You’re wrong and you should know better

| September 1, 2013 | 126 Comments

There is nothing I hate more than anyone disrespecting flag of the United States of America, or the uniform of it’s armed services.  From the hipster that wears the OD fatigues with patches as an “ironic” way of showing their disdain for the military to the idiots that act the fool while in uniform nothing makes my blood boil faster.  I can accept open disagreements with how the military should be employed, I can even accept ignorance of what the military actually does, but I simply can not accept any disrespect.  I can not accept any politician using the troops as a prop for political gain, nor can I accept any troops using their uniform, rank or position to affect the political climate with anything not directly affecting the business of their service.

We’ve seen it happen before.  Maybe it started with Jon Kerry tossing his medals, then going before congress and lying about the “testimony” he got from “veterans” during the Winter soldier fiasco.  Maybe it was exacerbated by Danny Choi, who constantly uses his uniform to play dress up and get attention.  Maybe that douchebag Marine Sergeant that kept posting anti-Obama stuff all over Facebook (despite lawful and direct orders not to) has a hand in the continuing climate too.  I know for a fact that the narcissistic valor thieves can’t wait to get their slice of the action.

So with all that said I think it’s pretty clear I loathe such people.  Imagine how I felt when I came across this little gem.

navychiefpoliticalstatement
Not to be outdone some other joker posing in Marine dress blues had to out do him.

Marinepoliticalstatement
Before I get into the fact that both an E-5 and an E-8 should KNOW better, or the possibility that these are valor thieves, let’s stop a second and point out that these men are cowards.  They put on the uniform with all their attendant medals, and make a political statement about what they didn’t join the military to do, but hide their face.  If you do something like that at least have the courage to show your face.  More than that don’t wear the uniform while saying it.  If you’re on your own time and feel butt hurt that you might be deployed to Syria, by all means you can talk about it in private.  You can shout and scream about it for hours to anyone you please, but when the time comes you put on your uniform and go where they tell you because that’s your duty.

You think someone who joined the Air Force in say 1959, wanted to end up in Vietnam?  How about they guys that joined in the late 90’s and ended up in Iraq.  It sucks, and you can never tell where you’ll end up.  That’s part of the job.  You probably didn’t join for “area beautification” or getting stuck on a Sergeant Major’s detail when your LT sends your platoon into an ambush in the field.  I didn’t join to put tubes in men’s urethra’s.  There’s a whole lot of fine print when you join.  One thing that should be abundantly clear is that you swore to “Obey the orders of the President and the officers appointed over me according to the uniform code of military justice.”  Until the President gives an illegal order (say “I want you to kill all first born sons”) you are legally, orally and ethically bound to FOLLOW THOSE ORDERS. Regardless of how we feel about the missions we’re handed down, we’ve got to suck it up and do them.  When you raise your right hand you lose your “rights” as an American Citizen and fall under a whole new set of rights and privileges.  One of those regulations states very clearly that you may not use that uniform for any political speech.

The troops are not and can not be a part of the political process.  The military has untold power at its fingertips.  and if unchecked could run rampant.  If a General were to get the idea that he could be a Caesar, and that the Mississippi was the Rubicon, what’s to stop him?  Only the solemn knowledge that his troops would never follow his orders, and most would actually put him in the brig if he tried to march on Washington (Rome).  There is a very fine, and dangerous line that separates us from every two bit banana republic, or half assed Junta.  The fact that our military is completely subservient to the Will of the People through their duly elected Representatives is really the ONLY check against some crackpot general from just kicking in the doors of the White House and “fixing” Washington.  The populace might actually cheer such a thing, but it would be totally wrong in every way imaginable.

