The Infidel at Home

If you’ve been in the military for any length of time, you’ve heard the stories…probably lots of them. A soldier leaves his spouse for a deployment, and before long, they find someone else. The inevitable Dear John” letter is sent, explaining how they “didn’t mean for it to happen” and they hope “we can still be friends.” When I was in the National Guard, I heard a few stories where a guy would come home after annual training (two weeks) to find all his stuff in the yard and another man sleeping in his bed. It’s the stuff country songs are born of.

Today, I will write about the other side of that coin…what happens when a servicemember cheats. Any way you cut it, finding out your spouse cheated on you is going to hurt, and it could potentially change the trajectory of your life. In addition, if you are a member of the armed forces, there is another layer of ugliness to deal with; under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), adultery is a punishable criminal offense.

Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney, and I’m not offering legal advice here. Adultery in the military is not treated the same way as outside of the armed forces…legally, anyway. If you find yourself in this kind of hot water, call an attorney.

Flinn was a former B-52 pilot and was discharged from the military after having an adulterous affair with the husband of an enlisted subordinate. She was also charged with conduct unbecoming an officer, disobeying a lawful order, and making false official statements under oath.

Definition of Adultery

Under the UCMJ, to which all military members are bound, the act of adultery is defined as a situation where a servicemember engages in sexual relations with someone other than his or her spouse. That’s clear enough, right? But what if a soldier is single and has sex with a married person? I hate to be the one to tell you this, but the military considers that to be an adulterous relationship.