLICY TO REGULATE  AND UNDULY FAMILIAR RELATIONSHIPS (LOVE DATING ROMANCE AFFAIRS MARRIAGE) IN THE ARMY NAVY AND AIR FORCE 


FOUR CARDINAL FRATERNIZATION TENETS

As I said earlier  it is the prerogative of the powers-that-be to decide whether to have a fraternization policy or not (as per the culture prevalent in their respective services).

But – if there is to be a fraternization policy  then  perhaps  it can be formulated based on one of the following cardinal tenets:

1. Prohibit Marriages between Members of the Armed Forces (Army Navy Air Force)

Whether you are an Officer or a PBOR – you cannot marry anyone in uniform (you cannot have an unduly familiar relationship with any other serving officer, soldier, sailor, airman).

This means that the prevalent practice of “fauji” marriages between male and female officers will be banned.

Yes  “fauji” marriages will be treated as fraternization and will be prohibited – especially if there is a difference in rank/seniority between the two officers.

2. Prohibit Same-Service Marriages

For example  if you are in the Army you cannot Marry someone in the Army  though you may Marry someone from the Navy or Air Force – and vice versa.

3. Prohibit Same Branch/Arm/Service/Regiment/Corps Marriages

For example – a male Army Officer from EME cannot marry a female Officer from the EME  but he may marry a female Officer from ASC, AOC etc  a helicopter pilot cannot marry another helicopter pilot  but may marry a fighter pilot or an officer from non-flying branch  and – similar restrictions for officers belonging to the same branch in the Navy.

4. Prohibit Marriages between Officers and PBOR 

Officers cannot Marry Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen. 


NEED TO DEFINE WHAT CONSTITUTE “UNDULY FAMILIAR RELATIONSHIPS”

Of course  in addition to Marriage  the Fraternization Policy must define and govern “unduly familiar relationships” between uniformed personnel  like dating, romance, physical relationships, live-in relationships and intimate friendships  and fraternization principles must apply to regulate such relationships.

For example:

Should an Officer be allowed to indulge in dating or become romantically involved with another Officer of the Armed Forces...? 

Should dating between Officers and PBOR (Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen) be permitted...?

Or  should Officers of the Armed Forces be allowed to Date only Civilians...?

Maybe  the same Four Cardinal Fraternization Tenets for Marriage (mentioned above) can apply to other relationships as well.


FRATERNIZATION POLICIES IN MILITARY FORCES

Most mixed-gender military forces have laid down fraternization policies in order to prevent inappropriate relationships which can be detrimental to morale and discipline.

There is a perception that “Fraternization” refers relationships between Officers and PBOR (soldiers, sailors, airmen).

This is not so.

Fraternization includes officer-officer relationships as well.

In a case a few years ago in the US Navy – Two Officers  a CO and XO of a Ship  both of the same rank (Lieutenant Commander)  were punished for violation of the US Navy Fraternization Policy: 




“Fraternization” means any relationship in the military chain of command that is prejudicial to good order and discipline – and so – Fraternization includes “Unduly Familiar” officer-officer relationships as well.


FRATERNIZATION POLICIES TO REGULATE “UNDULY FAMILIAR RELATIONSHIPS” IN THE MILITARY

The Indian Defence Services (Army Navy and Air Force) are becoming more and more mixed-gender with increasing number of women joining the Armed Forces.

So  it may be desirable to formulate and promulgate a Statutory Fraternization Policy based on one of the four Cardinal Fraternization Principles as considered apt:

1. Prohibit Marriages and Relationships between members of the Armed Forces (Ban all inter-service and intra-service fraternization)

2. Prohibit Same-Service Marriages and Relationships (Ban intra-service fraternization but allow inter-service fraternization)

3. Prohibit Same Branch/Regiment/Corps Marriages and Relationships (Ban intra-branch/regiment/arm/service/corps fraternization)

4. Prohibit Marriages and Relationships between Officers and PBOR (Ban fraternization between officers and soldiers/sailors/airmen)

Which one of the four options do you prefer...? 

VIKRAM KARVE
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This is an updated version of my article FRATERNIZATION AND MILITARY LOVE earlier posted by me Vikram Karve online in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on November 5, 2013 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/11/fraternization-and-military-love.html
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