WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps on Wednesday officially barred service members from distributing nude photos without the consent of the individual depicted.
Both military branches issued amendments to their conduct regulations to specifically prohibit the nonconsensual or wrongful distribution of an “intimate image.”
The regulation is the equivalent of an order and can be enforced by a military court.
The announcement comes in the wake of the Marines United photo scandal that rocked all four branches of the U.S. military last month.
The branches are all looking into the posting of nude photos of what appear to be female service members on various websites, a Pentagon official said.
“It is a call to arms in the wake of recent reports of unprofessional and inappropriate social media behavior by some who have lost sight of that most fundamental purpose they themselves are duty-bound to serve,” acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley said in a statement when news of the scandal first broke.
“Our ability to succeed as a war-fighting organization is directly tied to our ability to fight as one team — a team that treats one another honorably.”
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller signed new social media guidelines last month in order to clarify that the military code of justice punishments that apply to social media sexual harassment are the same as those that apply to all other forms of sexual harassment.