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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 that have traditionally defined proper senior-subordinate relationships.
Historically, and as used here, fraternization is a gender-neutral concept.
Its focus is the detriment to good order and discipline resulting from the erosion of respect for authority inherent in an unduly familiar senior-subordinate relationship, not the sex of the members involved.
Proper social interaction and appropriate personal relationships are an important part of unit morale and esprit de corps.
Officer and enlisted participation on command sports teams and other command-sponsored events intended to build unit morale and camaraderie are healthy and clearly appropriate.
At the same time, unduly familiar personal relationships between officers and enlisted members have traditionally been contrary to naval custom because they undermine the respect for authority, which is essential to Navy's ability to accomplish its military mission.Violation of these policies subject the involved members to disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)."Fraternization" is the term traditionally used to identify personal relationships that contravene the customary bounds of acceptable senior-subordinate relationships.Over 200 years of seagoing experience have demonstrated that seniors must maintain thoroughly professional relationships with juniors at all times.This custom recognizes the need to prevent the use of a senior grade or position in such a way that it results in (or gives the appearance of) favoritism, preferential treatment, personal gain, or involves actions that otherwise may reasonably be expected to undermine good order, discipline, authority, or high unit morale.