Soldier, Airman Charged with Marital Infidelity
While there seems to remain a percentage of the American population that believes the military cannot enforce rules on moral conduct, continuing cases demonstrate that is not the case.
In the Army, a Sergeant Major was recently charged with raping a lower ranking Soldier. Additional charges included abuse of rank, disobeying Army regulations, and adultery.
In the Air Force, a Chief Master Sergeant is facing court martial over charges of misuse of government position, failure to obey orders, indecent conduct, and adultery, among other charges.
Within the United States, the military remains one of the few places, if not the only, where one can still be charged with the crime of being unfaithful to one’s spouse.
From an amoral standpoint, the adultery charge would seemingly be irrelevant, particularly since the other charges seem far more serious. One explanation might be the military’s emphasis on the importance of character, as well as family. Both are violently damaged by such misconduct.
To call it misconduct is virtually a misnomer in society today, however, as adultery is more the purview of gossip magazines than any form of moral standard. That said, even the non-sectarian society views infidelity with some disdain. Anyone believing the American culture has progressed far beyond old-fashioned notions of fidelity needs only look at the public’s treatment of high profile cases, say, Kobe Bryant or Tiger Woods. Rather than defend their actions as “how they were born,” wired, or otherwise naturally inclined, the vast majority of cultural reaction was one of disdain — not defense or even apathy — for the men in those relationships.
There have previously been calls for the military to remove its “fuddy duddy” notions of marital faithfulness (see Kelly Flynn). Such discussions may be reignited by the potential repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” as the military struggles with how to deal with “marriage” as recognized by the federal government.