Regimental Manual - APPENDIX F

Reviewed 22 February 2018



Professional relationships are essential to the effective operation of all organizations, but the nature of the maritime service and other professional organizations requires absolute confidence in command and unhesitating adherence to orders.  This distinction makes the maintenance of professional relationships at Massachusetts Maritime Academy more critical than at other colleges.  The personal relationships between members are normally matters of individual choice and judgment.  They become matters of concern when they adversely affect or have the potential to adversely affect the Academy by eroding morale, good order, discipline, respect for authority, unit cohesion or mission accomplishment.  Professional relationships are those interpersonal relationships consistent with integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do.

MMA cadets understand that the needs of the institution outweigh personal desires.  This guidance focuses on personal relationships and their impact on the interest of Massachusetts Maritime Academy as an institution.


Fraternization: Fraternization is a personal relationship between cadets that violates the customary bounds of acceptable behavior prejudices good order and discipline, discredits the Academy or operates to the personal dishonor of the cadets involved.  Cadets will not form personal relationships with other cadets more junior in their chain of command.  The custom is gender neutral.  Fraternization can occur between males, between females and between males and females.  Because of the potential damage fraternization can cause to morale, good order, discipline and unit cohesion, the offense of fraternization is provided for as a Class II offense in the Cadet Regimental Manual under Standards of Behavior, 3-205-D-2-r.

Professional Relationships: Professional relationships are those that contribute to the effective operation of the Academy.  The Academy encourages personnel to communicate freely regarding their careers, performance, duties and mission.  This type of communication enhances morale and discipline and improves the operational environment while at the same time reserving proper respect for authority and focus on the mission.

Unprofessional Relationships: Relationships are unprofessional when they detract from the authority of superiors, or result in or reasonably create the appearance of favoritism, misuse of office or position, or the abandonment of organizational goals for personal interests.  An unprofessional relationship is more commonly a personal relationship between an upper class (1/C and 2/C) and a lower class (3/C and 4/C).  A personal relationship could result in actual or perceived favoritism, unfairness, or partiality detrimental to the good order and discipline within the regiment of cadets.  Improper relationships can be inter-gender (male-female) or intra-gender (male-male, female-female).  Cadets must avoid unprofessional personal relationships.  Specifically, an upper class cadet must not date a member of the lower classes of cadets.