Posted on Mar 19, 2016
1SG Current Operations (Cuops)
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
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Because Service Members are allowed to speak their minds just like regular Citizens. The UCMJ places hard limits on what some of those things are in regards to "Disrespect of a Superior Commissioned Officer" and "Disrespect of a Public Official" (which doesn't apply to Enlisted).

We're fully allowed to question "policy" decisions. I can say "that's a stupid decision" from a POLICY standpoint all day long. It's when I attack the MAN, we get into some real gray area.

Additionally, we're sworn to the Constitution, and one of the things enshrined in it is "non-interference" by the government in matters of Speech. That means neither Compelled nor Restricted Speech. The military keeps out mouth shut under the caveat of "good order and discipline" and unless the Speech actually violates that, it should be handled "informally" as opposed to "formally."
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SFC Marcus Belt
SFC Marcus Belt
7 y
This is the correct answer. If I'd read it first, I would have saved myself some typing.
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SGT C Mendez
SGT C Mendez
>1 y
Well said Sergeant.
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SPC Douglas Hemmingway
SPC Douglas Hemmingway
>1 y
Roger that Sergeant Kennedy, the advantage those of us out of the Service now have is that we can speak our opinions of those leading the nation a little more openly than we could while still under the authority of the UCMJ. This is one point where I am not so upset that all my service was as an M-Day Army National Guard soldier. If I voice my opinion about a given official or officer the powers that be can't hold any VA benefits hostage. Since I don't have any activations other than Basic Training and AIT and roughly fourteen annual trainings I am not eligible for said benefits. Even today if you are ARNG or ANG you need to have six or more consecutive months active duty per deployment to qualify or have retired after twenty or thirty years of honorable service.
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Capt Tom Brown
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Many have found out the hard way in the civilian world posting bad or negative opinions about their boss on FB is not a real good idea, even in these times of free speech. No employer no matter how generous can sit by and allow himself and the company to be hit with snarky remarks on social media made by his/her employees. While a person's speech is free people are still accountable in some fashion or another for what they say. The services seem to be pretty generous in what they will take from SMs before putting a foot down. Ask Gen McChrystal about free speech in front of the press.
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Capt Tom Brown
Capt Tom Brown
7 y
CSM William Payne Exactly and well said.
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Capt Tom Brown
Capt Tom Brown
7 y
MSG (Join to see) - Same thing here. People are serious about this sort of thing.
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Cpl Rodney Patterson
Cpl Rodney Patterson
7 y
Sadly, so many people think free speech means saying whatever you want without any consequences.
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SPC Eric Cunningham
SPC Eric Cunningham
>1 y
While I agree with much of the sentiments under this thread, I do have to point out that freedom of speech is freedom from government persecution due to your speech. A civilian employee is not the government and operates on a free market, dependent on reputation for their continued existence. The military is not and is in a grey area as to what is government infringement on speech in their reactions to SM statements. Additionally, the issue with yelling fire when there is no fire is not a restriction on the speech itself, but liability for the physical damage caused or reasonably predicted to be caused by an action - much like actually setting a fire in a crowded theater.
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LTC Hardware Test Engineer
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maybe we need a new branch: Social Media Surveillance. the branch insignia could be a blue falcon.....
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CPT Management Analyst
CPT (Join to see)
7 y
Concur. Of course in the era of precious snowflakes and appeasement, where we are too worried that our Soldiers aren't cultural warriors, and being a warrior is now frowned upon, Social Media Surveillance is likely the next step.

And for the record, the federal government is moving towards that as a part of background investigations. The Army tried it as a pilot program, but they didn't like what was being revealed. I think our manpower would have taken to great a hit.
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