Skip to comments.Discharge suggested for anti-war Marine
Posted on 06/05/2007 6:14:59 AM PDT by Racehorse
A military panel recommended that an Iraq war veteran who wore his uniform during an anti-war protest should lose his honorable discharge status, brushing away his claims that he was exercising his right to free speech.
Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, argued that since he removed his name tag and military emblems from his uniform, he did nothing wrong by participating in the March protest in Washington, D.C.
. . . a three-person Marine board recommended he receive a general discharge under honorable conditions, one step below an honorable discharge. It would let Kokesh keep all of his benefits.
. . .
"This is a nonpunitive discharge," said Col. Patrick McCarthy, chief of staff for the mobilization command. "The most stringent discharge that could have been received is other than honorable, and the board chose to raise that up to a general discharge."
After the hearing, Kokesh criticized the panel for not taking a stronger stand on the issue. He said he might appeal the board's ruling.
"I do not think it was in the Marine Corps spirit to take the easy road or to not take a stand. In the words of Dante, the hottest layers of hell are reserved for those who in times of moral crisis maintain their neutrality, and I think that's what happened here today."
. . . he was identified in a photo caption in The Washington Post. A superior officer sent him a letter saying he might have violated a rule prohibiting troops from wearing uniforms without authorization. Kokesh had already received an honorable discharge from active duty before he was photographed at the protest.
An investigating officer had recommended that the board immediately discharge Kokesh under other-than-honorable conditions, the toughest such penalty it could impose.
(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...
“and the board chose to raise that up to a general discharge.”
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
If you are disappointed in this, you will be even more disappointed when he wins his appeal and this decision is overturned.
That’s what I think will happen.
He was already out (discharged) when he did this?
If so I see no reason to change his discharge status. JMHO
He was still in the reserves.
The military really stresses this during basic training and I was briefed again before I was discharged. You can't wear your uniform during any protests, political activities, or activities that would bring disgrace on the service - even after you're discharged.
OK, he was in the reserves. I will agree that when still in service you should not do as he did.
But once discharged and no insignia what is the diff? Heck you can go into any Army/Navy store and buy pretty much any uni you want.
BTW just so you know, I was in the USArmy for 10 years (73-83) and was a Drill Sergeant.
A “release from active duty” and a discharge are two different things. When folks sign up for a 4-year enlistment, they are really in for 6 years. They are released from active duty after 4 years. The last two years are in the inactive reserves, meaning you check in with your local reserve center and then go home but the possibility of recall remains for two years. There is a briefing you have to go through that covers protesting in uniform. It’s a definite no-no.
As stated above I was in the service myself and I understand the rules. That is why I aked if he was discharged.
Thats what I think will happen.
UCMJ 1-802. 2. PERSONS SUBJECT TO THIS CHAPTER
BTW, I may have told you this before, my Senior Drill Instructor on Parris Island in 1989 drove a red Fiero.
“What has happened to others who have protested in uniform?”
I’m not sure. I was in personnel in the Navy during the Gulf War. I did process a few OTH discharges but none for protesting in uniform. DUI, homosexual, UA, stuff like that. Oh, and the guy who couldn’t keep it in his pants and got like 4 girls pregnant.
There was a Perot rally near our base. We were told that if we wanted to go, not to be in uniform. Obviously, nobody felt froggy enough to disobey that order.
He knew he shouldn’t have participated in the protest.
He took his hardware off his uniform
He disgraced himself by doing that
He knew the rules
He broke them anyway
He DIDN’T get what he deserved
He should have been dishonorable discharged.
How can he get what he did and still receive his benefits when he was protesting against the very thing he was serving for? His peers are dying and he is wearing his uniform without his medals and protesting?
I am shocked at the Marine Corps for being weak on this issue. It is shameful!
“If you are disappointed in this, you will be even more disappointed when he wins his appeal and this decision is overturned.”
Since he was not Court martial ed there can be no Appeal. The reviewing General or Bush lol, might overturn it but as I understand it this type of discharge cannot be appealed.
OK then...as a DI you know that if you order your recruits to place their toothbrushes in their foot lockers with the bristles facing to the right and any recruit were to fail to comply that recruit would be subject to punishment under the UCMJ for failure to obey a lawful order.
