Adultery in the Military and Another Exposed Secret Within the Ranks

Written by Lee Culpepper on May 9, 2014

With the U.S. Military dismissing a record number of commanding officers for adultery and similar bad conduct, why is it simultaneously promoting a subculture based on virtually indistinguishable behavior?

Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), Article 134 (Adultery) is a serious military offense. Adultery is the original, but unofficial, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy (DADT). The unwritten objective aims to maintain good order and discipline amidst deep, personal, and moral failure kept private. Once exposed, the damage adultery inflicts cannot be undone.

Nevertheless, after the commander-in-chief repealed the official DADT (on homosexuality), he seems to have innocently guarded an open secret; the one about the pervasiveness of open homosexual marriages in which monogamy does not exist:

When I think about members of my own staff, who are in incredibly committed monogamous same-sex relationships…when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf, and feel constrained even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is repealed… At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think that same-sex couples should be able to get married. (May 2012)

Despite the president’s heartfelt explanation and arbitrary use of the phrase “incredibly committed monogamous same-sex relationships,” the New York Times published an article in 2010 that exposed the surface of this issue, Many Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret. The article reveals the following:

Quietly, outside the news media and courtroom spotlight, many gay couples are [rewriting the traditional rules of matrimony]…monogamy is not a central feature.

Quite prophetically, the story then disappeared into the closet amidst the subsequent media onslaught to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but not before revealing another surprising detail:

None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it. Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage.

Since this open secret still remains completely buried for the average American, another article, The Dirty Little Secret: Most Gay Couples are Not Monogamous, later exposed basically the same news the exact day that the Supreme Court struck down DOMA — three years after the New York Times unveiled the not-so-open secret to the heterosexual community.

The abundance of undaunted proof regarding the profusion of non-monogamous homosexual couples appears impossible to hide, yet much of America remains completely uninformed. One article after another defends the culture of open homosexual marriages (slash couples) particularly among homosexual males.

Instead of this skeleton in the closet giving the commander-in-chief a reason to pause, the Pentagon issued a bold directive to authorize 10 days of special leave exclusively to homosexual service members so that they can be married in one of the 17 cooperating states. The Los Angeles Times even published an article last October critical of the military’s struggle to implement this special privilege for homosexuals. No similar privilege exists for heterosexuals, not even a similar courtesy regarding certain generals’ non-monogamy.

Of course, no group is monolithic. Not every homosexual couple has an open relationship. That reality only heightens the normal problems adultery poses to the military. However, the widespread embracement of open relationships within homosexual marriages should have been a serious red flag for the commander-in-chief whose armed forces function successfully in part because of the stringent boundaries they must enforce to maintain good order and discipline.

With the influx of this well-guarded non-monogamous sub-culture, some wonder whether it is impacting the military’s current sexual misconduct epidemic. The repeal of DADT became effective in 2011.

Late last week, the Pentagon revealed that reports of sexual assault increased by 50 percent in 2013, but fortunately, officials stated emphatically that the increase in reports filed has nothing to do with an increase in assaults committed. On the other hand, we also now know that the majority of military sexual assault victims are male, yet male victims are only 14 percent of the total assaults reported. Officials have stated that male sexual assault victims in the military tend to remain quiet in an effort to avoid questions about their own sexuality or masculinity. Additionally, the increase in military suicide rates is also a concern.

The possibilities of what this report might suggest may not alarm civilians, like the commander-in-chief, who have never served in the military. The stringent boundaries of the UCMJ may seem antiquated or perhaps just too rooted in Christian morality. But for the officers who possess and understand their grave responsibility to protect this nation and the warriors underneath their command, the well established boundaries of sexual conduct exist for obvious reasons.

When a warrior deploys to fight, the last thing he should have to worry about is his fellow soldiers back home trying to seduce his spouse, or whether his commanding officer and the warrior’s spouse are secretly involved — a relationship that could obviously put a warrior in greater peril during battle. The military refers to the latter as the Bathsheba Syndrome, but since the Obama administration is also apparently purging Christian evangelism from the ranks, new recruits will most likely fail to appreciate the unsettling allusion.

Military officers, particularly, have a daunting responsibility to lead by example, as their personal conduct directly impacts the morale and effectiveness of their subordinates. Deterring vice behavior and the chaos it can spread throughout any system or unit requires the military to have severe consequences established for anyone who violates the boundaries designed to protect not only good order and discipline, but also individual soldiers from the wicked perils of self-indulgence.

Furthermore, creating different standards for different groups does little to promote good order and discipline. The military no longer enforces Article 125 (Sodomy), except in connection to other criminal cases.

However, Out Serve-SLDN, an organization for homosexual military members, has the following information posted on its website with respect to Article 134 (Adultery):

Because same-sex marriages are not recognized under DOMA, a service member who is married to a same-sex partner would not be subject to adultery charges for having extramarital sex with another “unmarried” person. However…sex with someone in a straight marriage may be considered Adultery. “Sexual intercourse” is not clearly defined in the Manual for Courts Martial for purposes of Adultery charges; it is defined broadly for other sections of the UCMJ…

Since DOMA has been struck down and the Pentagon has instituted the special leave for homosexual soldiers to be married, it seems somewhat interesting that no news of homosexual Marines, sailors, soldiers, or airmen committing adultery has come to light.

Adultery truly can be and has been a matter of life and death for soldiers who rely on total trust and confidence in their peers and superiors — particularly on the battlefield. For this reason, it is most concerning that the Washington Times reported last week that the Navy is now facing a pending officer retention crisis. Junior officers have lost confidence in senior leadership in part because of the intense pressure Washington is exerting on what is left of the top brass to implement and ensure the success of this never-ending social experiment and coerced tolerance.

The bottom line is this: the White House has failed to protect America by exposing and firing experienced officers for personal failures only to shift the focus from war-fighting preparedness to the successful infiltration of a secret subculture that is covertly glorifying moral failure within the ranks.

Lee Culpepper is a former United States Marine Corps officer and a recovering high school English teacher. Culpepper has taught and mentored youths from nearly every walk of life across America. During his final endeavor in public education, Culpepper invested in the lives of teens in a small southern town with the dubious honor of being one of America’s poorest and most dangerous cities. During this experience, Culpepper planted a flag for the American message concerning work ethic, sacrifice, personal accountability, and perseverance among exploited youths indoctrinated in government dependency. Lee Culpepper’s continued commitment to the lives of these young people has left them questioning the liberal canards concerning government benevolence. Lee Culpepper grew up in McLean, Virginia, with a temporary move just outside Akron, Ohio. After returning to McLean, Culpepper rejoices today that he escaped Northern Virginia’s liberal bastion unaffected by progressive propaganda that now contaminates so many of his high school and childhood friends. Follow Lee Culpepper on Twitter @drcoolpepper or email him at