DoD

October 26, 2012

Do’s and Don’ts for Airmen during political season

Tags:
Maj. Jennifer Clay
Air Force Global Strike Command Judge Advocate


(AFNS) — With the 2012 general presidential election only weeks away, keep in mind that special ethics rules apply to active-duty Airmen regarding their political activities.

The purpose of these rules is to ensure the Department of Defense does not influence our nation’s electoral process. Violation of these rules can have serious consequences and could result in criminal or administrative penalties.

As an Airman, you should be familiar with what you can and cannot do regarding political activities. The following is a quick reminder of the basic rules:

As an Airman, you may:

  • Register, vote and privately express your opinions on political candidates and issues (but not as a representative of the Armed Forces).
  • Make monetary contributions to a political organization.
  • Encourage other military members to exercise their voting rights, however, you may not attempt to influence or interfere with the outcome of an election. Also, you may not encourage subordinates to vote for or against a particular issue or candidate.
  • Sign a petition for specific legislative action or a petition to place a candidate’s name on an official election ballot. You may not identify yourself by rank or duty title.
  • Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper expressing your personal views on public issues or political candidates, if such action is not part of an organized letter-writing campaign. You may not identify yourself by rank or duty title. If the letter identifies you as being on active-duty status (or if you are otherwise reasonably identifiable as a member of the Armed Forces), the letter should clearly state that the views expressed are your individual views and not those of the Air Force or DOD.
  • Display a small bumper sticker on your private vehicle.

The following activities are prohibited by the Joint Ethics Regulation, DOD Regulations, Air Force Instructions and federal law. Violation of these rules may result in criminal penalties or disciplinary action.
As an Airman, you may not:

  • Use your official authority, influence or government resources including email, to interfere with an election, affect the course or outcome of an election, encourage votes for a particular candidate or issue or ask for political contributions from others.
  • Participate in any radio, television or other program or group discussion as an advocate of a partisan political party or candidate.
  • Solicit or fundraise in federal offices, facilities or military reservations for a partisan political cause or candidate.
  • Display a large political sign, banner or poster (as distinguished from a bumper sticker) on the top or side of a private vehicle.
  • Participate in any organized effort to provide voters with transportation to the polls if the effort is organized by a partisan political party or candidate.
  • Attend partisan political events as an official representative of the Armed Forces.
  • Display a partisan political sign, poster, banner or similar device visible to the public at one’s residence on a military installation, even if that residence is part of a privatized housing development.
  • Under Article 88 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, military officers may not publicly disrespect or undermine certain elected officials, federal secretaries or congress.

Partisan political activities are actions that show support for a particular political party or candidate. For example, an Airman may not participate in a rally supporting a candidate, work for a candidate’s election committee, run for elected office, appear in a political advertisement or otherwise officially support a candidate. Earlier this year, an Army reservist was reprimanded for appearing in uniform on CNN to support a presidential candidate. This is just one example of what not to do.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr.

First sergeant provides health, welfare for warriors

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr. Master Sgt. Phelipe Salinas speaks to his athletes during the 2014 Warrior Games at the Garry Berry Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 2. Salinas is the first sergean...
 
 

Safeguarding, re-evaluating your digital footprint

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Social media is a great resource for Airmen and their families to share information and stay connected to relatives at home and abroad. Although many depend on these wonderful tools, recent events have encouraged us to re-evaluate our digital footprint to ensure our personal and professional information is protected from online...
 
 

October is Energy Action Month: ‘I am Air Force Energy’

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Summer has come to a close, and we’re all looking forward to more tolerable temperatures in the coming weeks. Even better news — this means your power bill is likely to go down. But if you think you pay a lot for energy, imagine paying Nellis’ bill of approximately $1 million...
 

 

Taming ‘tyranny of urgent’

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Many Airmen lead incredibly busy lives, full of unfinished tasks that we often wish we had more hours in the day to fit it all in, and in our professional lives, budgets remain tight, the Air Force is shrinking, and we are challenged to do more with less. Yet...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Armory: A home for weapons

U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Jaime Romo, 99th Security Forces Squadron armorer, puts a M-240 rifle away after clearing the weapon at the 99th SFS armory at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo

Nellis Open House brings history to life

U.S. Air Force photo The AT-6 Texan, which was originally flown in 1935 and flown here in the 1940s, will be one of many aircraft at the Nellis Air Force Base Open House on Nov. 8 and 9. It is a single-engine advanced trainer a...
 




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