Clothed in the cloth

Politicians have always sought to wrap themselves in the military and the flag.  The recent crisis of political identity has various politicians mistating or failing to correct their military record.  Here is a reminder to those in uniform that active duty military have some restrictions on what they can say or do in the political fights.  I posted on this earlier, but here is a Navy Times report that:

The Pentagon said Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk has been cautioned twice for improperly mingling politics with his military service, but Kirk’s campaign denied any improper conduct Tuesday.

The Defense Department said Monday night that Kirk, a commander in the Navy Reserve, was warned after two incidents of political activity while he was on active duty. Before being allowed to go on active duty again in Afghanistan, Kirk was required to sign a statement acknowledging he knew to avoid all political work.

A writer in has this to say:

As a former member of the United States military, I am disturbed by the current political commercial portraying a U.S. Army soldier endorsing U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett for South Carolina governor. Although I assume the “soldier” is a paid actor, Rep. Barrett, as a former member of the U.S. military, should be fully aware that such activity portrayed by the actor would, if an actual soldier, be in direct violation of U.S. Department of Defense Directive Number 1344.10. Section 4.1.2 of this directive expressly prohibits the actions portrayed by Rep. Barrett’s actor. For such a “soldier” to engage in this commercial would be to subject himself to court-martial.

Each service has their own regulations in addition to the DODD referenced above.

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