What is considered harassment in the military?
Just about every single branch is defining it, similarly, if not altogether, consistent with DOD policy. Harassment includes hazing. Harassment includes bullying and harassment. Also includes what’s called just as discriminatory harassment and even other acts of misconduct that may not necessarily meet hazing or bullying, and yet may, in their words, violate the dignity and respect of others. Understand that harassment is prohibited in all circumstances, Environments including off duty and unofficial unit functions.
Harassment is also not limited to superior subordinate relationships. They may occur between peers or under certain circumstances, may involve actions directed toward senior personnel by junior and rank greater position to them. Harassment is also involves incidents of sexual assault, it can, or discrimination. And if it is, those will be investigated by military law enforcement. There’s also a specific now form of harassment that is not in person and constitutes online misconduct.
We have a lot of videos about that, but just briefly understand that. It can be electronic communications, texts, emails, chats, im’s, screensavers, blogs, social media posts. That includes like comments on Twitter, comments on TikTok, and can we any other type of misconduct that undermines dignity and respect. And the other important thing to note about online misconduct is that it doesn’t have to be directed toward other service members. It can actually include conduct towards civilians.
Understand that it’s all about climate and all about perception. And we’re seeing a lot of folks who are getting into trouble based off of their online posts as saying that constitutes harassment. So in terms of what the military and how the military is defining harassment, hopefully that’s provided some answers to you. But understand it concludes anything in person and online. It can also at times include excessive exercise, confinement to restricted areas, sleep deprivation, immersion in noxious substances, branding, handcuffing, duct taping, tattooing, shaving, greasing, or painting another person. There’s a lot here. AR 600-20, paragraph 4-19 gives you some more information, at least about how the Army defines harassment.
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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