How To Prove Adultery In The Military: Rules And Punishments: Full Guide 2022

How To Prove Adultery In The Military Rules And Punishments

Adultery is a serious offense in the military, as it can undermine the good order and discipline essential to the armed forces’ functioning. If you are accused of adultery, it is important to understand the evidence that may be used against you and the possible defenses you can raise.

While it’s not easy to prove adultery in the military, there are some things you can do to investigate and get to the bottom of things.

Is Adultery Illegal In The Military?

Is Adultery a Crime in the Military

Adultery by a service member is a crime that is penalized under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). When a service member participates in sexual activity with someone other than their spouse, that behavior is called adultery.

A soldier is also regarded as adultery to have sex with a married individual while single. These actions are regarded as being against good order and discipline and reflecting poorly on the military services.

The argument that a person was officially divorced from their spouse at the time of the alleged liaison is inadmissible as a defense. Service members who are accused may face administrative sanctions or a court martial.

Military Adultery 101 [Updated]

Adultery is a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) because

Reduce the possible distraction and drama that might arise from having an affair, which could harm both the performance of the affected parties and their coworkers.

Increase the moral standing of leaders among other personnel in the Armed Forces.

Rules for Military Adultery

Rules for Military Adultery

Extramarital sex is now officially charged as adultery.

Therefore, the offense is no longer gender-specific and is not limited to certain sexual acts.

Regardless of the sexual orientation of the two “actors” participating, sexual intercourse, oral-genital, genital-genital, oral-anal, and anal-genital actions are all considered. It still counts even if you are not married, but the other person is.

Adultery is no longer a crime unless it compromises military discipline or good order or if it reflects poorly on the Armed Forces.

Sexual behavior by itself is no longer sufficient to warrant punishment.

Note: In this context, “discredit” refers to harming the Armed Forces’ reputation, putting the service into disrepute or subjecting it to public mockery, and/or diminishing public regard for the services.

If adultery took place during the formal separation or dissolution of a marriage, it might be “defended.”

This covers all divorce-related activities, such as submitting a divorce petition.

But BOTH of the “actors” in the sexual act must be covered by this defense.

Military Adultery Punishments

UCMJ adultery punishment

Adultery carries the maximum penalty of a dishonorable discharge. The fired employees are not eligible for compensation or benefits. Additionally, he or she might spend up to a year in imprisonment.

Most cases, though, do not receive the worst penalties. Instead, they might receive a Court-Martial, an Administrative Separation, or Disciplinary Action. The final scenario may result in a punitive discharge, rank reduction, pay forfeitures, or brig confinement.

Procedure for Reporting Military Adultery

In the military, there are two ways to report adultery. The first step is to notify the commander of the accused. To get in touch with the commander, speak with the Family Readiness Officer.

However, there is a good probability that this won’t be prosecuted and will instead be “swept under the rug” with an oral reprimand or a letter of censure from the commander to the accused because it can bring discredit to the military unit.

Therefore, avoid choosing this method of reporting if you plan to present the accused in court. Instead, think about the following strategies.

File a divorce petition. When you complete the filing of this public record document, you will be able to formally “call out” your spouse for having an extramarital affair while he or she is supposed to be serving the country.

However, there are certain additional considerations you should make before reporting. If your partner is experiencing consequences, you may:

He or she must refuse payment. If you do have a kid, your child support payment can be reduced.

Ranks will be lowered for him or her. Additionally, you might get less child support.

He or she will be fired dishonorably. You no longer qualify for TRICARE or other military spouse benefits as a result of your marriage.

Military Adultery Investigation Process

Military adultery cases

As was already mentioned, the military looks at three “elements” to decide whether or not adultery has occurred. There must be proof of:

  • The accused had sexual relations with a fellow actor.
  • When it occurred, the co-star or accused was wed to someone else.
  • The behavior was either detrimental to military good order and discipline or of a sort that tarnishes the military.

The third is a little trickier than the first two, while both are simple. There will be additional considerations, such as:

  • The participants’ marital situation, standing, level, and job
  • Status in the military and connections to the military of the accused or co-spouse. the actor’s
  • a military unit and the military at large’s (possible) impact

Including but not restricted to detrimental effects on the company’s teamwork, efficiency, and morale.

  • The inefficient use of time and money by the government to think about the behavior
  • The presence of other UCMJ violations

Including whether the behavior persisted despite warnings or counseling.

The military can only decide if a case of adultery warrants prosecution after carefully weighing these elements.

When the “accused” had a reasonable assumption that either (1) the accused and co-actor were both unmarried or (2) the accused and co-actor were both legally married to one another, this is known as the “Mistake of Fact” defense.

The military must examine the facts and give it more careful thought if this “Mistake of Fact” defense is brought forward with supporting evidence in order to decide whether the “belief” was dishonest or irrational.

In the military, it can be difficult to establish adultery. It’s not likely, though.

Given what you now know about the Army’s adultery investigation procedure, you should know better the type of proof you’ll need. Make sure you take into account every single aspect of consideration listed above.

An Illustrative (Public) Case

Adultery in the military

Here is a military infidelity case before you leave this article. General David Petraeus, a former four-star officer, is the person who was “accused” and “found guilty.”

Though his affair with biographer Paula Broadwell is still being “silently” addressed, The point of contention is that his affair took place two months after he left the service. However, as retired officers are subject to the UCMJ for life, Petraeus may still face persecution and lose his $200,000-a-year pension.

How To Report Adultery In The Army

You can get in touch with law enforcement, whether military or civilian; if you do, an investigation will start, and you won’t have the choice to submit a Restricted Report. The Military One Source Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day at 800-342-9647.

Steps to Report a Soldier for Adultery

What You Will Need to Prepare

1. Yourself

Are you ready for a long, frustrating process? It’s not as easy as you believe, and you may lose benefits and money if your spouse is punished.

2. Lawyer

A lawyer can help. They have the legal know-how to help you report.

3. Materials

To submit a divorce petition, you must contact the accused’s commander or the court. You must also prepare documents and files.

What You Will Need to Do

Choose a reporting method

Decide how to report the suspect’s behavior. There are two options. You can contact the accused commander through the Family Readiness Center. Or you can divorce.

Filing a divorce petition varies by state. But you must prepare.

  • a petition
  • a statement of contact information and circumstances
  • a personal representation form
  • a long-form marriage certificate

These must be filed with the court to be issued. You can then serve the respondent. If needed, read about military divorce alimony here.

2. Gather evidence to indicate the accused meets all three conditions

You’ll need proof. Evidence must be enough to conclude:

The accused had sex with someone who was married.

Also, this act discredits military order and discipline.

See more: Military Spouse Appreciation Day Ideas? Ways to Celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day


FAQs about how to prove adultery in the military

Why Is Adultery A Crime In The Military?

The military criminalizes adultery for two reasons: to lessen the distraction, potential loss of trust and morale, and deterioration in fighting efficiency that frequently follows an affair. The idea of imposing regulations governing the consensual sexual behavior of military members may appear out of date.

What Happens If A Military Man Cheats On His Wife?

Violations of the UCMJ carry severe penalties. You might be subject to a court-martial, administrative separation from the military, or restrictions on re-enlisting if a judge finds you guilty of adultery or any other crime. Your military career can be terminated if you are prosecuted.


The act of adultery has been around since the beginning of time, and it is no different in the military. If you are married and in the military, then you are held to a higher standard than those who are not married. Adultery is a punishable offense in the military, and if you are caught, you could face some serious consequences.