The Air Force places a high value on professional relationships within its ranks, which are vital to the functional effectiveness of the service.
Military members understand that the needs of the institution will sometimes outweigh personal desires.
Professional relationships encourage communication between members, and between members and their superiors.
This boosts morale, focuses on the mission at hand and preserves respect for authority.
Normally, personal relationships of Air Force members are ones of individual choice and judgment; however, if a personal relationship becomes a problem that affects the functioning of a unit, it is ceases to be personal and becomes an official concern.
Relationships are unprofessional, whether pursued on or off-duty, when they detract from the authority of superiors or result in, or reasonably create the appearance of, favoritism, misuse of office or position, or the abandonment of organizational goals for personal interests.
Unprofessional relationships can exist between officers, between enlisted members, between officers and enlisted members, and between military personnel and civilian employees or contractor personnel.Fraternization is considered an unprofessional relationship. The Air Force frowns on personal relationships between officers and enlisted members, both on and off-duty.Those engaging in fraternization can be brought up on Uniform Code Military Justice (UCMJ) charges.A relationship is considered fraternization even if the parties are in different units, different commands or even different branches of service.Fraternizations is defined in the Manual for Courts-martial as: A personal relationship between an officer and an enlisted member that violates the customary bounds of acceptable behavior in the Air Force and prejudices good order and discipline, discredits the armed services, or operates to the personal disgrace or dishonor of the officer involved...Officers must not engage in any activity with an enlisted member that reasonably may prejudice good order and discipline, discredit the armed forces or compromise an officer's standing.