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Marine Corps Publishes Election Season Tips

Tips posted on the Marines Blog keep the service members from commenting on political sites and even tweeting at partisan accounts.

The Marine Corps publishes a blog Wednesday highlighting the restrictions Marines have during the election season.

Online, Marines may not comment on political websites or even “tweet” at partisan Twitter accounts.

The tips were published more than a month after the Department of Defense pulled a public service announcement featuring a former Camp Pendleton Marine who was booted for comments critical of the president on the Facebook page Armed Forces Tea Party.

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Also in July, a PSA written by Marines mocked a soldier who got in trouble in January for endorsing in uniform then-presidential candidate Ron Paul.

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Marines’ offline lives are also different in election season than for civilians. They are not allowed to imply Department of Defense sponsorship of partisan politics, wear uniform to political events or distribute literature for a candidate.

The Marines, however, are allowed to vote, donate to candidates and express personal opinions.  The blog post also encourages them to keep junior enlisted members from being coerced

Related Resource: Voting and registration information for Marine families

Editor’s note: Accompanying this article are the Marine Corp’s dos and don’t as well a PDF of DoD Directive 1344.10, “Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces on Active Duty.”

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David B Secor August 30, 2012 at 04:44 PM
While it's important that active duty personnel understand the constraints imposed regarding politics and political campaigns, it is most important that they register and VOTE. One of the two candidates for the House of Representatives will be your voice in helping shape our foreign policy, whether Marines remain in Afghanistan, whether we put boots on the ground as a first response or only as a last resort, whether DoD focuses first on weapons systems or the well-being of our troops and their families, whether the Congress actively presses for greater attention and access to quality care both for those on active duty and vets and their families, with better oversight to assure needs are being met. These issues are not something to just talk about. They will shape your life and that of your family while you are on active duty, and determine how you will be treated as a veteran. Both candidates have been in war. One recently in Iraq/Afghanistan with the Marine Corps, and one in Vietnam in 1968 with the 1st Air Cavalry Division. They have very different views regarding issues important to you and the nation going forward. Ask questions of the candidates. Tell them of the your concerns and expectations. This is important: Your congressman is not the people's boss. He is their employee. His sole business will be to represent your best interests, and that of the nation. Register, and VOTE. You are still the one power greater than money in politics today.
Gary Stein August 30, 2012 at 05:43 PM
The notes on commenting on Social Media pages is completely unconstitutional. There is no regulation that prohibits Military members for simply commenting on a social media page. The Marine Corps continues to use scare tactics to hinder the 1st amendment rights of service members.
Gary Stein August 30, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Under these regulations you CAN express your personal views on political candidates on social media... wait... Wait...... I was discharged for that very thing!!! Obama is a Political Candidate!!!

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