Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

 

Equal Opportunity

Fraternization and Dating Policy

It is my policy that all members of this organization will conduct themselves in a manner that is professional at all times. We will actively seek ways to foster a positive and supportive working environment that respects the differences in rank and grade.

The Navy has historically relied upon custom and tradition to define the bounds of acceptable personal relationships among its members. Proper social interaction among junior and senior members has always been encouraged as it enhances unit morale and esprit de corps. At the same time, unduly familiar personal relationships between junior and senior members have traditionally been contrary to naval custom, because they undermine the respect for authority which is essential to the Navy's ability to accomplish its military mission. Seniors must maintain thoroughly professional relationships with juniors at all times. This custom recognizes the need to prevent use of a senior grade or position in such a way where it results in (or gives the appearance of) favoritism, preferential treatment, personal gain, or involves actions which otherwise may reasonably be expected to undermine good order, discipline, authority, or high unit morale. In like manner, custom requires that junior personnel recognize and respect the authority inherent in a senior's grade, rank, or position. This recognition of authority is evidenced by observance and enforcement of the military courtesies and customs which have traditionally defined proper senior-subordinate relationships.

Per OPNAVlNST 5370.2C, "Fraternization" is the term traditionally used to identify personal relationships which contravene the customary bounds of acceptable senior-subordinate relationships. Although it has most commonly been applied to officer-enlisted relationships, fraternization also includes improper relationships and social interaction between officer members as well as between enlisted members, regardless of the service affiliation of the other officer or enlisted member, including members of foreign military services. Additionally, personal relationships between Chief Petty Officers (E-7 to E-9) and junior personnel (E-1 to E-6), who are assigned to the same command, which are unduly familiar and that do not respect differences in grade or rank are prohibited.

“Dating" between members is prohibited in those cases where such activity constitutes fraternization as discussed in the foregoing paragraphs. Dating is neither fraternization nor misconduct when it occurs between consenting members that are equal or nearly equal in rank and when neither has positional authority over the other. Dating between peers under these circumstances while on liberty or leave is not prohibited. Even so, members are still discouraged from dating coworkers as these relationships still have the potential to create petty jealousies, foster favoritism, impact morale, or compromise the ability of one or both to function professionally on duty. Members who do decide to date one another are strongly encouraged to be discreet and must maintain professionalism at all times while performing their duties and representing Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Responsibilities of all Civilians.
All civilians within the Pacific Fleet Submarine Force shall read and adhere to Section 2301, Title 5, United States Code (Merit system principles) and Section 2302, Title 5, United States Code (Prohibited personnel practices). All civilians shall enforce this policy through credible leadership and shall not condone or ignore illegal behavior of which they have knowledge or have reason to have knowledge. Reported incidents of illegal behavior will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with swiftly, fairly, and effectively. If the alleged offense is substantiated, immediate and appropriate action will be taken to remedy the situation. Individuals responding to the incident will maintain confidentiality to the greatest extent possible.

Responsibilities of all Sailors.
All military within the Pacific Fleet Submarine Force shall enforce this policy through credible leadership and shall not condone or ignore fraternization of which they have knowledge or have reason to have knowledge. Reported incidents of fraternization will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with swiftly, fairly, and effectively. If the alleged offense is substantiated, immediate and appropriate action will be taken to remedy the situation. Individuals responding to the incident will maintain confidentiality to the greatest extent possible.

Responsibilities of Senior Leadership.
All Commanders, Commanding Officers and Officers-in-Charge are charged with ensuring the reporting requirements are met and personnel are educated and trained upon accession (within 90 days to the extent possible) and annually thereafter, in the area of fraternization as outlined in OPNAVlNST 5370.2C. Ensure all civilians within their area of responsibility have read Section 2301, Title 5, United States Code (Merit system principles) and Section 2302, Title 5, United States Code (Prohibited personnel practices).

As Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, I will not tolerate fraternization or favoritism. Proper social interaction among officer and enlisted members as well as civilians is encouraged as it enhances unit cohesion, morale, and esprit de corp.

-- Rear Admiral D. L. Caudle, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

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