The Navy’s Social Media Rules Suck The Fun Out Of The 2016 Election

Students learn Morse code while attending the first revised Basic Manual Morse Trainer (BMMT) course at the Center for Information Dominance (CID) Unit Corry Station.
Navy photo by Information Systems Technician 1st Class Kristin Carter

The same office in the Navy that tried to ban service members from participating in March Madness gambling just released a list of “Dos and Don’ts for Voicing Your Political Opinion on Social Media” for anyone who might get the wrong idea about how to exercise their right to free speech during the upcoming election season.

The memo suggests that while “active-duty Sailors may generally express their personal views about public issues or political candidates using social media,” they must make it very clear that these are individual stances, and not those of the Defense Department.

However, it also goes on to gently remind all active duty service members that partisan politics are strictly prohibited under DoD directive 1344.10.

Unfortunately, according to the memo, “active-duty service members may not engage in any partisan political activity such as posting or making direct links to a political party, partisan political candidate, campaign, group or cause. That’s the equivalent of distributing literature on behalf of those entities or individuals, which is prohibited.”

And furthermore, no active-duty service members are allowed to suggest that anyone “like” or “follow” political party, candidate, or movement pages on social media sites. Though they themselves are permitted to like or follow political entities on their own.

Related: Vets Need To Cool It With The Outrage On Social Media »

So if you were thinking about inviting everyone on your friend list to like “Bernie Sanders’ Dank Meme Stash” or “God Emperor Trump” pages on Facebook, just don’t.

In addition, DoD employees, though still restricted, are not held to the same standard as active-duty service members. And veterans who have separated are entitled to all the rights enumerated under the first amendment with regard to social media.

However, it is very important to the Navy that you know that while you can’t solicit on behalf on any political party, candidate, or movement, on social media, you should still go vote on November 8.

And for those that need voting information, visit DoD’s Federal Voting Assistance Program website.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach to whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year.

After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump didn't wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran.

But four days later, Trump has no timetable for action. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.

Read More Show Less

That sound you're hearing is Army senior leaders exhaling a sigh of relief, because the Army has surpassed its recruiting goal for the year.

After failing to meet recruiting goals in 2018, the Army put the pedal to the metal and "did some soul searching," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, to ensure that they'd meet their 2019 goal. It must have paid off — the service announced on Tuesday that more than 68,000 recruits have signed on as active-duty soldiers, and more soldiers have stuck around than they expected.

Read More Show Less

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.

"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."

Read More Show Less
Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego-based Navy SEAL acquitted of murder in a closely watched war crimes trial this summer has filed a lawsuit against two of his former attorneys and a military legal defense nonprofit, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Texas on Friday.

Read More Show Less

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — The Air Force is reviewing whether some airmen's valor awards deserve to be upgraded to the Medal of Honor, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said on Tuesday.

Goldfein revealed that several airmen are being considered for the nation's highest military award during a press conference at the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. He declined to say exactly who could receive the Medal of Honor, pending the outcome of the review process.

Read More Show Less