View Poll Results: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

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  • Yes

    23 39.66%
  • No

    26 44.83%
  • More than currently allowed, but not freely

    2 3.45%
  • Less than currently allowed

    7 12.07%
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Thread: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

  1. #21
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    No they are not. They are still people.
    Not really, its a price that one pays for being in the military...

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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by earthworm View Post
    Not really, its a price that one pays for being in the military...
    wait so someone has to pay a price to sacrifice their life?kinda seems unfair kinda like having to pay to die or pay someone for the privilage of working 80 hours a week building structures and pulling weeds and getting shot at.

    im not gonna lie,the military is a bum deal.thats why i get mad at some people who alienate the military,these guys are doing jobs any civilian wouldn't do unless they were paid 150k a year,and most of the lower enlisted are around poverty level,and every year enlisted hear about a pay cut getting told they are payed too much while civilian contractors are payed 200-300k a year to do half the job they do.every year the pay cut fails usually because some high ranking general goes on a rant about how little we are paid for what we do.

    even if you hate the wars they fight and disagree with the rules they follow you should respect and thank them for doing the dirty work most disagree with themselves.trust me war for me was a cakewalk,but some never made it back,and most had a much harder time than me,i just had the luck of the draw.everyday though i nearly died,and everyday i barely squeaked by because someone caught an attack ahead of time or my buddy in the uzbekistan army would tell me 2 weeks ahead of an impending attack.


    so in short to say the government doesnt see us as poeple,fine we already knew that.but to say its our price for joining the military,thats flat out an insult.

  3. #23
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    SAN DIEGO (AP) Marine Sgt. Gary Stein first started a Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots to encourage service members to exercise their free speech rights. Then he declared that he wouldn't follow orders from the commander in chief, President Barack Obama.

    While Stein softened his statement to say he wouldn't follow "unlawful orders," military observers say he may have gone too far.

    The Marine Corps is now looking into whether he violated the military's rules prohibiting political statements by those in uniform and broke its guidelines on what troops can and cannot say on social media. Stein said his views are constitutionally protected.

    While troops have always expressed their views in private, Stein's case highlights the potential for their opinions to go global as tech-savvy service members post personal details, videos and pictures that can hurt the military's image at home and abroad..............

    The link provides the rest of the story.
    Also, the second link describes our rights as service members regarding free speech.
    Marine's Facebook page tests military rules - Yahoo! News
    Watch what you say: Speech limits under UCMJ - Military Law, Military Law Advice, Ask a Lawyer - Army Times
    I think they should be able to express their opinions up to a point and that point is very specific - when expressing their opinions may lead harm. With that limit, however, there is room for interpretation so judgement on what "crosses the line" should be up to military courts and whoever else deals with things like this.

    I think the comment in the OP might lead to harm and in turn, crosses the line. Saying that you aren't going to follow orders is irresponsible and that's not unique to the military. Someone working at a private company who writes that they aren't going to listen to their boss is a liability as well.

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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by beerftw
    even if you hate the wars they fight and disagree with the rules they follow you should respect and thank them for doing the dirty work most disagree with themselves.
    Not me. I pity those who get suckered into this modern form of slavery and hope they see the light as I did and get out. People must earn my respect.

  5. #25
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by beerftw View Post
    so in short to say the government doesnt see us as poeple,fine we already knew that.but to say its our price for joining the military,thats flat out an insult.
    Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think he was saying that in an insulting manner. I took his comment to be that the miltary doesn't view their personnel as people, and not that they aren't actually people.
    Last edited by lizzie; 03-08-12 at 10:49 PM.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    I know very little of military protocol. I always thought... since there are vocal military members here at DP who express themselves quite freely... that members of the military had a right to freely discuss their political views on issues and candidates.

    This is a bit different, in my view. Publicly denouncing his superiors, or in this case his Commander In Chief, would seem to be teetering at the line of insubordination. At the very least, it was incredibly arrogant and stupid. At worst, he might be looking at disciplinary actions and even discharge.

    I didn't vote, because there wasn't an "other" option in the poll, and none of the options provided matched my view.

  7. #27
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    wish it was an open poll - be interesting to see how our active duty and veteran community vote.

    I voted no. You are free to speak as a private citizen, not as a representative of the Armed Forces, and you are not free therefore to tie your service to your opinions. You do not represent the views of the Armed Forces unless it is your specific billet to do so, and you are not authorized in this matter to jump your chain of command.

  8. #28
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Newbie (to this particular issue) question here.

    What is the reasoning to not allow military folks to fully engage in free speech in the first place?
    See: South America, Coups, History of.

    The Military is very explicitly apolitical and for good damn reason. When a servicemember leverages their position and their service in order to attempt to lend weight to a political position, not only are they effectively challenging our subservience to civilian political leadership, they by association put the onus on their fellow servicemembers.


    In Civvies say (generally, within limits of sanity) whatever you like. If someone asks you "Hey, aren't you a Marine?", then your answer includes "Yes but my views are specifically not to be taken as representative of the United States Marine Corps, Department of the Navy, or Department of Defense". I wrote a piece for my home-town paper (Birmingham News) when I was deployed, and had to include that as a matter of law - they may have edited it, I can't remember; I remember I also had to get my chain of command to approve the publication before I sent it out.

    The rules are different for reservists - you can even run for office. But you cannot use your rank, billet, or service to attempt to further any political position less generic than "I Love America".

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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    now you see military and politics is a tricky game.showing your opinion on a forum and doing it in public are two different things.we are entitled to believe what we want,where we want,but not permitted to say what we want.like i said before joining the tea party is considered treason.the ows movement im not quite sure because it was barely a blip on the radar when i left active duty so you would have to ask a current active duty soldier if its considered treason or not.

  10. #30
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    The part I like about UCMJ Article 88 (that was mentioned earlier) it specifies "commissioned officer".

    Article 88—Contempt toward officials

    “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.”
    Last edited by Porchev; 03-08-12 at 11:27 PM.

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