Soldiers in war zones who are using Craigslist’s casual encounters section to hook up might want to figure out an alternative method of relieving stress. Despite warnings from their higher ups, soldiers are still turning to social media and Internet personal ad websites to solicit sex even though it violates military rules.
The Military Corps Times reports that agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are cracking down on soldiers who are arranging sexual encounters on the website because they can become “brazen, public and risky.” And the warnings from commanders have apparently fallen on “deaf ears” as explicit personal ads continue to pop up.
The typical posts come from bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, where in the latter, hook ups between those who aren’t married is outlawed. Postings usually contain nude pictures, explicit language and are frequently written by men looking for woman or other men.
Interestingly, a listing was posted by a soldier’s wife in America who wanted her husband to “experiment with bisexuality” while in Afghanistan. Separately, another posting from a man looking for a woman appeared read:
“I am married and looking for some companionship while here,” he wrote. “I am 27, good looking, and I have pictures to exchange when we chat.” It was accompanied by a photo of his genitalia.
Soliciting sex on the Internet is not technically a crime under the branch’s Uniform Code of Military Justice, but there are some caveats. First, commanders can freely enact regulations that could render the behavior a punishable offense. Secondly, posting pornographic pictures on the Web and social media is not allowed.
An anonymous soldier told the Marine Corps Times about an incident in 2012 when he posted on Cragislist seeking sex. He said that the person who responded to his post was an undercover NCIS agent and that the scheduled meet up didn’t up with a happy ending:
“Once we met, we started walking toward a Logistics Support Area,” he continued. “As we were approaching a vehicle, a bunch of people got out, surrounded us, drew pistols and told me to get on the ground. I was arrested and taken to the [Provost Marshal’s Office].”
He was quickly prosecuted. The command slapped him with three charges: attempting to commit an offense in violation of the UCMJ; failing to obey an order or regulation, and pandering and prostitution.
The NCIS played coy when asked about those type of sting operations, and said that commenting on those cases could jeopardize other ongoing investigations. A spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command said that Marines are informed of the negative consequences pertaining to soliciting sex online.
“Marines are given training on their behavior online and on social media sites,” he said. “The key takeaway is that behavior online is the same as behavior on base or off base.”
You do you, but don’t forget the fate that befell Carlos Danger.