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Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

Fraternization class prepares recruits for future fleet duties

By Cpl. Liz Gleason | Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | January 11, 2013

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Recruits of Company A, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, listen attentively during a class on fraternization in recruit training aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego Jan. 4.

Recruits of Company A, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, listen attentively during a class on fraternization in recruit training aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego Jan. 4. (Photo by Cpl. Liz Gleason)


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Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego -- Fraternization policies have existed in the military to maintain good order and discipline. However, not all recruits arrive at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego with an understanding of what that entails. Recruits of Company A, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, attended a class on fraternization taught by their series commander, during recruit training Jan. 4.
"I heard about fraternization but never really understood it," said Recruit Samuel Rivera, Platoon 1009, Co. A, 1st RTBn. "Today we learned what fraternization is in depth, what it means in the Marine Corps and that it’s not allowed.”
Fraternization is when Marines of different ranks or positions engage in an improper personal, social or business relationship. Fraternization encompasses various mixed-grade activities to include: hanging out together off duty, dating or engaging in sexual activities, engaging in commercial transactions, except for one-time sales, betting or loaning money, showing favoritism or partiality in the work place, sending inappropriate emails and using one's authority over a subordinate for personal gain, according to Marine Corps Manual 1100.4.
During the class, recruits are not only taught from text but they hear examples of what constitutes fraternization to clarify the rules for a better understanding.
“Fraternization is bad because it undermines the chain of command,” said Recruit Christopher Hoblemen, Plt. 1009, Co. A, 1st RTBN. “For example, if there is a higher-ranking Marine showing favoritism to a lower-ranking Marine, it affects the workplace and other Marines.”
When fraternization exists, it adversely impacts good order and discipline and can threaten to degrade the status or positions the senior Marine holds. Fraternization is not tolerated in the Marine Corps and there are clear consequences. Marines found guilty of fraternization can face dismissal, forfeiture of pay and confinement.
Marine Corps Manual 1100.4 sets rules for Marines in order to maintain good order, promote relationships of mutual respect and confidence between juniors and senior Marines, and preserve the integrity of the chain of command. Recruits are taught guidelines to recognize, determine and deal with fraternization.
“If I were to see a Marine fraternizing, I would first approach the Marine, and if that didn’t work I would take it up with my chain of command,” said Hoblemen, using his newly-gained knowledge.
Recruits arrive at the depot with a different understanding of what to expect, but through the Marine recruit training curriculum they are given the tools to graduate, succeed and become good Marines, according to Hoblemen.
“Before coming to recruit training I heard about the classes from other Marines, but I still thought it was going to be more physical than informative,” said Hoblemen. “Now I see that the Marine Corps is trying to make recruits into well-rounded Marines. It’s important to be physically and mentally strong.”
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