Skip to comments.Soldier fired for Obama critique
Posted on 04/06/2012 9:26:41 AM PDT by Mozilla
A US Marine faces possible dismissal after posting critical remarks on Facebook about US President Barack Obama, with a review board recommending a less than honorable discharge.
Sergeant Gary Stein (26) a nine-year veteran, posted comments on Facebook and other websites calling Obama a coward and "the economic and religious enemy," a Marine Corps board was told during an all-day hearing on Thursday.
Stein had urged Obama's defeat in the November election, writing "screw Obama" in one posting, and had founded a website called Armed Forces Tea Party, apparently in support of the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement.
On one site he sold bumper stickers reading "NOBAMA 2012."
The three-member board meeting at Camp Pendleton, a military base in southern California, announced its decision on Thursday. The final decision will be made by a commanding general.
Stein had no comment after the decision, but Mark Brewer, one of his civilian lawyers, said: "We're disappointed but we're going to keep fighting for this Marine."
During the hearing, Marine lawyers argued that Stein be booted over the remarks about Obama, who is the commander and chief of US armed forces.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.iafrica.com ...
First off, he’s not a soldier. He’s a Marine.
Enlisted military members aren’t fired, they’re discharged.
I enlisted in 1977, and even that farther back than that the policy was “thou shalt not speak ill of the commander in chief”.
It’s nothing new. He knew what the rules were, he broke them. What is new is that instead of grousing amongst ourselves (I served during Clinton...) we now have social media as a means of voicing our displeasure. He crossed the line.
Not making a right/wrong judgement here, it just is what it is.
You don’t have ‘rights’ in the military. Everyone knows that who has served.
Nevertheless, everything he said was true.
As a Marine, does he not have the obligation to protect the Constitution, even perhaps against attacks on it by the C-i-C?
“Not making a right/wrong judgement here, it just is what it is.”
I was in from 77-81. They made it abundantly clear that while the USA was a democracy, the military was not. It was also made very clear, if you didn’t like those above you in rank, that would include the president, keep your pie hole shut about it.
The guy messed up, he’s going to pay.
I agree with you Sandy. I’m not a military man myself, but Article 88 pretty clearly enumerates this as being verboten.
My question to you is this: can a CO or even the President issue a pardon or modify the soldier’s discharge papers to show an honorable discharge?
Seems like something that a right-minded president might do. Obama, being a narcissist, likely wants this kid to be his Vince Foster.
Yes, we are losing our freedoms but a member of the military should know better than to criticize the president on Facebook. This said: I detest the bastard in our Whitehouse.
The oath is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic... and to obey the orders of the President of the United States. (Interestingly, the officers’ oath does not include the line about obeying the orders of the President.)
If an illegal order had been issued and he refused to follow it, we would be having a different discussion. Badmouthing the commander in chief, especially after having been warned about it before, is prejudicial to good order and discipline and is a violation of the UCMJ.
Yes. He’s out.
I’ve yet to hear of anyone getting hired for something they posted on Facebook, but I’ve heard of quite a few getting fired because of it.
The recommendation of the admin discharge board is just that, a recommendation. The final decision rests with the Commanding General at MCRD, who could accept their recommendation or allow him to stay until his EAS in July. If he stays, it would allow him an honorable discharge with benefits.
My guess is he’ll go. He was warned, and didn’t heed the warning.
To the point.
"review board recommending a less than honorable discharge" That is just crap. How about an Administrative DC.
An Admin sep under honorable conditions seems better suited for this.
Heck, that AF General who called Clinton a "Draft dodging, dope smoking, womanizer... got to retire.
And he should have saved it for happy hour out in town with like-minded buddies. Not on social media for all to see.
Yes you are right. He shouldn’t be openly attacking the superior if he wants to stick around. There are rules to be obeys in the all the armed forces.
You are 100% correct.
Marines are NOT soldiers.
And this man knew the rules. The military is not a college campus of peace, love and “free” speech.
