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.


 
 

 

Local Briefs July 2, 2015

Sunset Horseback Ride August 8, 4 – 8 p.m. – Outdoor Rec Saddle up and enjoy a 2-hour sunset horseback ride through the Saguaro National Park. Single Airmen can sign-up beginning July 6. All others may sign-up beginning July 13. Final deadline is July 31. Minimum age: 18. Cost of $25/person. Call 228-3736 for more...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey)

F-15E Strike Eagle students complete training at D-M

Student pilots from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., have been training here since June 17. Fourteen F-15E Strike Eagles from the 334th Fighter Squadron, as well as pilots and Weapons Systems Officers came to D-M to com...
 
 

D-M’s Fourth of July Celebration

For July 4, D-M is scheduled to hold a few evening events to celebrate the holiday. Shuttles for the fireworks are scheduled to start running at 5:30 p.m. from Heritage Park, the Sonoran Science Academy and Borman Elementary School. Pre-firework events are slated to begin at 6 p.m. at Bama Park featuring live music by...
 

 

Giving life through the Living Donor Program

  As Airmen, it is our responsibility to help each other, as well as our civilian counterparts from day to day. But what if the need was greater than something as simple as a ride to work? What if it was as great as a kidney donation? Located in Sacramento, Calif., The University of California...
 
 

Balancing career, family through career intermission program

  KADENA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) — Being in the U.S. military can be a tough balance between career and family. For some, it comes down to a choice between the two; however, for Katie Evans, a temporarily separated captain and the former 18th Force Support Squadron manpower and personnel flight commander here, it’s about...
 
 

One AWACS lands at D-M for Boneyard Storage

One NATO E-3A AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) departed NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany and landed around 1 p.m. June 23, for storage in the ‘Boneyard’. This is the first ever NATO AWACS to be retired. The decision to retire one E-3A was made by the North Atlantic Council in an effort to modernize the...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>