This Marine..who *is* subject to the UCMJ...violated rules set forth by either the DoD or the Department of the Navy (not sure which) regarding how and when he can and cannot wear the uniform of the United States Marine Corps.
Would you care to hazard a guess as to why the UCMJ forbids the wearing of a military uniform at any event that could be considered "political"?
I have to agree that the Marine should not have been punished, but solely because this is an unfair application of the regulation. That is, for many years it has been the practice that removal of insignia made a military uniform “just clothes”.
This came about because of the sale of enormous amounts of surplus military clothing for civilian use.
Plus, there is the additional problem that there is a consensus that especially decorated combat veterans should be allowed to wear their old uniforms for any number of public occasions.
And though these Marines might be subject to recall, since they were not on active duty *and* made the standard gesture of removing all insignia, accepted as compliance with the rules, they should not be held accountable.
On appeal, it should be overturned. But the appellate authority, if it chooses to do so, should publish that the rules have been changed, and that the policy will now be enforced.
This will also have to be determined individually by the other military branches, unless a Pentagon determination is made, or a directive issued by the SecDef.
As he was (is) still in the service, yes there is a problem.
When I was released in ‘89 (Honorably)I was told that if I wanted to wear my uniform in public all insignia must be removed. This was by the separations NCOIC.
“I do believe the 6 year requirement is now 8 years.”
You know, I was thinking about that. I think that actually started when I was in but did not apply to me.
It’s borderline treason if you ask me.
They’ll probably give him a 39-8. Discharge other than honorable.
But I don’t think he was referring to my dress uniform but my O.D work uniform.
Was he in the IRR? Yup - but was he paid? Nope.
Did he report for drill? Nope.
Does he have a DD form 214 in possession? I suspect that answer is yes.
The cat was no more in the Crotch then I was in the Army while the draft was active. The IRR is a contact option for the Corps to recall trained employees (yah, I know) - not everyone on IRR is recalled. UCMJ doesn't apply IMO.
Sorry - points go to the First Amendment.
Your interpretation is correct.
Equality 7-2521: Your interpretation is correct.
I'm no expert on the Marine Corps nor the UCMJ. Lord knows I'm not. But neither do I understand your posts.
Unless there was something you were responding to in Popocatapetl's post that I can't connect to, I don't see how your interpretation could possibly be correct.
If the Corporal is assigned to the Individual Ready Reserve, he is a Marine. He is in The Crotch.
Under certain circumstances, his civilian conduct can get his current status and future discharge reviewed. I'm not sure who composed this board or who the convening authority was, but in determining characterization of discharge, the following paragraph appears in the Marine Corps Separation and Retirement Manual (as of 30 May 2001):
1004.4.d. Conduct by Reservists. Conduct in the civilian community by a member of the inactive reserves (including the Individual Ready Reserve) who, at the time of the conduct, is not on active duty, or active duty for training, may form the basis for characterization under other than honorable conditions only if such conduct directly affects the performance of military duties (service related). Such conduct may form the basis of characterization as general (under honorable conditions) only if such conduct adversely affects the overall effectiveness of the Marine Corps including military morale and efficiency.
I cite this paragraph only to contend that the Corporal's conduct placed him under the jurisdiction of the Marine Corps. Maybe some military legal type might step in to set things straight for us.
I dont understand..does this give him a felony conviction?
Each of the conditions has to be met. They are in order:
Member's of the IRR have very few military duties. Really, the only duties that they have is to hold onto their uniforms (or at least have a complete inventory if recalled) and ID card, update their contact information when necessary, and show up once per year for a physical. That's it. Protesting in part of a uniform does not affect any of those duties.
I hope that helps.
IRR do not get paid. IRR mostly have a DD214 - a Military discharge form.
The :Reservists: you quoted about perform duty and get paid. The whole “two weeks and one weekend” thing.
The UCMJ is kinda funny in many ways. Bottom line, ya gotta be a paid member of the military. As a retiree, I could get called back to active duty (doubtful for an old fart like me) for something or the other and
this is important
I get paid every month, regular as clockwork - so in theory, the UCMJ could be applied to my tired backside. But I am such an old fart, I still believe in the USofA, patriotism and all that....