I think Iraq was a mistake.  A costly one.  But when I got the call I did my damnedest to ensure that my small piece of that mission was successful. I think Syria is a mistake.  I think we shouldn’t get involved, but if we do the Soldiers Sailors Airmen and Marines had better be Johnny on the spot or they’re going to get their buddies killed.  These two clowns are beneath my contempt.  It doesn’t matter if I happen to agree with what they’re saying they are absolutely wrong, and they should be found busted down in rank and perhaps even drummed out.  But then, I take disrespecting the uniform more seriously than some people do.

UPDATE:

I wasn’t even finished writing this post when this ass clown popped up on my facebook feed.

Soldierpoliticalstatement
I swear these idiots are coming out of the woodwork.  Maybe Obama’s forthcoming purge of the military might actually be a good thing. . .
[Editor’s note: Doc was joking, of course he doesn’t want the military purged, I’m guessing]

Update 2: I hadn’t even finished that update when this clown shows up.

Sailorpoliticalstatement
I give up.  I’m sure at least one of these clowns is a valor thief but I’m willing to bet not all are.  Good thing I’m not still in.  I would most certainly like to bring back wall-to-wall counseling with these idiots.

 

Update 3: Sooo. . . apparently some on the OTHER side of this issue have gotten in on the act.

 

Marinecounterstatement

 

Can’t see the rank on this guy, but judging from the tats and the KIA bracelet as well as the wording of the sign I would say this guy is legit (as opposed to the somewhat questionable clowns above).  So. . . this is probably about to go full retard PDQ.

Category: "Teh Stoopid", Antiwar crowd, Dumbass Bullshit, Foreign Policy, General Whackos, I hate POGs

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  1. TN says:

    Doc, I agree with your assertion, and the regulation: It is 100% wrong for a Servicemember to protest, or to pursue political statements in uniform.

    Conversely, you are wrong with this statement: “When you raise your right hand you lose your “rights” as an American Citizen and fall under a whole new set of rights and privileges.”

    The Troops retain their Rights under the Constitution, though they live with constraints on when they can exercise those Rights. I.e. they still have the right to protest, and to Free Speech, and to political speech, but they are forbidden from doing so while in uniform, or in a manner that would imply the US Military (as an organization) has that or any political position.

    And the oath of enlistment also contains “to defend the US Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.”

    An Un-Constitutional order is an unlawful order. That doesn’t mean that a Soldier has the authority to deem the officeholder of the Presidency illegitimate, and hence Un-Constitutional, but it does mean that those that were ordered to collect phone records on US Persons, should have refused orders.

  2. DefendUSA says:

    Yep. Asshattery at it’s finest to include the trolls posting. And I have just one thing to say in case any of them are legitimate.
    Get. the. fuck. out. of. “my” military. Yesterday.

    I don’t want dickweeds like you around me-ever– because in good conscience, if I were serving now, I would probably have to save your sorry asses because it would be Duty, Honor, Country. You shit for brains don’t have a clue, do you?

  3. Anonymous says:

    One of the reasons the Italian Army got such a bad rap in WW2 for “fighting” like girls was that they did not share Il Duce’s visions of grandeur. They fought well in Russia, and when they switched sides to fight the Nazis, but not to fight for Mussolini’s NeoRoman Empire. Our military prides itself in being most professional. But now that it is Obama’s (after all it’s now HIS military), things may change.

  4. Boquisucio says:

    One of the reasons the Italian Army got such a bad rap in WW2 for “fighting” like girls was that they did not share Il Duce’s visions of grandeur. They fought well in Russia, and when they switched sides to fight the Nazis, but not to fight for Mussolini’s NeoRoman Empire. Our military prides itself in being most professional. But now that it is Obama’s (after all it’s now HIS military), things may change.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    @104 – Anonymous, I assume that you are living in the USA and therefore, you do have a right to your opinion.

    However, no one in the military has been ‘indoctrinated’ in anyway. In fact, I don’t think you even know what that word means, or why you would say bullets are being wasted on us.

    Since there is no longer a draft requirement, you won’t be required to put in one tiny second of your precious time doing something FOR your country. Nor are you in any way required to live here at all. You might want to move to Germany. Mrs. Merkel has already declared that Germany will not participate in any military action against Syria.

