Tag Archives: political activities

US Soldier Forced Out over Religion, Sues US Army

US Army Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers made waves last year when he said he faced retribution from the Army for political bumper stickers, reading conservative political books, and serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his promotion party after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Those controversies apparently boiled over into what the Army called a substandard performance evaluation (which MSgt Sommers contested). The poor evaluation triggered a review of his continued enlistment, and he was recommended for discharge — even as his other appeals were still being processed. Since he was eligible to retire, he was essentially forced to do so.

The day after he retired, he filed a lawsuit claiming he was forced out of the military due to his religious beliefs.

Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers, a 25-year veteran of the military and a decorated soloist in the U.S. Army Band Chorus, claims he was forcibly retired from the Army due to his religious and conservative political beliefs.

MSgt Sommers may have one of the stronger cases Read more

AMPA Lobbies with Uniformed US Troops

The Arizona legislature recently passed a religious liberty bill and sent it to the desk of Governor Jan Brewer. The bill would have, by some interpretations, protected Arizona citizens who declined to affirm homosexuality based on religious grounds.  Governor Brewer vetoed the bill.

During the few days between the legislature passing the bill and the Governor’s veto, the American Military Partner Association, a homosexual advocacy group for the US military, took to Facebook to encourage its members to call Governor Brewer’s office in opposition to the bill — and the AMPA used the images of uniformed service members to do so:

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Fort Bragg Atheists Test Military Politicking Rules

Some may have assumed that with a Democratic President (and the stereotype that the US military leans Republican/conservative), most of those testing the limits of permissible political activities or commentary would be “right wing” or conservatives.

They would be wrong.

The blog for the Rock Beyond Belief event organized by Justin Griffith at Fort Bragg recently posted an article about North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which would modify the NC State Constitution to say the only domestic legal union in the state is Read more

DoD: Corporal “Potentially” Violated Regulations

The Department of Defense put out an unusually rapid (and blunt) assessment of US Army Corporal Jesse Thorsen’s stint at the Ron Paul rally a few days ago.  In an article that covered the general restrictions of military service and political activities, the DoD said

A combat engineer assigned to the 416th Theater Engineer Company potentially violated these rules Jan. 3 when he stepped onto a stage at Ron Paul’s headquarters in Ankeny, Iowa, during the Iowa Caucus to offer a personal endorsement.

However, it also specifically noted Thorsen was not on active duty at the time, contrary to the CNN reports at the time:  Read more

Facebook Effect: Corporal May Face Sanction over Ron Paul Rally

Update: US Rep Mike Hoffman (R-CO) has said troops need to be reminded of the rules involving political participation.  As noted below, there were already some official military articles on the subject.

US Army Corporal Jesse Thorsen made a name for himself Tuesday night, for better or worse.  He appeared on CNN and onstage endorsing the political candidacy of Ron Paul while he was wearing his Army fatigues.

Unlike the mystical machinations of Chris Rodda, in which she says military officers violate regulations when they express their faith on the internet, there is actually an explicit Department of Defense Directive on this type of conduct (barring an unknown mitigating factor on the Corporal’s part).  From DoDD 1344.10 (Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces, found here), an active duty military member “shall not”  Read more