Veterans

September 20, 2012

Dempsey: Public trust requires apolitical military

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
Dempsey
Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wants service members and veterans to consider what using the uniform for partisan politics does to the trust Americans have in their military.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey has maintained throughout his 38-year career that the American military, as a whole, must remain apolitical — meaning being neutral in political matters.

“I have sworn an oath to support and defend the Constitution and one of the principles of the Constitution is freedom of speech,” he said during an interview on his way to Ankara, Turkey. “Anyone who claims that I am in any way trying to deny someone freedom of speech, I just can’t accept that.”

Dempsey has been outspoken that service members have truly earned their right to vote, and that all Americans are entitled to private and personal opinions. But he also is worried that using the uniform for partisan purposes could damage the trust Americans have in their military.

Survey after survey reveals the American military is one of the most trusted and most respected institutions in the land, and maintaining that trust is key to the success of the United States, Dempsey said. In his studies of civil-military relations, he added, the cornerstone of the profession of arms is that “we remain apolitical — that we are not a special-interest group.”

And he applies that across the board. “I don’t care what side of the aisle someone happens to sit on or happens to support,” he said.

The chairman said he wants service members and those who have served and who may still use the title “just to think about what impact their actions will have on our standing as a profession with the American people if they engage in partisan political activity.”

“I just want them to think about it,” he said.

Retired general and flag officers must be extra careful when engaging in partisan political activities, the chairman said. They are held to a higher standard and probably should be, he explained, because many Americans do not make the distinction between an active duty and retired status. “And most (retired general and flag officers) understand that standard and meet it,” he added.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

VA waives resident-rate requirements, makes GI Bill benefits more accessible

WASHINGTON – In order to make it easier for Veterans and their families to receive their GI Bill benefits where they choose, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has used his authority to waive the provisions of Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act). This action will ensure all...
 
 

New VA website encourages Veterans to tell their stories of hope

WASHINGTON – May is Mental Health Awareness Month. To commemorate the month, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is encouraging Veterans, along with their families and friends, to visit and view recovery journey stories on the website, MakeTheConnection.net. Make the Connection is a national awareness program operated by VA aimed at reducing the negative perceptions and stigma associat...
 
 

VA will now determine eligibility using driving distance

WASHINGTON  – In order to expand eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it will determine eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program based on the distance between a Veteran’s place of residence and the nearest VA medical facility using driving distance rather than straight-line distance. This change...
 

 

VA eliminates net worth as health care eligibility factor

Washington – The Department of Veterans Affairs is updating the way it determines eligibility for VA health care, a change that will result in more Veterans having access to the health care benefits they’ve earned and deserve. Effective 2015, VA eliminated the use of net worth as a determining factor for both health care programs...
 
 

VA encourages eligible Vets to apply for Veterans Summer Sports Clinic

Washington – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is accepting applications from Veterans interested in participating in the 2015 National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic. The 2015 National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic will be held Sept.13-18 at the VA San Diego Healthcare System in San Diego, California. The annual event is expected to attract Veterans from...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Courtney Richardson)

WWII pilot reunited with P-47

Sitting in a wheelchair with images of airplanes on his shirt and a U.S. Army Air Corps hat on his head, 92-year-old retired Air National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Hertel was reunited with the P-47 Thunderbolt during...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin