The answer to this straightforward question can be anything but simple.
The first step in answering this question requires an understanding of the military’s prohibition on adultery.
Let us examine the parts of this definition in detail.
While they could be charged under service regulations, each of the services had different and wide-ranging policies and definitions as to what constituted an "inappropriate relationship." Additionally, the explanation of what is and is not allowed is not specifically spelled out in the MCM/UCMJ.The policy specified certain relationships that are always improper such as relationships between officers and enlisted service members that are personal, involve ongoing business, or involve gambling.However, any other type of relationship can also be prohibited if it has an adverse effect on a unit or chain of command, which can include just the appearance of impropriety.When this occurs between officers and enlisted service members or between some other hierarchical pairing, as between a commander and an officer or enlisted soldier in her command, it can potentially undermine the chain of command, order, and discipline.Not all contact between enlisted persons and officers or subordinates and superiors is prohibited, just contact that would compromise (or have the appearance of compromising) order, discipline, and the chain of command.