Translate this page
Cpl. Benjamin P. Callahan, administrativeclerk, Adjutant Office, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, skims through the 2010-11 Voting Assistance Guide at Bldg. 1160, Mainside, Camp Pendleton, April 19.
Cpl. Benjamin P. Callahan, administrative clerk, Adjutant Office, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, skims through the 2010-11 Voting Assistance Guide...

Understanding the Marines’ role in politics


Thursday, April 29th, 2010
Issue 17, Volume 14.
Sgt. Michael T. Knight
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton


The Marine Corps’ motto is Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful), and Marines understand that unwavering loyalty, up and down the chain of command, is crucial for keeping good order and discipline.

That loyalty is sometimes tested when decisions made by political leaders conflict with an individual Marine’s personal political preferences.

As tax payers and functioning members of society, Marines are always encouraged to fully exercise their democratic rights. However, it is important to fully understand the unique guidelines service members must follow as defenders of the nation.

All military personnel are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice; and Article 88 specifically prohibits commissioned officers from speaking out publicly about political leadership.

The article states that any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the president, the vice president, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the governor or legislature of any state, territory, commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

Article 88 is specific to officers, but according to Headquarters Marine Corps Public Affairs "In the Black" letter for guidance on political activity, released April 15, all Marines and sailors should be properly respectful of the President, members of Congress, and other elected officials.

In addition to Article 88, Department of Defense Directive 1344.10, a punitive general order, exclusively conveys guidelines for participation in political activities.

According to the directive, Advertisement
Advertisement for Berry-Bell and Hall Mortuary
[ Berry-Bell and Hall Mortuary ]
both officers and enlisted personnel can express a personal opinion on political candidates and issues, join a partisan or nonpartisan political club and attend its meetings, go to fundraising activities, rallies, debates, or conventions as a spectator and private citizen only. When at any political event, service members cannot be in uniform or appear to endorse the affair in anyway as a representative of the Armed Forces.

"If a Marine disobeys this directive, it is a violation of a lawful general order," said Maj. Danielle Fitz, head, civil law, Staff Judge Advocate Office, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. "That falls under Article 92 of the UCMJ, failure to obey an order or regulation."

With the increase in popularity of social networking websites, both within the civilian and military sectors, DOD Instruction 1325.06 addresses the use of online networking, blogs and the like as it pertains to dissident and protest activities among members of the Armed Forces.

"The military wants to preserve freedom of expression," said Fitz. "However, as service members, we will be held accountable for any publicly expressed anti-government or political partisan endorsement."

The key message of HQMC Public Affairs guidance is to encourage Marines and sailors to participate in the political process and voice their views. However, they must be aware of the rules and regulations related to political activity that govern the conduct of all service members.

To comment this story online, visit www.thevillagenews.com.


 

0 comments


arrow Be the first to share your opinion on this article!
 

Add your Comment


Name

Images, Formatting, or HTML is not allowed : plain text only. You may post up to 5 website addresses within your comment.




Disclaimer

The Fallbrook Village News has tightened its' policy regarding comments.
While we invite you to contribute your opinions and thoughts, we request that you refrain from using vulgar or obscene words and post only comments that directly pertain to the specific topic of the story or article.
Comments that are derogatory in nature have a high likelihood for editing or non-approval if they carry the possibility of being libelous.
The comment system is not intended as a forum for individuals or groups to air personal grievances against other individuals or groups.
Please, no advertising or trolling.
In posting a comment for consideration, users understand that their posts may be edited as necessary to meet system parameters, or the post may not be approved at all. By submitting a comment, you agree to all the rules and guidelines described here.
Most comments are approved or disregarded within one business day.

RSS FeedFacebookTwitter



Advertisement for Fallbrook Healthcare Partners





Subscribe




Most Commented


Reach Local Customers



The Fallbrook Village News The Fallbrook Village News
760-723-7319 - 1588 S. Mission Rd. Suite 200, Fallbrook CA 92028
All contents copyright ©2014
About Us
Earthquake Information
Business Listings
Contact Us
Letter to the Editor
Report a website error
Sitemap
Online Digital Edition
RSS Feeds
Login