DAOD 5019-1, Personal Relationships and Fraternization

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions
  3. Overview
  4. Operating Principles
  5. Administrative Action
  6. Responsibilities
  7. References

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2004-12-22

Date of Last Modification: 2014-07-11

Application: This DAOD is an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces ("CAF members").

Supersession: CFAO 19-38, Personal Relationships

Approval Authority: Chief of Military Personnel (CMP)

Enquiries: Director Military Careers Policies and Grievances (DMCPG)

2. Definitions

fraternization (fraternisation)

Any relationship between a CAF member and a person from an enemy or belligerent force, or a CAF member and a local inhabitant within a theatre of operations where CAF members are deployed. (Defence Terminology Bank, record number 43080)

personal relationship (relation personnelle)

An emotional, romantic, sexual or family relationship, including marriage or a common-law partnership or civil union, between two CAF members, or a CAF member and a DND employee or contractor, or member of an allied force. (Defence Terminology Bank, record number 43170)

3. Overview


3.1 The CAF is committed to:

  1. respecting the inherent right of CAF members to form personal relationships of their choosing;
  2. respecting the privacy of the personal relationships of CAF members; and
  3. providing fair and unbiased treatment to persons in the care or under the protection of CAF members and preventing the exploitation of vulnerable persons.

Role of the Chain of Command

3.2 In keeping with professional military values, leaders and the chain of command have a responsibility to uphold standards of conduct in relation to personal relationships and fraternization, through personal example, as well as the judicious use of administrative and disciplinary action.


3.3 The following table sets out the objectives of this DAOD and the means to achieve them:

To achieve the objective of the ... the chain of command must ...

prevention of erosion of lawful authority,

  • safeguard the integrity of command and the exercise of lawful authority by ensuring that leaders at all levels remain objective and credible and do not compromise, relative to superior/subordinate, instructor/student, and command relationships, both in Canada and abroad.

maintenance of operational effectiveness,

  • preserve individual and unit effectiveness by ensuring a continued high state of security, cohesion, discipline and morale.

protection of vulnerable CAF members and others,

  • impose restrictions on personal relationships if required; and

  • ensure that CAF members and others in the care or protection of the CAF are not subjected to coercion or exploitation.

maintenance of general standards of professional and ethical conduct,

  • lead by example; and

  • commit to the Statement of Defence Ethics.

avoidance of detrimental effects on unit operational effectiveness,

  • issue orders and guidance appropriate to the situation.

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4. Operating Principles


4.6 Fraternization can have detrimental effects on unit operation effectiveness due to potential threats to the security, morale, cohesion and discipline of a unit. Task force commanders must issue orders and guidance on fraternization appropriate to the situation in their area of operations.

5. Administrative Action

Adverse Personal Relationships

5.1 If a personal relationship has a negative effect on the security, cohesion, discipline or morale of a unit, the personal relationship is considered adverse for the purpose of this DAOD.

5.2 Administrative action must be taken to separate CAF members who are involved in an adverse personal relationship.

5.3 If an adverse personal relationship cannot be changed within the applicable unit/sub-unit for the CAF members in a supervisor/subordinate relationship, the CAF members must be separated by attached posting, posting, change in work assignments or other action.

5.4 Such a separation is not punitive in nature, nor must there be a negative stigma or career implication towards the CAF members.


5.5 CAF members who are known to be, or have declared themselves to be involved, in a personal relationship must normally not be posted to the same unit. If the unit is of sufficient size that posting the CAF members involved is unlikely to have an adverse effect on the security, cohesion, discipline or morale of the unit, they may be posted to same unit, but not the same sub-unit.

5.6 CAF members who form a personal relationship must normally complete current postings, provided the work relationship does not have a negative effect on the security, cohesion, discipline or morale of the unit.

Criteria for Decision to Post

5.7 If CAF members are involved in an adverse personal relationship and posting is being considered, the CO must consult Director General Military Careers (DGMC) or the appropriate reserve authority.

5.8 The decision having the least negative career effect on both CAF members must be taken, considering:

  1. future career prospects for both CAF members; and
  2. the effects upon both CAF members of an internal reassignment, attached posting, posting or sub-component transfer.

Posting Process

5.9 The following table outlines the process for a posting if the personal relationship of a CAF member may be adverse:

Who does it? Action

The CO of the CAF member

determines if the personal relationship is adverse and …




if a CAF member of the …

then the CO must forward all particulars along with a recommendation …

Regular Force,

for posting to DGMC.

Reserve Force,

for an attached posting, internal reassignment, posting or sub-component transfer to:

  • the applicable area commander or equivalent for the Primary Reserve;

  • the applicable regional commander for the Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service;

  • the area commander for the Canadian Rangers; or

  • the area commander or equivalent of the sub-component to which the member is attached for the Supplementary Reserve.

Director Reserve Support Management

(CO Supplementary Reserve)

reviews and, if in the interests of the CAF, approves a sub-component compulsory transfer under QR&O 10.06, Transfer Between Sub-Components of the Reserve Force to the Supplementary Reserve.

Note - A sub-component compulsory transfer to the Supplementary Reserve is considered to be an option of last resort. It is not to be considered punitive in nature.

Disciplinary and Career Action

5.10 Before taking disciplinary and/or career action for conduct which is contrary to this DAOD, unit authorities should consult with the local representative of the JAG.

6. Responsibilities

Responsibilities Table

6.1 The following table identifies the responsibilities associated with the administration of personal relationships and fraternization:

The ... is or are responsible for ...


  • ensuring that CAF members of the Regular Force in personal relationships are not posted into situations that could result in adverse personal relationships;

  • taking posting action if required if a CAF member of the Regular Force is in an adverse personal relationship; and

  • as the coordinating authority for the Regular Force and Reserve Force, developing procedures to deal with adverse personal relationships.

Canadian Forces Recruiting Group

  • coordinating and arranging administrative action for CAF members on the Basic Training List.

Reserve Force
area HQ or equivalent staff

  • arranging for attached postings, postings, internal reassignments and sub-component transfers if required.

Director Reserve Support Management

(CO Supplementary Reserve)
  • reviewing and approving compulsory transfers to the Supplementary Reserve.


  • recommending posting action, if required, to DGMC or the appropriate reserve authority.

7. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

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