Tonight’s edition of 60 Minutes II had a story about an American army sergeant who fell in love with a female Iraqi doctor while in Baghdad. His CO ordered him not to marry her. He did anyway, in secret. On finding out about it, the CO transferred him, gave him a reprimand, an honorable discharge, and sent him home. The sergeant didn’t see his wife from the conclusion of the ceremony until six months later, when the 60 Minutes II crew helped her get out of Iraq for a reunion with him in Jordan. (They’re now living happily ever after in Florida.)
I know that soliders give up many of their rights when they sign up, but this seems a rather extreme intrusion into the personal realm.
So my questions are:
- Was the CO within his rights to order the soldier not to marry?
- Can any soldier be prevented from marrying anyone for any reason, or do special circumstances (foreign comabt duty, foreign prospective spouse, etc.) have to obtain?
- What sort of special circumstances?
- How clearly are the CO’s perogatives in this area spelled out?
(This was a repeat of a report that was first broadcast some time ago, so if this has been covered already, I apologize. I tried searching on the obvious terms, and didn’t find anything.)