Possible Dismissal For Marine Sergeant After Facebook Post That He’d Disobey Commander-In-Chief
Marine Sergeant Gary Stein started an anti-Obama Facebook group and now faces possible dismissal after he posted that he might not follow what he deems unlawful orders.
The Marines on Wednesday told Sgt. Gary Stein – a Camp Pendleton Marine who started the Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party – that he is in violation of Pentagon policy barring troops from political activities.
Stein, a nine-year member of the Corps, said he started the page to encourage fellow service members to exercise their free speech rights. He has also criticized Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for his comments on Syria.
Stein says he’s standing up for his free speech rights, but that may not work in the military.
According to Pentagon directives, military personnel in uniform cannot sponsor a political club; participate in any TV or radio program or group discussion that advocates for or against a political party, candidate or cause; or speak at any event promoting a political movement. Commissioned officers also may not use contemptuous words against senior officials, including the defense secretary or the president.