Oregon National Guardsman Disciplined For Facebook Post On 'Executing' Migrant Families

news
A woman dressed in a Stars and Stripes motif pantsuit and a klansman hood, takes part in a protest against immigration policies in front of the United States Embassy in Mexico City, Thursday, June 21, 2018.
Associated Press/Moises Castillo

An Oregon Army National Guardsman is being disciplined for posting "they're lucky we aren't executing them" on a viral Facebook fundraiser for immigrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.


Gerod Martin, a military police officer who has been part of the Guard since December 2013, commented on the social media campaign sometime Wednesday, said Maj. Stephen Bomar, a spokesman for the Oregon Military Department. The Oregon National Guard became aware of the post sometime after, when others noticed Martin dressed in military uniform in his avatar and cover photo, and informed the agency.

"Waste of money...." Martin wrote in the comments for "Reunite an immigrant parent with their child," which has raised more than $17.5 million from over 462,000 donors since started by a California couple Saturday. "They're lucky we aren't executing them." The money is intended for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

Bomar confirmed Martin, 21, admitted to posting the comment. He wouldn't elaborate on what discipline Martin will face but said the "large outcry" from the post spread to members of Martin's outpost.

"This is a horrible thing that he posted, we all know that," Bomar said. "It's unacceptable, horrific and doesn't reflect the values of our organization as a whole."

Martin has apparently scrubbed his Facebook page. Screenshots of his comment and his Facebook page with him in uniform have been distributed on social media. In it, Martin identified himself as living in Salem and "just a young buck serving his country." He could not be reached for comment.

Martin has First Amendment rights like any U.S. citizen and can take part in social media, Bomar said, but he violated the social media policies of the national guard, the Army and the Department of Defense with his comment.

"You can't endorse any sort of political action while in uniform," Bomar said. "You always have to think before you post. Sometimes you can get caught up in the moment, but it's not an excuse."

———

©2018 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

U.S. Airmen from the 22nd Airlift Squadron practice evasive procedures in a C-5M Super Galaxy over Idaho Dec. 9, 2019. The flight included simulated surface-to-air threats that tested their evasion capabilities. (Air Force photo/Senior Airman Amy Younger)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As many as 380 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan – which has nearly 300 passengers who have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, now known as COVID-19 – will be extracted Sunday from Yokohama and flown to Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield and a Texas base for further quarantine.

Read More

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

After whiffing on its recruiting goal in 2018, the Army has been trying new approaches to bring in the soldiers it needs to reach its goal of 500,000 in active-duty service by the end of the 2020s.

The 6,500-soldier shortfall the service reported in September 2018 was its first recruiting miss since 2005 and came despite it putting $200 million into bonuses and issuing extra waivers for health issues or bad conduct.

Within a few months of that disappointment, the Army announced it was seeking soldiers for an esports team that would, it said, "build awareness of skills that can be used as professional soldiers and use [its] gaming knowledge to be more relatable to youth."

Read More

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico Army National Guard soldier from Mountainair, who served as a police officer and volunteer firefighter in the town, died Thursday from a non-combat related incident while deployed in Africa, according to the Department of Defense.

A news release states Pfc. Walter Lewark, 26, died at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti where he was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in the Horn of Africa.

Read More

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is requesting about as much money for overseas operations in the coming fiscal year as in this one, but there is at least one noteworthy new twist: the first-ever Space Force request for war funds.

Officials say the $77 million request is needed by Oct. 1 not for space warfare but to enable military personnel to keep operating and protecting key satellites.

Read More

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Thursday accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and helping Iran track protesters in its latest indictment against the Chinese company, escalating the U.S. battle with the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker.

In the indictment, which supersedes one unsealed last year in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Huawei Technologies Co was charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from six U.S. technology companies and to violate a racketeering law typically used to combat organized crime.

Read More