    You can leave any time. Just don’t come back.

    What an asshole!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am in full disagreement on this one. Just because I put on a uniform does not make political discussion wrong. In fact, I swore an oath to defend the constitution from all enemies both foreign and domestic and the best way for me to do that is through political action.

    Rules prohibiting service members from wearing the uniform at political events are design to eliminate the appearance that the service is supporting any candidate. What these guys are doing is expressing their opinion which has nothing to do with endorsing political candidates.

    I also don’t see any difference between the people in the photo and the person writing the article. I see no name attributed to the article making it just as anonymous and posting on a military blog is using the military position just as much as posting these pictures in uniform. He expects his military experience to add credibility to his opinion.

  7. AtDrum says:

    @111, But notice he isn’t in his full uniform holding a sign up posting about it…

  8. Hondo says:

    @111: if I recall correctly, the author is also presently neither on active duty nor serving in the RC. He is also not using a photograph of himself in uniform in the article. Your comparison is thus flawed from the start in two different ways.

    Your contention about the uniform rules is also incorrect. The intent of the uniform restriction is not solely to prevent the appearance of DoD endorsement of political candidates. Rather, it’s there to prevent the appearance of DoD endorsement of any candidate, cause, or political position.

    Public advocacy is allowable for those currently serving – in their capacity as a private individual. Public advocacy while wearing the uniform, using the uniform as backdrop, or as part of same is not.

    Take off the uniform, and say whatever you want that’s lawful. Put on the uniform, and your right to political speech is somewhat constrained by both regulation and law (UCMJ).

  9. NavCWORet says:

    DodD 1344.10 has specific allowances for military members to engage in the political process. ALL of them require they not be in uniform. Additionally, if an event isn’t specifically prohibited, there’s the catch all block:

    4.1.5. Activities not expressly prohibited may be contrary to the spirit and intent of this Directive. Any activity that may be reasonably viewed as directly or indirectly associating the Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security (in the case of the Coast Guard) or any component of these Departments with a partisan political activity or is otherwise contrary to the spirit and intention of this Directive shall be avoided.

    Notice “shall be” not “should be”. There is no leeway with that. What these guys have done is use their uniform to add status to their statement. Otherwise, it holds no weight.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m 111, and don’t know why it didn’t list my name after I entered it in the submission form.

    The writer of this article included the Facebook Marine in his assessment of these photos who did little more than what the poster is doing and, as a result, includes himself in the same condemnation. He uses his military credentials to add weight to an opinion while condemning others for doing the same.

    These photos are not political and not partisan. They are personal opinions. Every service member has at one time or another pissed and moaned about some unsavory assignment and made similar comments like, “I didn’t join the Army to peal potatoes. Only one of these photos says they will not deploy. Meanwhile, until Congress gives authorization or someone illustrates a clear and present danger to the United States, any military action would be unconstitutional and an unlawful order which would, in my opinion, be ground for disobedience.

    Sam Fidler

  11. Just an Old Dog says:

    The current DOD directive does not allow any service Member, in uniform or not to engage in any partisan political activity, in uniform or not.

    You can vote, you can encourage voting, you can attend, but not participate in a political rally or discussion while not in uniform.
    You may write a letter to the editor, but in doing so you must expressly say you do not represent the Military or Government.
    It doesn’t matter if they were wearing uniforms or civilian clothes, if they showed their faces and were identified they could be charged.

  12. valerie says:

    Just for the sake of completeness, I’m posting this here to show what use is now being made of those pictures.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/09/syrian-electronic-army-defaces-us-marines-recruitment-website/

    How many genuine US military people really want their pictures being used by the Syrian electronic army (whoever they are)?

  13. Hondo says:

    @115: actually, no. There’s a damn good chance it’s not unlawful at all. With the best of intentions, Congress inadvertently gave the POTUS the authority to do exactly that to which you object nearly 40 years ago.

