DoD

July 12, 2012

DOD releases do’s, don’ts for military voters


WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 28, 2012) — With election season fast approaching, the Department of Defense published a set of guidelines June 19, for military personnel detailing what’s allowed and what’s restricted when participating in political activities.
The four-page DOD memorandum, signed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter, opens with an urging to service members to vote and exercise their civic ability. However, the document also cautions military personnel about how their public behavior could reflect positively or negatively on the military.

“Generally, all service members are prohibited from acting in any manner that gives rise to the inference of approval or endorsement of candidates for political office by DOD or the U.S. military,” the memo stated.

The document cites wearing a military uniform while taking part in political activism as an example of violating the rules because it implies military endorsement. Also included in the list of prohibited activities is holding a leadership position in a political club; running for civil office; posting large signs on a privately owned vehicle; or officially representing the armed forces at a political event.

“All military personnel shall avoid any activity that may be contrary to the spirit or intent of the directive,” the memo stated.

In addition to specifying which actions are considered unfavorable, there are also a number of guidelines explaining allowable behavior for military personnel. These include:

  • voting
  • giving personal political opinions unaffiliated with the military
  • becoming a member of a political club
  • posting a political bumper sticker on a privately owned vehicle
  • donating money to a political party

The memo further explains that these are not all-inclusive rules, but are more of a broad set of parameters meant to illustrate acceptable and unacceptable actions. Exceptions and more in-depth regulations can be found in the hyperlinks attached to the document.

“The [record] does not constitute a complete listing of permissible or impermissible activities,” according to the memo. “Reference to the specific language of DOD Directive 1344.10 [Guidance for Military Personnel] is appropriate in all instances.”

The document also addresses more complicated matters regarding political activity, such as social media. According to Public Affairs Guidance for Political Campaigns and Elections, a document linked to the memo, service members may express their personal opinions via social media, as long as they do not tie those views to the DOD.
In addition, the memorandum outlines guidelines for federal employees concerning what the Hatch Act allows and doesn’t when it comes to political activities.

The release of the document was intended to clarify the boundaries regarding political activity among military personnel, officials said. While it is not a comprehensive list, they said service members and employees are expected to abide by the standards and exercise judgment in making decisions.




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


 
 

 
SMADailey_frontpage

Dailey: NCOs should strive to serve at NTC

Sergeant Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey emphasized the importance of the mission of the National Training Center, which trains 10 brigades per year, and was the site of Exercise Joint Forcible Entry Dragon Spear (Aug. 5-6) d...
 
 
150812-A-SS368-001

39th Chief of Staff of the Army: Initial Message to the Army

We have the most skilled, ethical, and combat hardened Army in our Nation’s history. No matter where we are around the world, America’s Soldiers are displaying courage, commitment and character. We are demonstrating unparal...
 
 
Martin_Abrams_Salinas

New FORSCOM commander visits NTC

The commanding general of United States Army Forces Command, Gen. Robert B. Abrams, visited the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Aug. 19-21. Abrams observed force-on-force rotational training between the 116th Cavalry Br...
 

 
DSC_7905

Education fair a jumpstart to degree

The annual Fort Irwin Education Fair provided Soldiers, family members and the community an opportunity to speak with representatives from 35 educational, military and Veterans service organizations, Aug. 13. The fair, hosted b...
 
 
Operations Group photo

Operations Group welcomes new commander

Operations Group received a new commander during a change of command ceremony here, Aug. 4. Colonel David Lesperance took charge of the unit after receiving the organization’s colors from the commander of the National Trainin...
 
 

Community Calendar

Sept. 9 Soldier Show. 6 p.m. Freedom Fitness Center. Free and open to the community. Watch talented Soldiers sing and dance paying tribute to Gold Star families, Vietnam Veterans, Soldiers and their family members, SMA Dailey’s initiative “Not In My Squad,” 50 years of ACS, community outreach and holidays while deployed. Sept. 11 9/11 Remembrance...
 




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>