Military Photo Scandal and the Army

The Army is looking into whether there are any Soldiers who have posted nude photos of female service members.  The scandal, which first was limited to the Marine Corps, now appears to possible involve other services.  CNN reported that one site contained nude and partially nude photos of women in uniforms from different branches of services.

The Army issued the following statement in response to the news of other services possibly being involved: “As members of the Army team, individuals’ interaction offline and online reflect the Army and its values.  The Army defines online misconduct as the use of electronic communication to inflict harm, which includes, but is not limited to, instances of harassment, bullying, hazing, stalking, discrimination, retaliation, or any other types of misconduct that undermines dignity and respect,” Army spokeswoman LTC Jennifer R. Johnson said.  “Solider or civilian employees who participate in or condone misconduct, whether offline or online, may be subject to criminal, disciplinary, and/or administrative action.”

As reported here, despite the efforts of the Pentagon and the Army, prosecuting participants could prove difficult.  While knowingly taking nude photographs or videotapes of another without their consent is illegal, sharing or viewing such photos without permission is not as clearly illegal.  U.S. Representative Jackie Speier of California called it a “gaping hole in regard to revenge porn.”

At last check, the Pentagon confirmed that it is investigating more than 30,000 service members.  It is unclear how many of those members will end up being from the Army.  The Army would likely want to prosecute such actions as conduct that is prejudicial to good order and discipline under Article 134, UCMJ.  Given the media attention on this issue, any Soldier identified as allegedly being involved in the photo scandal conduct will likely be facing the possibility of a court-martial.

Army Civilian Defense Counsel

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