    Ever since the War Powers Act was passed during Watergate to “curtail” the President’s powers to order hostile acts, the POTUS has had specific statutory authority to commit US forces abroad for up to 60 days, plus another 30 days for withdrawal, without explicit Congressional approval.

    Yes, there is that pesky requirement for an attack on “the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” However, I’ll also observe that the post 9/11 state of emergency declared 14 Sep 2001 has never been formally ended. And I’ll also observe that one shot fired at US forces by anyone is “an attack” – provoked or not.

    Bottom line: it’s completely legal for the POTUS to move forces and engage in “saber rattling”. One shot fired at US forces – even if we provoke it – by either side is all that it will take to trigger all the authority the POTUS needs under the WPA to execute for 60 days. Further, given that the post-9/11 state of emergency is still technically in effect, he might not even need that. It would be a stretch, but keeping Syrian WMD “out of the hands of madmen and terrorists” could well be deemed sufficient to tie the act to current operations GWOT.

    See 50 USC 1541-1548 for the operative law.

    The WPA has never been considered by the SCOTUS. Until it is, and unless it is deemed unconstitutional by the SCOTUS, it remains law. And that law allows the POTUS to commit US forces abroad for up to 90 days total without Congress approving a damn thing.

  14. Just an Old Dog says:

    Part of the DOD regulation, This part of the regulation says that it doesn’t matter if you are in uniform or not, you can’t do the following on active duty.

    4.1.2. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty shall not:

    .1.2.1. Participate in partisan political fundraising activities (except as permitted in subparagraph 4.1.1.7.), rallies, conventions (including making speeches in the course thereof), management of campaigns, or debates, either on one’s own behalf or on that of another, without
    respect to uniform or inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement.
    Participation includes more than mere attendance as a spectator. (See subparagraph 4.1.1.9.)

    4.1.2.2. Use official authority or influence to interfere with an election, affect the course or outcome of an election, solicit votes for a particular candidate or issue, or require or solicit political contributions from others. (OK THIS MAKES SENSE)

    4.1.2.3. Allow or cause to be published partisan political articles, letters, or endorsements signed or written by the member that solicits votes for or against a partisan
    political party, candidate, or cause. This is distinguished from a letter to the editor as permitted
    under the conditions noted in subparagraph 4.1.1.6. (THAT MEANS NO PRO-BUSH OR PRO-OBAMA ELECTION RANTS)

    4.1.2.4. Serve in any official capacity with or be listed as a sponsor of a partisan political club.( CAN’T BE AN OFFICER/REP OF THE REPUBLICATION,DEMOCRAT OE TEA PARTY)

    4.1.2.5. Speak before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause. ( CAN’T GIVE A SPEECH ON HOW THE WHITE HOUSE IS SCREWING UP FOREIGN POLICY)

    4.1.2.6. Participate in any radio, television, or other program or group discussion as an advocate for or against a partisan political party, candidate, or cause. (NO CALLING IN TO RUSH LIMBAUGH TO BASH JOHN KERRY)

    4.1.2.7. Conduct a political opinion survey under the auspices of a partisan political club or group or distribute partisan political literature.

    4.1.2.8. Perform clerical or other duties for a partisan political committee or candidate during a campaign, on an election day, or after an election day during the process of
    closing out a campaign.(CANT MAKE CALLS GETTING OUT THE REPUBLICAN VOTE)

    4.1.2.9. Solicit or otherwise engage in fundraising activities in Federal offices or facilities, including military reservations, for any political cause or candidate.
    (FUND RAISING DINNERS OR CALLS)

    4.1.2.10. March or ride in a partisan political parade. (THAT MEANS UNLESS YOU WERE ASSIGNED IT AS A DUTY, YOU COULDN’T BE IN THE INAUGURATION PARADE)

