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Marines discharge SGT over facebook.

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 8:09 PM
  • 9 Replies

Marines discharge sergeant for Facebook posts

Fantasy Finance

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A sergeant will be discharged for criticizingPresident Barack Obama on Facebook in a case that called into question the Pentagon's policies about social media and its limits on the speech of active duty military personnelthe Marine Corpssaid Wednesday.

Sgt. Gary Stein will get an other-than-honorable discharge and lose most of his benefits for violating the policies, the Corps said.

The San Diego-area Marine who has served nine years in the Corps said he was disappointed by the decision. He argued that he was exercising his constitutional rights to free speech.

"I love the Marine Corps, I love my job. I wish it wouldn't have gone this way. I'm having a hard time seeing how 15 words on Facebook could have ruined my nine-year career," he told The Associated Press.

Gary Kreep, an attorney for Stein, said he would pursue administrative appeals within the Marine Corps but anticipates the effort will fail. He said he planned to file an amended complaint in federal court.

"As long as he wants to pursue this, we will be supporting him," said Kreep, who is executive director of the United States Justice Foundation, an advocacy group.

The Marines acted after saying Stein stated March 1 on a Facebook page used by Marine meteorologists, "Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him." Stein later clarified that statement, saying he would not follow unlawful orders.

Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo, the commanding general of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, said in a brief statement Wednesday that evidence supported an administrative board's recommendation to discharge Stein.

Tom Umberg, a former Army colonel and military prosecutor, said Stein persisted even after being warned.

"The Marine Corps gave him the opportunity to think about his actions, yet Sgt. Stein continued to undermine the chain of command," said Umberg, who was not involved in Stein's case. "I think his purpose was to leave the Marine Corps in a dramatic fashion in order to begin a career in talk radio or what have you."

Umberg believes the decision to discharge Stein will have limited impact because the vast majority of Marines would never consider such postings.

"I think 99 percent of the soldiers and Marines currently on duty understand the duties of supporting the chain of command and understand their rights of free speech are limited," he said. "To that 1 percent who don't know their rights to free speech are limited once they take the oath, this is a loud and clear message."

During a hearing, a military prosecutor submitted screen grabs of Stein's postings on one Facebook page he created called Armed Forces Tea Party, which the prosecutor said included the image of Obama on a "Jackass" movie poster. Stein also superimposed Obama's image on a poster for "The Incredibles" movie that he changed to "The Horribles," military prosecutor Capt. John Torresala said.

At the hearing this month at Camp Pendleton, Torresala argued that Stein's behavior repeatedly violated Pentagon policy and he should be dismissed after ignoring warnings from his superiors about his postings.

The military has had a policy since the Civil War limiting the free speech of service members, including criticism of the commander in chief.

Pentagon directives say military personnel in uniform cannot sponsor a political club; participate in any TV or radio program or group discussion that advocates for or against a political party, candidate or cause; or speak at any event promoting a political movement.



I am not at all surprised.

Commissioned officers also may not use contemptuous words against senior officials.

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 8:09 PM
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Replies (1-9):
FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Apr. 25, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Good.

chelsieb84
by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 8:53 PM

That was exactly what I thought when I first read it.  

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Good.


"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again."

Maya Angelou

jknoel158
by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:00 PM
1 mom liked this

I served in the Army and what this man did was just plain wrong. I am glad that they discharged him and that it has been so public. You may not agree with the President's decisions while you are in the Service, but you don't ever say you will not follow orders or publicly ridicule anyone associated with the Military!! 

chelsieb84
by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:11 PM
1 mom liked this

I was in the Army too and when I first heard about this guy all I could think is "what a dumba$$!!!" 

Quoting jknoel158:

I served in the Army and what this man did was just plain wrong. I am glad that they discharged him and that it has been so public. You may not agree with the President's decisions while you are in the Service, but you don't ever say you will not follow orders or publicly ridicule anyone associated with the Military!! 


"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again."

Maya Angelou

momtimesx4
by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:22 PM
2 moms liked this

The political and media briefings have been mandatory for years. 

He was warned and counseled and continued.  He got da boot. Good.

Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Apr. 26, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Dumb Dumb Dumb

And he wasted all that money on a big fancy lawyer to get told the same thing over and over again. LOL!

Good Riddance.
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GotSomeKids
by Silver Member on Apr. 26, 2012 at 1:08 AM

Agreed.

Quoting momtimesx4:

The political and media briefings have been mandatory for years. 

He was warned and counseled and continued.  He got da boot. Good.


Sekirei
by Sevrsaxhtharxxa on Apr. 26, 2012 at 1:15 AM

Good. If his career and job were that awesome to him, he wouldn't have fucked up this bad.

He knew the rules  and he chose to ignore them. Now he can run his mouth all he wants

im23vaughn
by Silver Member on Apr. 26, 2012 at 1:21 AM
2 moms liked this

Like I said in another groupl. He not only disrespected his boss he also encouraged others to not follow orders from their higher ups if they don't agree with them.

He may have been a good Marine. But he's now a good Marine who let his political views cloud his judgement.

He was warned SIX TIMES & he continued his behavior. They gave him chances & he thought he was above military policy.

Rule #1: Never discuss politics at work or on a FB page that your employer can view.

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