The Marine Corps has said it decided to take administrative action after Stein declared on Facebook that he would not follow orders from Obama and later clarified that statement saying he would not follow unlawful orders.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2012/04/05/20120405california-marine-critical-obama-argues-free-speech.html#ixzz1rHNf9woa
You just can't have sergeants saying that in such a public place while openly affiliating themselves with the military. We wouldn't support it if it was some lefty punk saying it about a GOP President, and we shouldn't support this either.
How is this any different than standing in the town square and announcing the same things?
Well there is hypocrisy. As always is the case. You can attack the right but not the left. Lame.
Then there is Article 134 - it’s a general catch-all.
You DO NOT do anything that can discredit the military, this includes saying anything about the Commander In Chief. It’s not a secret, it’s pretty much as well known as the Chow Hall, the Head and the bunk in which you are assigned.
Thank you both for the information.
I despise Obama, but rules are rules. And the reasons for those rules are sound; namely, you don’t want your military to become involved in politics. Plenty of banana republics attest to that. So you cut off anyone at the knees who is in uniform and takes even a tentative first step in that direction by criticizing the CIC.
Now if we could just keep Congress from playing with the military like it was some kind of beach ball.
I have high regard for the presidency and none for Obama.
However, in an earlier article, I read that he possibly was doing his blogging on a government computer and as Sergeant So & So of the Marines.
Had he done this on his own time, his own computer, and under simply his name without mention of the Marines, then he’d be in the clear.
Regardless who the president is, a member of the military can’t use a government machine for personal activities, and he cannot give the impression he is speaking “as a member” of the Marine Corps.
If true, this Sergeant had made an error in judgment. I don’t think it rose to the level of court-martial. This was clearly a non-judicial issue in my opinion.
I would really love to know what paragraph of the separations manual they are using for their justification. That would tell us alot.
When the military code was written, there was no Face Book or Twitter. These things present a new wrinkle. I think the code needs to be updated and this ruling might be the catalyst.
For my $0.02...I think the Marine would have been okay with his initial criticism as it was in conversation on a forum. I think he did himself no good with his Armed forces Tea Party Face Book page.
Had he done this on his own time, his own computer, and under simply his name without mention of the Marines, then hed be in the clear.
Doing what this guy has done never even crossed anyone’s mind when I served. Then again, my C-in-C was Ronald Reagan.
This Marine is a Non-Commissioned officer...questions?
Chaplain, your response reminds me a lot of what Marine Gen Chesty Puller says—see my excerpt Chesty Puller, Loyalty Down....
aka: Dick Gaines
I'm curious. Is he in trouble for what he posted or is he in trouble for continuing to post stuff about Obama after he was told by his superiors to knock it off? Two entirely different things.
I'm in the navy and a lot of my FB friends are also in the navy. Fellow sailors post crap about Obama all the time (or, at least, they used to). Personally, I've made it a practice to keep my very infrequent FB postings as mundaine and inoffensive as possible.
No it's not. The UCMJ is unique to the military and when you take the oath "to support and defend the Constitution and to obey the orders of those appointed above me" you give up your right to criticize the command structure. If you can't take this oath "freely with out any mental reservation or purpose of evasion" you have no place being in the military.
Foolish, because he otherwise seems to have been a good Marine.
Good post. 100/100
Chesty was right, but he didn’t know (at that time) it would come from WITHIN!
That’s right. This comes down to professionalism and discretion in my book. I mean, do u think the guys standing at “Marine One” like the guy? Odds are that they loath him...but they are professionals.
Where is the excerpt, Gunny?
(on the way)
If Commander is smart he will let him stay until July. ACLU is waiting in the wings to attack. They will parse the definition of when a Marine is considered on duty. USMC says your a Marine 24/7. There is a risk a court may not agree. Bust him, restrict him, let him go quietly and let the ACLU twist in the wind.
Got it. Thanks.
I thought that homosexuality is now permissible in the Marines.
Why would he get kicked out of the Marines if he wanted to screw the CIC?
Are we back to "don't ask, don't tell"?
Now that’s funny!