    4.1.2.11. Display a large political sign, banner, or poster (as distinguished from a bumper sticker) on a private vehicle.( NO DOOR PANEL SIZED SIGNS VOTE FOR KERRY)

    4.1.2.12. 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.(MAKES SENSE)

    4.1.2.13. Participate in any organized effort to provide voters with transportation to the polls if the effort is organized by or associated with a partisan political party, cause, or candidate. ( NO GETTING OUT THE VOTE DRIVING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY VAN)

    4.1.2.14. Sell tickets for or otherwise actively promote partisan political dinners and similar fundraising events.
    (CAN’T PIMP THOSE 30 DOLLARS A PLATE DINNERS FOR CITY COUNSEL CANDIDATES)

    4.1.2.15. Attend partisan political events as an official representative of the Armed Forces, except as a member of a joint Armed Forces color guard at the opening ceremonies of the national conventions of the Republican, Democratic, or other political parties recognized by the Federal Elections Committee or as otherwise authorized by the Secretary concerned.

    4.1.2.16. Make a campaign contribution to, or receive or solicit (on one’s own behalf) a campaign contribution from, any other member of the Armed Forces on active duty.
    Any contributions not prohibited by this subparagraph remain subject to the gift provisions of
    sections 2635.301-2635.304 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (Reference (f)). See
    subparagraph 4.1.2.1. for general prohibitions on partisan fundraising activity.

    4.1.3. Commissioned officers shall not use contemptuous words as prohibited by section 888 of Reference (b) or participate in activities proscribed by DoD Directives 5200.2 and 1325.6
    (References (g) and (h), respectively). (ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY)

    4.1.4. Subject to any other restrictions in law, a member of the Armed Forces not on active duty may take the actions or participate in the activities permitted in subparagraph 4.1.1., and may take the actions and participate in the activities prohibited in subparagraph 4.1.2,
    provided the member is not in uniform and does not otherwise act in a manner that could reasonably give rise to the inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or
    endorsement. (RESERVIST CAN DO ANYTHING THEY WANT, AS LONG AS THEY ARENT IN UNIFORM OR ON A PERIOD OF ACTIVE DUTY.

    4.1.5. Activities not expressly prohibited may be contrary to the spirit and intent of this Directive. Any activity that may be reasonably viewed as directly or indirectly associating the
    Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security (in the case of the Coast Guard)

  15. OWB says:

    @ #115: No, you are entirely wrong. You are entitled to your opinion that perhaps you think that is the way it OUGHT to be, but that is not the way it actually is.

    Members of the armed forces are subject to the UCMJ and an assortment of other regulations, as is quoted above. Former members of the armed forces who are retired or otherwise separated from service are NOT, except in a statistically insignificant number of highly unusual cases. It is just that simple, therefore there is no comparison between what currently serving members of the military must do and that which is required of those of us who are no longer serving.

    On the other hand, are you saying, since you are declaring there to be no difference between the poster of this piece and those in the pics, that you have information which would prove them NOT to be actively serving members of the armed forces??? If so, could you please forward that information using the “Contact” information in the header.

  16. Hack.Stone says:

    I Did Not Join The Marine Corps To Pick Up Cigarette Butts

    I Did Not Join The Marine Corps To Rake The Sand In 29 Palms

    I Did Not Join The Marine Corps To Sit Through Sexual Assault Prevention Classes

    I Definitely Did Not Join The Marine Corps To Be Standing On The Grinder in 29 Palms at 05:30 In January For A Damn 08:00 Formation!!!

  17. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    I did not join the Navy because the Village People had a most fabulous song about men at sea!

  18. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Satire set aside … Sam, you are dead wrong.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Only a complete dipshit would follow any and all orders blindly without any consideration of their conscience. So if it’s part of the contract when joining the military, then all military personnel are complete dipshits. Therefore I’m proud of these guys for going against the grain by listening to their hearts. They deserve praise, not ridicule.

