While personal relationships between Military members may be a personal choice, they become a matter of official concern when they degrade morale, dicipline and respect for authority. Unprofessional Relationships can exist between anyone, but as members of the Armed Services, we have an obligation to keep our behavior within Military Standards.
Individuals involved in unprofessional relationships normally should have least severe actions taken against them, necessary to eliminate the unprofessional aspect of the relationship; however it is up to their supervisor or commander. The supervisor may issue a letter of counseling or reprimand within an UIF(Unfavorable Information File), demote the individual, reassign them to another duty section, or in worst cases, have them administrativly separated.
Fraternization is an unprofessional relationship between an officer and enlisted member, which has a higher potential to damage morale and disciplin. It also compromises the standing of all officers because they are placed in a higher level of leadership and authority.
The term is used to describe the criminal offense in direct violation of Military Customs. Most people think of Fraternization in sexual terms, however, there are many more ways to commit such an offense. Any conduct that violates Military Customs against Fraternization can be proscuted under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. If the individuals are married they may face additional charges. So remeber, Fraternization is a criminal offense and is punishable under the military justice system.