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txradioguy
01-06-2012, 07:21 AM
Dear U.S. Army Corporal Jesse Thorsen, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, the American military and too many American people,

Stop it. Just freakiní stop.

Yesterday in Iowa, millions of viewers watched as a young corporal and his Svengali politico played a very dangerous game with our military and its traditional separation from partisan politics. Wearing his Army Combat Uniform, Cpl. Jesse Thorsen mounted the stage in Des Moines and openly endorsed a Texas Republican as the next president of the United States.


Just as Iíve asked activists to quit doing this, I fear the time has come to address a much wider audience on our collective failure to protect the Constitution.

Iíll take you in turn.

Cpl Thorsen, I admire your zeal for engaging fellow citizens in questions about war and policy. I wish more people your age would enter the scrum of public debate because our American democracy would be better for it.

Sure, I donít get how a guy who says heís done a decade in uniform is only an E-4, but as a fellow vet I respect that CAB youíre rocking, not to mention that youíve survived two overseas deployments and a third looms.

But follow the &^%$#&* law and take off your &^%$#&* ACUs when you attend rallies for presidential candidates. And never use your status as a soldier to pimp Paul to the public.

Youíve been given a very great privilege to wear the uniform of our nation. When you put it on, you telegraph to others that youíve pledged your life to defend our Constitution against all enemies foreign or domestic.

But your actions last night in Iowa made you into an enemy of that sacred document because you decoupled service from the living law it embodies and hitched your duty to a charismatic political figure.

If you canít muster the moral courage to stop doing that in the future, then you should exit the service. Or the Army should evict you from the ranks.

*****

Rep. Paul, Iíve told my readers in the past that while I donít endorse your candidacy (or that of anyone else) I respect your service to our nation. Youíve become an essential voice within a wider debate about our adventures overseas and their cancerous effects on democracy.

But as a former officer in our U.S. Air Force and an elected member of our Congress ó a man who also has pledged both in uniform and out to protect our Constitution ó how dare you summon a corporal to the dais to desecrate that which you claim to honor?

How did you, of all men, invite the ghost of militarism to haunt our house of democracy? You know better than that, which is why I reserve the harshest judgment for you.

Shame on you, hypocrite, for becoming the very pint-sized Caesar you often rightly castigate.

Following this lamentable moment in American politics, please ensure that your campaign bars those in uniform from suggesting in any way that the institution of the military endorses your policies or personality.

Thanks.



http://www.lineofdeparture.com/2012/01/04/an-open-letter-to-everyone/#ixzz1ifz5EPAX

txradioguy
01-06-2012, 07:22 AM
It's a good read overall...however..I do take issue whith Prine's premise that one lone idiot is somehow the fault of the entire military. CPL Thorsen doesn't represent the vast majority of how soldiers behave anymore than Bradley Manning or Hassan Nidal does. It's kind of a broad generalization.

Molon Labe
01-06-2012, 09:04 AM
The bottom line. Don't wear your uniform to a political function if you are going to get up and support someone.
Even I wouldn't do that.

You can go to a political function and show Patriotism to the process, but getting up and making partisan speeches is a no no.

txradioguy
01-06-2012, 09:45 AM
The bottom line. Don't wear your uniform to a political function if you are going to get up and support someone.
Even I wouldn't do that.

You can go to a political function and show Patriotism to the process, but getting up and making partisan speeches is a no no.

And the hell of it is...we (soldiers) KNOW better...if you live overseas AFN is chock full of commercials about not doing this.

We preach it to our soldiers stateside too.

If this kid is lucky all that will happen is Company grade with 6 & 6 suspended.

Molon Labe
01-06-2012, 09:53 AM
And the hell of it is...we (soldiers) KNOW better...if you live overseas AFN is chock full of commercials about not doing this.

We preach it to our soldiers stateside too.

If this kid is lucky all that will happen is Company grade with 6 & 6 suspended.

I think he knew what he was doing and didn't care about the consequences. He's a corporal...it wasn't like he was just a Joe. The rules are a bit different for Reservists too....so maybe he didn't think it would backfire. The regs aren't as clear as Active Duty either.

txradioguy
01-06-2012, 09:59 AM
I think he knew what he was doing and didn't care about the consequences. He's a corporal...it wasn't like he was just a Joe. The rules are a bit different for Reservists too....so maybe he didn't think it would backfire. The regs aren't as clear as Active Duty either.

Nah the regs are the same for both.

Generation Why?
01-06-2012, 11:18 AM
Was watching the caucus at the Denver Airport and was very surprised to see CPL Thorsen in uniform and taking a side. Definitely should not have happened and he can look forward to some ramifications for his actions. Life's tough and there are enough of us stupid Army types for every occasion

Generation Why?
01-06-2012, 11:20 AM
And the hell of it is...we (soldiers) KNOW better...if you live overseas AFN is chock full of commercials about not doing this.

We preach it to our soldiers stateside too.

If this kid is lucky all that will happen is Company grade with 6 & 6 suspended.

Yeah I don't get what he was thinking. Those AFN commercials drove me crazy.

