Posted on Sep 8, 2014
CW2 Jonathan Kantor
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I love to play poker and I find it to be a great social game that can be a lot of fun. I host poker nights at my house about every 4 weeks, and we have a blast. Of course, there are some stakes ($10 a game) just to make it interesting enough to play. Without the money, there really isn't a point in playing poker.

Anyways, I would love it if I could play with some enlisted troops. I have a lot of friends who are enlisted, and the fact that I can't invite them really sucks.

My point is this: Should it be a violation of the fraternization policy if you play poker with mixed Troops, even if those Troops are not above or below you in your unit/chain of command?

I know that you can mix and match the ranks in a money game if it's a tournament that awards prizes instead of cash, while the take goes to a charity. If I were to do that, would I have to request permission from someone beforehand? I can't really find the answers to these questions so I am hoping some NCOs can help me out here.

Also, it's legal to play poker with an officer/enlisted if it's at a public casino. At least, how would anyone know unless you were in uniform... which you can't be in that case anyways.

Also,
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SFC Mark Merino
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I think to What Major Winters said in Band of Brothers, "Never put yourself in a position to take something from your soldiers." It might seem like fun and indeed it could be good cohesion but I would say absolutely not. You don't want to put yourself in a situation where your career could be jeopardized. If anything, do activities where money is never involved.
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PO2 Jonathan Scharff
PO2 Jonathan Scharff
>1 y
Great answer SFC Merino! Here here!
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CPT Hhc Company Commander
CPT (Join to see)
9 y
First thing that came to mind. I am actually reading a book on leadership from conversations with MAJ Winters. .... so of course that's the first thought
V/R,
CPT Butler
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CCMSgt Physicist
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9 y
You beat me to the punch, SFC Mark Merino. Good post. If I played poker with my Airmen, I'd fold every time I had a winning hand.
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LTC Jason Mackay
LTC Jason Mackay
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You beat me to it SFC Mark Merino
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COL Jean (John) F. B.
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From my experience, I have found that, if you have to ask a question if something is OK or not, 99% of the time the answer is "No". If it was OK, you would know it and not have to ask.

No good can come of an officer or NCO playing poker for money with junior enlisted personnel.
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CA Adam Spencer
CA Adam Spencer
4 y
I also don't think anything good will come out of this game. I also like poker, but I'm used to playing with strangers. More like to play poker at online casinos. To find new information about the casino, I go to the site https://casinoscanada.reviews/en/5-deposit-casinos-canada/ with a large amount of information I need. Often on this site I find reviews of deposit casinos in Canada. The distance between opponents, as far as I am concerned, allows you to be more focused in the game and less distracted by outside action.
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1SG Mike Case
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As MAJ Winter's said in BoB "Never put yourself in a position to take from your Soldiers". Though it sounds like a fun thing to do and I even think that the enlisted Soldiers would have fun as well, all it takes is one Soldier at the game to complain or even someone who was not invited to complain and you end up in the proverbial creek with no means of propulsion. As an old CSM once told me, "the juice isn't worth the squeeze". At the end of it, you will only find yourself in trouble.
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COL Vincent Stoneking
COL Vincent Stoneking
>1 y
As more recent reinforcement of "someone who was not invited to complain" see the train wreck that was the LTC Perry relief. I strongly disagree with the relief, but it is interesting to note that several of the claims made against him were "I thought he was exhibiting favoritism, though I never saw anyone benefit or suffer from it."

I could share more examples that I am personally aware of from the last several years. The best rule is the follow a strict non-frat policy. They are your soldiers, you are a leader, not a buddy. Honestly, I didn't always have that view - I thought you should be able to be both. Turns out that you can - but only as long as your job is easy.
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