How does the Army define harassment?
Recent changes to Army command policy found in AR 600- 20 are pretty expansive when it comes to the definitions of harassment. Understanding that within this idea of what constitutes harassment, there are many more specific forms of it, and those have been divided in the regulation.
So one of the forms of harassment that we see that is charged administratively through NJP and even can be charged criminally through the UCMJ and a court martial process is called hazing. Hazing is a form of harassment that concludes conduct through which soldiers or DA civilian employees who haze soldiers without a proper military authority or governmental purpose. But with a nexus to the military physically or psychologically injures or creates a risk of physical or psychological injury to soldiers for the purpose of initiation admission, affiliation with change of status or position or condition for which the continued membership in any military or DA civilian organization it be.
It can even be conducted electronically in addition to hazing being a form of harassment. There also are many other types of behaviors under 600-20 that harassment includes. One of them is soliciting coercing or knowingly permitting another to participate or solicit in hazing. They also include bullying as a form of hazing and bullying also has a very specific definition. It includes acts of aggression by soldiers or DA civilian employees that have a military nexus with the intent of harming a soldier either physically or psychologically, again, without a proper military authority or government purpose. Bullying is the exposure of that individual or the group to physical and or emotional aggression with the intent to cause distress or harm. It may involve singling somebody out from their coworkers or their unit for ridicule because he or she is considered different or weak. It’s often indirect and subtle according to policy. It can also be accomplished through electronic means of communication, including social media as well as in person. In addition to hazing and bullying. They also include now within the definitions of harassment, something more specific called discriminatory harassment, which is a form of harassment that is unwelcome and it is based on race, color, religion, sex, including gender identity, national origin or sexual orientation. In addition to those very specific forms of harassment, there is now also kind of a catch all policy.
That talks about just other harassment, and they even include online misconduct. We have some videos here about online misconduct and what’s that means, but those, so incidents involving sexual assault, harassment, or discrimination also have to be investigated through those proper channels. If it actually includes a form of a touching, then military law enforcement is going to get involved. So those are the types of harassment and those are some of the definitions if you want to read them yourself. You can also take a look at Army Regulation 600-20 and specifically harassment is found under paragraph 4-19 A and everything that follows.
Jocelyn Stewart is a UCMJ court-martial attorney who specializes in defense of allegations of sexual assault for all branches of the military worldwide.
Contact the Law Office of Jocelyn C. Stewart at 253-212-958
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