Ashley Madison and the Military: What Is Going to Happen to the 10,000 People Who Signed Up With .Mil Addresses?

Unless you are living under a rock, you’ve heard about the Ashley Madison kerfuffle that held public attention for a few days until they could convince their significant other that, although that is their email address, it’s obviously fake, but what you haven’t been hearing a lot about are the 10,000 to 15,000 people who signed up with military email addresses.

And you probably won’t.

Although adultery is still a punishable offense in the military, the sheer volume of email addresses attached to Ashley Madison will make it difficult to determine whether the user actually did anything wrong. The Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, went on record, and said, “We expect good conduct on the part of our people.” He added that “the services are looking into it and as well they should be — absolutely.”

But, each branch of the military has stepped back from the brink of investigating unless the use of Ashley Madison affects the service member:

  • “We hold all personnel to the highest standards in using government resources,” said Commander William Marks, a Navy spokesman, “and if revealed government resources were improperly used, we will take appropriate action.”
  • “There is no crime in signing up for a website,” said Wayne Hall, a spokesman for the Army.
  • The Marine Corps spokesman said they would investigate, “to ensure continuity of operations, security standards compliance, and appropriate use of government resources.”
  • And the Air Force spokesman said, “We don’t condone behavior or activity that is not consistent with Air Force core values.”

Hackers from "Impact Team" recently exposed thousands of Ashley Madison subscribers.
Hackers from “Impact Team” recently exposed thousands of Ashley Madison subscribers.

In other words, if someone is already being investigated and they can be tied to Ashley Madison, then the military will look into it. If not, don’t worry about it.

Email addresses ending in .mil are supposed to be used for official purposes only, of course, but there were a lot of .gov email addresses in that Ashley Madison list, as well. If the military starts investigating, the government might have to follow suit. Probably not, but there is always a chance.

Other than the personal problems caused by the release of those email addresses, the only other use could be by a foreign government to coerce or blackmail a military member, but, in the grand scheme of things, it would be a lot easier to use the information garnered from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Hack than information leaked about Ashley Madison.

Personally, though, with the less than savory details coming out about just how many women were signed up for Ashley Madison, I think the biggest problem would be the embarrassment of finding out your email address was on the list and that you had tried them out.

Good luck next time.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Matt Towns
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Matt Towns

Matt is a former military journalist who spent 10 years in the US Navy. He served in various posts during his career, including a couple of deployments on the USS Valley Forge (CG-50). After leaving the Navy, he worked in management for a number of years before opening his own businesses. He ran those businesses until 2012 when he chose to leave the retail industry and return to writing. Matt currently works as a freelance writer, contributing to the US Patriot blog and other websites about political affairs, military activities and sailing.
Matt Towns
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