MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
As the time
draws near for U.S. citizens to cast their vote for the next President of the
United States, politicians have begun ramping up their campaign efforts.
With this in
mind, it is imperative for military members and federal employees alike to know
the do’s and don’ts for participating, advocating or supporting a political
party, partisan candidate or partisan political group.
of Defense encourages service members to continue carrying out the obligations
of citizenry by continuing to participate in permitted political activities,
like voting and making personal monetary donations.
Hatch Act, enforced by the U. S. Office of Special Counsel, provides guidance
that restricts federal employees from participating in or advocating for
political parties while in official uniform, on duty or in a federal building.
The act also informs federal employees that during times of liberty or while not
in a duty status, there are restrictions to publically supporting politicians.
today rely heavily on social media, political rallies and television networking
to advertise their policies and theories, and inform American citizens of their
With more than 1
billion people actively using social media, including service members from different
branches of the military, social media has become one of the prime mediums for
spreading political information and propaganda.
social media pages are directed toward sharing information about the agency’s
official business and mission and must remain politically neutral.
debates can be compelling, military members are restricted from posting or
liking campaign material or the website of a political party, partisan
candidate or partisan political group. Furthermore, the act restricts members
from sharing or re-sharing Facebook pages or any post on those pages.
employees are prohibited from engaging in political activities while in an
official capacity. This includes distributing, soliciting, receiving or
accepting political contributions.
climax and the time to vote draws near, becoming knowledgeable about the do’s
and don’ts of posting becomes vital. More detailed information and additional
references can be found at http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/defense_ethics/resource_library/deskbook/political_activities.pdf.