Odysseus
01-06-2012, 11:45 AM
I think he knew what he was doing and didn't care about the consequences. He's a corporal...it wasn't like he was just a Joe. The rules are a bit different for Reservists too....so maybe he didn't think it would backfire. The regs aren't as clear as Active Duty either.

The only difference is that a Reservist can get away with something like this if he isn't in uniform. Once you put on the uniform, the rules are the same. Department of Defense Directive 1344.10, dated February 19, 2008, covers the permissible political activities for uniformed service members.


It is DoD policy to encourage members of the Armed Forces (hereafter referred to as ďmembersĒ) (including members on active duty, members of the Reserve Components not on active duty, members of the National Guard even when in a non-Federal status, and retired members) to carry out the obligations of citizenship. In keeping with the traditional concept that members on active duty should not engage in partisan political activity, and that members not on active duty should avoid inferences that their political activities imply or appear to imply official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement, the following policy shall apply:

>snip<


4.1.2. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty shall not:
4.1.2.1. Participate in partisan political fundraising activities (except as permitted in subparagraph 4.1.1.7.), rallies, conventions (including making speeches in the course thereof), management of campaigns, or debates, either on oneís own behalf or on that of another, without respect to uniform or inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement. Participation includes more than mere attendance as a spectator. (See subparagraph 4.1.1.9.)

>snip<

4.1.2.5. Speak before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.
4.1.2.6. Participate in any radio, television, or other program or group discussion as an advocate for or against a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.

>snip<

4.1.2.15. Attend partisan political events as an official representative of the Armed Forces, except as a member of a joint Armed Forces color guard at the opening ceremonies of the national conventions of the Republican, Democratic, or other political parties recognized by the Federal Elections Committee or as otherwise authorized by the Secretary concerned.

Attending a rally in uniform, giving a partisan speech in favor of a candidate in uniform, endorsing a candidate while in uniform, all of this violates the guidance. CPL Thorson has screwed the pooch, and his chain of command is going to make sure that he knows not to do it again.

marv
01-06-2012, 12:18 PM
Department of Defense Directive 1344.10, dated February 19, 2008, covers the permissible political activities for uniformed service members.

That's pretty much the way it was in the fifties when I was active duty. In fact, when I simply lamented the election of JFK in '60, I was "invited" to a dress down by the CO. Even later, as a Federal employee, it was a requirement to keep my political opinions apart from my work responsibilities.

djones520
01-06-2012, 12:43 PM
I remember clearly that when I was in MEPS I was briefed on this stuff. There is no excuse for anyone Active, Reserve, or Guard to not know this info. He did it fully aware of the consequences, as such he should be hit as hard as he possibly can.

Novaheart
01-06-2012, 01:00 PM
Dear U.S. Army Corporal Jesse Thorsen, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, the American military and too many American people,

Stop it. Just freakin’ stop.

I thought the prominent neck tattoo really enhanced his credibility and certainly his appeal to some demographic.
I didn't know that soldiers were allowed to have tattoos visible when fully clothed. Times change I guess.

djones520
01-06-2012, 01:03 PM
I thought the prominent neck tattoo really enhanced his credibility and certainly his appeal to some demographic.
I didn't know that soldiers were allowed to have tattoos visible when fully clothed. Times change I guess.

I haven't seen a pic of the guy, but I believe the reg is no more then 25% of the visible skin can be covered.

Novaheart
01-06-2012, 01:03 PM
Attending a rally in uniform, giving a partisan speech in favor of a candidate in uniform, endorsing a candidate while in uniform, all of this violates the guidance. CPL Thorson has screwed the pooch, and his chain of command is going to make sure that he knows not to do it again.

Do we have lots of soldiers with neck tattoos now? IS there a rule that says "Neck is OK , but not above the jaw line."?

txradioguy
01-06-2012, 01:45 PM
I thought the prominent neck tattoo really enhanced his credibility and certainly his appeal to some demographic.
I didn't know that soldiers were allowed to have tattoos visible when fully clothed. Times change I guess.

Yeah unfortunately the regs changed about 5 years ago.

Amazing how the standards get lowered when you really really need people.

I've said for awhile that one of the positives of Iraq and Afghanistan ending would be that the recruiters could start being selective again.

txradioguy
01-06-2012, 01:47 PM
Do we have lots of soldiers with neck tattoos now? IS there a rule that says "Neck is OK , but not above the jaw line."?

Not even that. There are two soldiers that come ti mind right now that have behind-the-ear tats.

noonwitch
01-06-2012, 02:10 PM
I understand, as a government employee. I hate it when one of my colleagues gets in trouble for doing something stupid and the administrational response is to send out corrective memos to everyone, like we are children who will follow the weakest link over the cliff.

They routinely send out Hatch act memos around election time, which is the law that bans all federal, state and municipal employees from engaging in political activity on the state's time. The union usually does the same thing, probably for cya reasons.

I would guess that the military code is far more stringent about those matters than the Hatch act, because the uniform is supposed to be politically neutral.

Novaheart
01-06-2012, 02:20 PM
Yeah unfortunately the regs changed about 5 years ago.

Amazing how the standards get lowered when you really really need people.

