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. #31
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    gotta love it,commisioned officers are still part of the military,atleast when they dont view themselves as gods.

  2. #32
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Can't say that I agree with this quote entirely, but I thought it was relevant to the discussion. From the film Jarhead

    Kruger: This is censorship.
    SSgt Sykes: This is what?
    Kruger: Censorship. You're telling us what we can and can't say to the press. That's un-American.
    Anthony 'Swoff' Swofford: Yeah, what about freedom of speech? The Constitution?
    SSgt Sykes: No, you signed a contract. You don't have any rights. You got any complaints you complain to Saddam Insane and see if he gives a ****.
    Kruger: Why that's exactly what Saddam Hussein does. You're treating us the same way.
    SSgt Sykes: You are a Marine. There is no such thing as speech that is free. You must pay for everything that you say.
    That's simply what happens when you sign a contract. Same thing goes in sports. When an NBA or NFL player signs that deal, there are certain behaviors he cannot engage in, and certain things he is not allowed to say.

    That being said, I don't have any problem with the incident mentioned in the OP where the individual started a Facebook page, but from what I know, in these situations the smart thing to do is to consult with someone in the chain-of-command who knows the rules and instructs you on what you can or can't do.

    I believe that military members should have the freedom to express their political opinions, but their behaviors and activity are rightly limited (for instance, attending a political protest or rally in uniform is not allowed, which I think is appropriate.)
    Last edited by StillBallin75; 03-08-12 at 11:33 PM.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

  3. #33
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by beerftw View Post
    gotta love it,commisioned officers are still part of the military,atleast when they dont view themselves as gods.
    Hey there devil, you better stow that crap. they are commissioned officers. they went to college. they probably got a degree in art history, or something else that is really amazing and makes them much much smarter than you. learn your place.

  4. #34
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Hey there devil, you better stow that crap. they are commissioned officers. they went to college. they probably got a degree in art history, or something else that is really amazing and makes them much much smarter than you. learn your place.
    love that speach.in reality officers are hit or miss on the awesome scale.officers are taught that they can never be wrong and that they are above and beyong enlisted opinions.any smart officer will say wait a minute that enisted works everyday around what my decision will be based,let ask them before i choose.some officers get the ocs wespoint view stuck in their heads and literally believe officers can never make a bad choice and enlisted can never be right.luckily every commander my company has ever had served infantry enlisted before ocs,makes everyones job alot easier.

    Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?-phone-108-jpg

  5. #35
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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
    Quote Originally Posted by beerftw View Post
    the military believes you can freely vote,but showing any dis-interest in any politician can be viewed as rallying the troops against the government they serve.ironically our own oath is in conflict with itself should a civil war break out in this country,but is heavily against any form of rebellion.


    as far as the military is concerned you are entitled to your opinion but keep it to yourself.just keep in mind the military is still run by old generals who believe if you dont go to church your a godless communist.actually everything you do is support of communism to them,but luckily these old men are being phased out through retirement and there are very few left,but yet those very few still run the highest positions in the military.
    Quote Originally Posted by TNAR View Post
    From my recollection, the emphasis is on neutrality. The military is supposed to be an apolitical entity so the higher-ups frown on any political extremism. Obviously this is very subjective which allows for widely differing policies from base to base. Pretty much any political speech is permissible provided that it is not performed in uniform or made to look like the official stance of the military.

    In this particular case I would bet the issue is the label "Armed Forces". This is how so many veterans groups get away with "extreme" political speech even in cases of active duty or reserve members.
    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    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".
    Thank you to those who offered your perspectives in response to my question. I remember when my mother was a comptroller for a government agency and she stayed away from certain engagements for this same reason.

    In regards to the OP, I guess its how you interpret the title "Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots" and whether it uses the legitimacy of the military to further enhance this person's group.

    My personal view and the way I read this title is "this guy is for the tea party and he happens to be in the military" I would probably read it the same way if it was Tea Party Accountants, Tea Party Janitorial Patriots, or whatever. However, there are those who hold the military in extremely high regard and may or may not read other meanings into it. But in the end its a matter of interpretation.

    Given that, I personally am not comfortable with the idea that this person intended to use the legitimacy of the military name to further his cause.

    However, given all that stuff I just wrote. I am having trouble seeing how the poll applies in such a general manner in regards to this case. As far as I can tell, those who are doing the prosecuting have the same concerns I just raised and that concern is something that those who answered my question also seem to share.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by beerftw View Post
    gotta love it,commisioned officers are still part of the military,atleast when they dont view themselves as gods.
    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Hey there devil, you better stow that crap. they are commissioned officers. they went to college. they probably got a degree in art history, or something else that is really amazing and makes them much much smarter than you. learn your place.
    You're god damn right.

  7. #37
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by beerftw
    Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?-phone-108-jpg
    Ha! Watch this. I love it. Reminds me of the on-board video of an Apache doing a low-level flight and the pilot says, "Think we can make it through those trees?" The gunner says, "I don't think so. Let's go over them." The pilot responds with quite possibly the best line ever:

    "Watch this, oh ye of little faith!"

    Of course they hit the trees.

    EDIT: Check out the video.
    Last edited by TNAR; 03-09-12 at 12:35 AM. Reason: Found the video!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TNAR View Post
    Ha! Watch this. I love it. Reminds me of the on-board video of an Apache doing a low-level flight and the pilot says, "Think we can make it through those trees?" The gunner says, "I don't think so. Let's go over them." The pilot responds with quite possibly the best line ever:

    "Watch this, oh ye of little faith!"

    Of course they hit the trees.

    EDIT: Check out the video.


    Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?-phone-114-jpg

    food for thought

  9. #39
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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
    The potential to go global?

    LOL

    Oh **** - oh **** - did this idea just NOW occur to our military? Good god are we ****ed with such slow idiots behind the helm.

    Look: if you don't LIKE it - don't do it . . . don't join - or go awol, drop out and accept the happy consequences of your joyful decisions.

    I think too many people join without seriously considering ALL the implications.
    A screaming comes across the sky.
    It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
    Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    The potential to go global?

    LOL

    Oh **** - oh **** - did this idea just NOW occur to our military? Good god are we ****ed with such slow idiots behind the helm.

    Look: if you don't LIKE it - don't do it . . . don't join - or go awol, drop out and accept the happy consequences of your joyful decisions.

    I think too many people join without seriously considering ALL the implications.
    not sure about the marines or nave,but the army royally goes over the same thing over and over to avoid lawsuit.when you join its like are you sure you say yes.then they make you sign 38 other papers asking the same thing and saying if you want to back out nows the time.then you sign the final paper then swear your oath.

    even then you can back out on the bus going to basic,the military doesnt care at the point because they havent lost anything.once your on the bus or plane the army has money invested,and theres no turning back at that point without punishment.

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