Military rules on dating married woman
The day after he came back, he gave Sosatoledo a ring, and two days later, they were married by local authorities on the island of Okinawa.
Joiner, 31, of Memphis, Tenn., said he and Sosatoledo, 28, kept their plans secret because they didn't want any impact on those around them."The regs say that for fraternization to become a problem that needs to be dealt with, it must have a negative impact on others," he said. No one was impacted in any way.""I told my superior three days after we got married," Joiner said. An assessment of Joiner's performance written in March by his senior officer, Col. Dyer, noted that while Joiner was a "talented trial attorney" who had made significant contributions, he was "not a team player.""Do not retain," the assessment concluded.
"It was either lose each other again or get married."Two months later, they got married -- and their troubles began.
As a military lawyer with 2 1/2 years in the Air Force, Joiner knew his regulations well: Dating and courtship between an officer and an enlisted person are of official concern when they "adversely affect morale, discipline, unit cohesion, respect for authority or mission accomplishment."The maximum penalty is two years in prison, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a dishonorable discharge.
They recognized each other immediately, and old feelings started coming back. Now he was an officer, a captain in the base's legal office.
So the captain and the staff sergeant decided to do something unusual."We talked about the situation we were in because we cared for each other but we knew we couldn't date," she said.To many people familiar with military law, the action against Joiner was no surprise."He crossed the line," said Annette Eddie-Callagain, who was an Air Force lawyer for 12 years before starting her own legal practice on Okinawa, where she frequently advises clients accused of wrongdoing by the military.