"Service members should avoid having a photo taken while in uniform with a candidate who is actively running for office," Douglas said. "The exception would be a personal keepsake photo. However, posting the photo on social media could be perceived as an endorsement."That's pretty standard stuff...but this part has me scratching my head...
The restrictions also extend to social media.
Troops are generally allowed to express their personal views on any social media platform, Douglas said.
But those who identify themselves as Department of Defense employees on the social networks must "clearly and prominently state that the views expressed are those of the individual only" and not the U.S. military, she added.
"An active-duty member may become a friend of or like a Facebook page, or follow a Twitter account of a political party or partisan candidate, campaign, group or cause," Douglas said. "However, active-duty members cannot engage in activities with respect to those entities' social media accounts that would constitute political activity."
For example, a service member cannot suggest that others like, friend or follow the political party, partisan political candidate, campaign, group or cause, she said. And they can't forward an invitation or solicitation from said entities to others.
Troops are encouraged to speak to their chain of command or unit legal offices if they have questions on the restrictions or if they believe someone is breaking the rules.
And Fort Bragg leaders are being encouraged to remind their troops of the guidelines.
Violating any of the rules regarding political activity would subject active-duty troops to administrative action or punishment under the military legal system.
"Repercussions would depend on the specific situation," Douglas said.
In the past, military officials have reprimanded an Army reservist who gave a public endorsement of then-presidential candidate Ron Paul during a televised rally in 2012.
And they sought the dismissal of a Marine who used his Facebook account to criticize President Obama, according to reports.
"Unquestionably, service members can exercise their right to vote and carry out their obligations of citizenship," she said. But a clear line must be drawn between their service and their support for any particular candidate.Wait one sec here. We saw 40 odd retired Generals/Admirals supporting Bush when he was running for office. We saw the games that were played with the Swift Boat Group against Gore (hey I don't like the guy but fair is fair).
That means any soldiers or airmen who attend Trump's rally may face disciplinary action if they do so in uniform.
"This includes active, reserve and even retired service members," Douglas said. "The key thing is we want to avoid the perception of the Department of Defense implying endorsement of any candidates or causes."
Either way, its apparent that the natives are restless and the last thing the Army wants is a bunch of Paratroopers and SOCOM personnel cheering at a Trump rally....oh and you can bet a prized body part that Trump will take the time to identify and praise current and former members of the military...and the news media will run with the meme that the US Army is in full revolt and supporting Trump.