  20. Green Thumb says:

    “They deserve praise, not ridicule.”

    Weak.

  21. Ex-PH2 says:

    @124 – anonymous, no they do NOT deserve praise. They signed a contract and they are violating the terms of their contract. If they want to make political statements, they do it on their own time, OUT of uniform.

  22. malclave says:

    @124

    Why do they deserve praise?

    You may think they’re just practicing some form of civil disobedience, but if that were true they wouldn’t be trying to hide their identities. They’d face up to the consequences of their actions.

    If they weren’t willing to abide by their oaths of enlistment, they should not have enlisted at all. When you sign up, you agree to follow lawful orders, whether or not you agree with those orders. And you think someone should be praised for betraying their word?

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’m Navy WWII, and altho didn’t face enemy fire, did spend 7.5 months in the hospital at Great Lakes.

    Maybe I don’t have the right to spout off to the degree that some of my buddies who came back all shot to hell in the South Pacific, but I’ll spout off anyhow.

    I won’t be alive in 30 years, but it will take that long to establish that Obama was born in Kenya, just as it took 30 years to find out that Kennedy was a fucking philanderer.

    Obama is an imposter. Any Presidential Directive, Executive Order or what have you is an illegal order. No soldier, sailor, or airman is required to follow an illegal order. End of story.

    And I’d like to know, what is our national interest in Syria? Do they have lots of oil that we covet? Are they threatening to attack us? Ooooooh, I’m so scared. I’m a hell of a lot more scared of Iran, because they are a bunch of crazies, and will use the dirty A-bomb against us as soon as they get it.

    e know that Iraq had wmd’s (chemical and biological), and was trying to obtain atomic bomb capability, so there was good reason to throw a monkey wrench in his panty hose.

    Afghanistan was good, if only for revenge against the twin towers.

    But Egypt? Libya? Give me a fucking break! Obama gave those nations to the Muslim Brotherhood. Just as he will do in Syria. And if you think our troops should follow this clown over the cliff like a bunch of lemmings, you’re as nuts as he is.

  24. Hondo says:

    Anonymous: most of us here agree that intervention in Syria would be a bad idea. Most here also agree that the current Administration has mismanaged the “Arab Spring” and related unrest over the past few years.

    However, regardless of the politics or personal opinions – absent a law forbidding it, an order to intervene militarily in Syria by the POTUS is a lawful one, at least for the first 60 days. Intentionally or not, the War Powers Act appears to gives the POTUS the authority to commit US forces for that long without explicit authorization from Congress.

    And unless and until proven ineligible, the current occupant of the White House is still the POTUS by law. While serving as POTUS, his orders are thus still lawful and valid.

    What you’re claiming these tools “deserve praise” for is nothing more than a member of the military using their uniform as a political prop in a political debate. And has been pointed out above, it’s also not civil disobedience – it’s being done anonymously, and these folks aren’t “civil” anyway (they’re members of the military).

    One last point: take a look at the unintended consequences of what you’re advocating here. Do you really want to advocate an overtly political US military? (That’s what you’re doing above, whether you realize it or not.) Frankly, the thought of a politicized military scares the hell out of me. Politicized militaries come with a bit of baggage. That baggage is often called a “coup d’état”.

  25. PeteOldABH says:

    They should be sayin,

    “hey, I came in on the college program I aint cut out for this hero bullshit.”

    remember that?

  26. Flagwaver says:

    Pete, believe it or not, I actually did sign up for the military for the college benefits. Then again, back when I signed up, it was a relatively peace-time military. Who would have thought that the next year a bunch of camel jockeys would go all jihad with airliners. But, guess what, I didn’t bitch and moan, I manned up and did what needed to be done.

    I knew what I was getting myself into when I put my name on that contract. Yeah, I wanted to college money, but nothing is ever free. Rather than live through a “peace time” situation, I can actually say that I earned the benefits that I received.

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