Posted on Jan 1, 2021
SFC Kathy Pepper
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When I was in Basic Training in 1981, our Drill Sergeant told us that we may not speak against the President because he is our boss; over the next 35 years, I heard only one Soldier make an offensive comment. I have been reading opinions about LTC Alexander Vindman, and have seen Trump being both vilified and deified. Is it considered okay to make disrespectful comments when one is no longer active?
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Responses: 61
MAJ Dale E. Wilson, Ph.D.
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Maybe Douglas MacArthur, James Mattis, or John Kelly will weigh in on this. Seriously, though, for all the complaints about Trump's "thin skin," he has been remarkably tolerant of the vituperation heaped upon him.

I suspect many of us critical of the president elect, the left in general and of a Christian conservative bent are going to find out when Big Tech and the DOJ finish their review of our social media footprint. . . .
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CPL Henry Miller
CPL Henry Miller
3 mo
See case of Major General Edwin Walker my Divisional CO in Germany. At the time of the founding of the John Birch Society. He pushed 'Birch written material on the troops.
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Frank Leverett
Frank Leverett
3 mo
This is exactly it! Twitter and FB started it before 20 Jan, banning President Trump, and then ramping up their "if you defy us you're banned." Schumer of the "I want to restrict free speech" fame is now "Majority leader" and you will see attempts to repeal or amend certain rights, then, the SHTF.
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SGT Richard McArthur
SGT Richard McArthur
3 mo
Once out of the military, one is no longer bound by guidelines or restrictions that apply to the military. In short, Sgt. R.P. McArthur (discharged) can make any comments I want on a President etc. Of course, if they are defamatory and false, I can be sued; if I incite violence, I might be prosecuted. But that has nothing to do with my brief service.
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SPC Edward Oliver
SPC Edward Oliver
3 mo
but if you are drawing pension better check deep deep deep.
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Capt Gregory Prickett
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The UCMJ prohibits serving officers from using "contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Homeland Security. . . ." (Art. 88, UCMJ). An enlisted member would be charged under the general article, art. 134.

But the UCMJ doesn't apply to reservists who are not on duty. So reservists can do so to their hearts content.
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LTC Michael Parker
LTC Michael Parker
1 mo
The UCMJ, to include Article 88, applies to all those receiving pay to include retired pay.
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Lt Col Timothy Cassidy-Curtis
Lt Col Timothy Cassidy-Curtis
1 mo
LTC Michael Parker - Mike, this is an interesting argument. If we were to take note of all the military members (mostly, former GO's) who criticized President Trump, would it be fair to say that they could run afoul of Article 88? While President Trump is no longer in office, if the statement was made anytime during Trump's Term, would it be a problem? Could it be pursued? (I'm speaking hypothetically, of course.)
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Capt Gregory Prickett
Capt Gregory Prickett
4 d
LTC Michael Parker - No, it doesn't. Read all of Article 2, UCMJ. I'm a retired reservist, receiving retirement pay, and I'm not subject to the UCMJ.
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Capt Gregory Prickett
Capt Gregory Prickett
4 d
Lt Col Timothy Cassidy-Curtis - the statute of limitations under the UCMJ is normally 5 years to court-martial the individual, 2 years for an Article 15.
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Cpl Software Engineer
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I've seen a few of our active duty members make some questionable comments about the current president. The UCMJ seems to be a suggestion for the modern military. The type of comments I see today would have AD's in some hot water just 30 years ago.
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1LT Human Resources Officer
1LT (Join to see)
3 mo
Cpl (Join to see) You seemed more fair and on task at first and then you took your hard turn off the road. This thread isn't about the man, it's about the office...and what holds true for any person in that office. Most of us have had enough of the presidential election urinating contest...your preferred choice of the two isn't relevant to this conversation. I am under president number 4, two dems 2 repubs. I don't like Soldiers disparaging the POTUS in uniform and on duty, hasn't mattered whether I like the guy or not. Didn't like it under Bush, Obama, Trump and now Biden. See how doable that is?
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George Avery
George Avery
3 mo
Cpl (Join to see) - On the other hand, the Articles of War existed back to the Revolution. For example, Article 62 of the 1912-1920 revision of the Army Articles specifically addressed disrespect to the President, Vice President, and Secretary of War. Article 5 of the Civil War era version stated that "Any officer or soldier who shall use contemptuous or disrespectful words against the President of the United States, against the Vice-President thereof, against Congress of the United States, or against the Chief Magistrate or Legislature of any of the United States, in which he may be quartered, if a commissioned officer, shall be cashiered, or otherwise be punished, as a courts-martial shall direct; if a non-commissioned officer or soldier, he shall suffer such punishment as shall be inflicted on him by the sentence of a court-martial."

In essence, nothing has changed about the status of disrespectful conduct towards the President. Remember, military law did not begin with the National Security Act of 1947.
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SSgt Jendayi Saada
SSgt Jendayi Saada
1 mo
Cpl (Join to see) No, they just tried to deny his eligibility for office by fabricated the birther lie that he wasn’t born in America.
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Cpl Software Engineer
Cpl (Join to see)
1 mo
jendayi, sorry you've been fed a load of bull? The story actually began in Illinois in 2004. Hllary's camp started using it because Obama begin taking her spotlight. The media blamed republicans during the 2008 election to create hatred to generate votes for their choice of a democrat candidate. Please do some research.

https://www.politico.com/story/2011/04/birtherism-where-it-all-began-053563
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