At times, the military has struggled with how to deal with social media, banning access to it from government computers at one point, then specifically allowing access to Facebook at another. In the same vein, some servicemembers have had adverse action over their activities on the internet, including a Marine discharged over comments about President Obama and a Twitter ‘oops’ by another Marine — while the military simultaneously encourages its troops to “engage” in social media for family, health, morale, and even public relations reasons.
A recent statement by the Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Office attempted to lend more thought to the sometimes confusing area, noting that servicemembers are free to express themselves, within some fairly liberal limits: Read more…
A USA Today article (reprinted at Stars and Stripes) takes an interesting look at the US military’s war “front” on social media. The topic is obviously how it deals with the enemy who attempts to use social media to its advantage; the application to the military’s “domestic” issues, however, is intriguing [emphasis added]:
Websites associated with militant groups typically take responsibility for attacks whether or not they had anything to do with them.
But most of the information they provide is either exaggerated or false…
“Insurgents have always wanted to make themselves look like winners,” [RAND analyst Christopher] Paul said. “The Internet Read more…
In the ongoing saga of the US military and social media, SSgt Suneel Mehta is reportedly going to be punished for making a racially charged “tweet” referencing the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman controversy.
The Twitter message came to light when an anonymous person “reported” it to the Marine Corps Times.
Mehta apologized, deleted Read more…
The US Marine’s top lawyer has recommended the Department of Defense update its policies on political activities to reflect social media.
[Maj. Gen. Vaughn Ary's] letter stated that Marine Corps staff was being instructed to contact the Defense Department to recommend an update to “provide service members with additional guidance on how to use social media in a responsible manner.”
The Marine Times notes the likely reason for the call for policy change: Read more…
Categories: Fighter Pilot duncan hunter, eugene fidell, facebook, gary stein, james baehr, john torresala, marines, Military, Obama, social media, vaughn ary, yale
Joined by the ACLU, US Marine Sgt Gary Stein sued the US military yesterday seeking an injunction that would prevent or delay the Marines’ effort to discharge him. Judge Marilyn Huff denied the injunction he requested, saying he did not show he would suffer irreparable harm from the separation board, which leaves open the possibility he can gain an injunction should the board recommend discharge.
His administrative discharge hearing is scheduled for today, though an actual decision by the responsible authority would likely occur later.
The lawsuit can be viewed here. Within it, Stein makes interesting allegations, Read more…
US Rep Duncan Hunter, R-CA, has called on Col Christopher Dowling to end the administrative discharge proceedings against Marine Sgt Gary Stein. Dowling had recommended Stein be administratively separated after he allegedly violated the UCMJ in his activities on Facebook.
Hunter, a Marine reservist and combat veteran, sent a letter to Col. Christopher Dowling on Tuesday urging the Corps to withdraw the discharge proceedings against Stein.
The board was supposed to meet last Saturday but was rescheduled to later this week.
Categories: Fighter Pilot blog, christopher dowling, dodd 1344.10, duncan hunter, facebook, gary stein, marines, Military, politics, social media, ucmj
US Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA), himself a Reserve Marine, has come to the defense of SGT Gary Stein, a Marine who faces an administrative discharge for comments he posted online.
Sgt Stein reportedly posted comments saying he would not obey the orders of the President, and he later clarified his statement to say he would not obey unlawful orders from the President.
This Saturday Stein faces a panel that will determine if he should be administratively separated from the Marines: Read more…
Categories: Fighter Pilot blog, daniel yoo, dodd 1344.10, duncan hunter, facebook, gary stein, marines, Military, politics, social media, ucmj
Gary Stein has a “Tea Party” Facebook site. He’s also a US Marine. In 2010 it attracted the attention of the military, who wanted to make sure he knew the rules. He reviewed and acknowledged them, and the Facebook page continued, with the military’s awareness.
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.
“Military observers” is an awkward way of trying Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion ACLU, afi 51-902, army, carroll lefon, censor, dodd 1344.10, donald hoffman, facebook, free speech, gary stein, marines, Military, neptunus lex, Obama, Pentagon, social media, tea party
Admiral James G. Stavridis is the commander of US Navy European Command and is also Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. He recently spoke to students at the National Defense University, encouraging them to “read, think, write” – even blog:
Share your ideas in print — a scholarly journal, a military magazine, a literary journal, or even a blog post…Is there “career risk” Read more…