Category Archives: Military Regulations

Air Force Colonel Claims Heterosexual Discrimination

An Air Force Colonel with a long list of criminal charges says the charges of adultery — normally “add-on” charges — should be dropped, because they discriminate against heterosexuals:

Col. Eugene Marcus Caughey is headed for an August court-martial on charges of rape, assault, taking a dirty selfie and [six] adultery counts…

The military’s adultery law requires “sexual intercourse” as an element of guilt, which Read more

US Army Formally Defines “Online Misconduct”

In its continuing effort to deal with the ubiquitous presence of social media, the US Army recently published an ALARACT (All Army Activities) message (PDF) defining what constitutes actionable “misconduct”:

Online misconduct, it says, is “the use of electronic communication to inflict harm. Examples include, but are not limited to: harassment, bullying, hazing, stalking, discrimination, retaliation, or any other types of misconduct that undermine dignity and respect.”

The Army’s efforts are admirable, but it remains to be seen whether the changes can be fairly implemented without the appearance of selective enforcement — or how the new efforts to “monitor” social media will be viewed among privacy and liberty advocates. Notably, the Army aimed its sights not at just those who misbehave online, but also those who don’t misbehave but somehow “condone” such action [emphasis added]:  Read more

Air Force Publishes AFI 1-2, Commander’s Responsibilities

To mixed reviews, the Air Force Chief of Staff has published a second Air Force Instruction, AFI 1-2, Commander’s Responsibilities, which lays out the expectations and responsibilities of commanders.

To some extent, it may permit the Air Force to describe why commanders get fired. As opposed to “loss of confidence,” the AF can now say they violated a specific provision of AFI 1-2.

The AFI contains a few notable phrases, starting with a quote from Title 10 [emphasis added]:

2.2. …All commanding officers and others in authority in the Air Force are required:

(3) to guard against and suppress all dissolute and immoral practices, and to correct, according to the laws Read more

US Military Tries to Wrap Arms Around Social Media

A series of locally produced public affairs articles by the DoD have tried to encourage troops to use ‘better judgment’ when it comes to social media — following a spate of ‘scandals’ in which US troops have brought less than positive attention to the military. One was an old photo of an Airman ‘kissing’ a POW/MIA painting; another, an Airman who flaunted avoiding saluting during retreat. Others have included irreverent photos of training for Honor Guard details — which included the sensitive images of flag-draped caskets.

The articles have taken the same general, and generally unhelpful, tone: ‘Please be careful’ — but offering little else in terms of specific guidance. In fact, the authors — generally young military Public Affairs officers — often venture into the untenable. Quoting a local Med Group First Sergeant, one said:

Before posting something, think, ‘Would my base commander approve of this post if it made it onto [a television channel]?’

The brackets probably originally said “CNN,” as a First Sergeant Read more

Military Opinions, Politics Meet Again in Syria

There are regulatory restrictions on what members of the US military are allowed to say and do when it comes to politics.  With that in mind, there have been interesting displays from people in the US military (or claiming to be) over the proposed strikes on Syria.

For example, who would have thought a Soldier would publicly say this [emphasis added]:

As a soldier, I understand that before any military action, our nation must have a clear tactical objective, a realistic strategy, the necessary resources to execute that strategy — including the support of the American people — and an exit plan.  The proposed military action against Syria fails to meet any of these criteria.”

That was Read more

JAG: Military May Not be able to Ban Offensive Websites

In the middle of the ongoing discussion about US military troops and their use of social media comes an interesting piece at the Marine Corps Times, where former military JAGs make the case that the Marines may not be able to police troops’ use of certain websites, despite their implication they may try to do so.

The impetus behind the discussion are generally certain Facebook pages that were denigrating toward female Marines.  Said General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps:

In a May 29 letter to Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., Gen. Jim Amos denounced Facebook pages and other social media Read more

Military Death Sentence Overturned, and its Implications on Hasan

The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned the death penalty sentence of former Marine Lance Cpl. Kenneth G. Parker:

The court threw out Parker’s conviction for one of the two murders and reassessed his sentence for the other crime. The decision continues a trend of military death sentences being overturned on appeal — 11 out of 16 death sentences since 1984. The last military execution occurred in 1961.

Parker’s crime occurred in 1992.

The ruling was made  Read more

New Rules: US Troops Banned from Political Facebook Pages

If you’re a member of the US military and you’ve ever Facebook “Liked” President Barack Obama or Governor Mitt Romney, you’d better pay attention, because the Department of Defense just issued guidance that restricts that very thing.

Contrary to the conclusions of a prior article, the US DoD has just recently published official guidance on “political activities” in association with social media, and they’re fairly explicit.  The undated but very recently released “2012 Public Affairs Guidance for Political Campaigns and Elections” says:

  • You can express yourself on issues and candidates:

An [active duty] Service member may generally express his or her own personal views on public issues or political candidates via social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, or personal Blogs, much the same as they would be permitted to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper.

  • But, if you are “reasonably identifiable” as a member of the military, Read more
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