I've said for awhile that one of the positives of Iraq and Afghanistan ending would be that the recruiters could start being selective again.

I realize that there is nothing inherently wrong with a facial tattoo.
I realize that my associate between such tattoos and character issues is not scientific.
And yet, I have to wonder about someone who would get a tattoo on his face. Did no one say to him , "Justin, this is a really bad idea."?
Does he have no concept of what this could cost him over a lifetime in rejections?

Maybe I'm a fuddy, and in 20 years we'll see Admirals and CEOs with facial tattoos and hoops in their ears... but I doubt it.

txradioguy
01-06-2012, 03:17 PM
Maybe I'm a fuddy, and in 20 years we'll see Admirals and CEOs with facial tattoos and hoops in their ears... but I doubt it.

Tats among the younger generations don't carry the white trash stigma that they did for our parents generation.

Hell I have a tat on my shoulder.

That being said I'm seeing tats these days on soldiers that mess up the way you're supposed to look in your class A uniform.

It certainly doesn't present a professional appearance.

djones520
01-06-2012, 03:35 PM
Tats among the younger generations don't carry the white trash stigma that they did for our parents generation.

Hell I have a tat on my shoulder.

That being said I'm seeing tats these days on soldiers that mess up the way you're supposed to look in your class A uniform.

It certainly doesn't present a professional appearance.

I've got one as well. Had the AF Symbol put onto my right shoulder just before my first deployment. Only tattoo I'll ever get.

I have a stigma against tattoo's that people get just for the hell of it. "It looks cool man!"

If your going to do something, do it for a reason. Have it mean something. Let it be something that you'll be proud of when your grandkids ask you about it.

Odysseus
01-06-2012, 03:48 PM
Do we have lots of soldiers with neck tattoos now? IS there a rule that says "Neck is OK , but not above the jaw line."?
AR 670-1 governs all aspects of appearance for Army personnel. It used to be that no tattoo could be worn above the collar on the Class-A uniform. Here is the guidance:


AR 670-1: Para 1-8E:

e. Tattoo policy
(1) Tattoos or brands anywhere on the head, face, and neck above the class A uniform collar are prohibited.
(2) Tattoos or brands that are extremist, indecent, sexist, or racist are prohibited, regardless of location on the body, as they are prejudicial to good order and discipline within units.
(a) Extremist tattoos or brands are those affiliated with, depicting, or symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations, or activities. Extremist philosophies, organizations, and activities are those which advocate racial, gender or ethnic hatred or intolerance; advocate, create, or engage in illegal discrimination based on race, color, gender, ethnicity, religion, or national origin; or advocate violence or other unlawful means of depriving individual rights under the U.S. Constitution, Federal, or State law (see para 4Ė12, AR 600Ė20).
(b) Indecent tattoos or brands are those that are grossly offensive to modesty, decency, or propriety; shock the moral sense because of their vulgar, filthy, or disgusting nature or tendency to incite lustful thought; or tend reasonably to corrupt morals or incite libidinous thoughts.
(c) Sexist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on gender, but that may not meet the same definition of ďindecent.Ē
(d) Racist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on race, ethnicity, or national origin.


This was amended recently, to read as follows:


3. AR 670-1, CHAPTER 1-8E (1) IS CHANGED TO READ: ANY TATTOO OR BRAND ANYWHERE ON THE HEAD OR FACE IS PROHIBITED EXCEPT FOR PERMANENT MAKE-UP (PARAGRAPH 1-8B (1) (A)). TATTOOS THAT ARE NOT EXTREMIST, INDECENT, SEXIST OR RACIST ARE ALLOWED ON THE HANDS AND NECK. INITIAL ENTRY DETERMINATIONS WILL BE MADE ACCORDING TO CURRENT GUIDANCE.


I realize that there is nothing inherently wrong with a facial tattoo.
I realize that my associate between such tattoos and character issues is not scientific.
And yet, I have to wonder about someone who would get a tattoo on his face. Did no one say to him , "Justin, this is a really bad idea."?
Does he have no concept of what this could cost him over a lifetime in rejections?

Maybe I'm a fuddy, and in 20 years we'll see Admirals and CEOs with facial tattoos and hoops in their ears... but I doubt it.

CEOs, possibly, but not Officers, at least not above the company grades. OTOH, one never knows. General Officer appointments are political as much as they are based on boards and merit, and a President could appoint a GO with a facial tattoo. When that happens, you'll hear a high-pitched hum coming from Arlington National Cemetery, as every interred GO begins spinning in their graves at 2,000 RPM.

Seriously, can anyone imagine Patton with a tramp stamp?

Generation Why?
01-06-2012, 05:43 PM
This was amended recently, to read as follows:

[INDENT]

Seriously, can anyone imagine Patton with a tramp stamp?


Maybe a Jeep logo?

Retread
01-06-2012, 05:51 PM
............................ Even later, as a Federal employee, it was a requirement to keep my political opinions apart from my work responsibilities.

Now even that has went by the wayside. Fed employees in some offices are required to work the phones and the mailings whether they back a candidate or not.

Odysseus
01-07-2012, 12:38 PM
Maybe a Jeep logo?

You need to slap yourself, son. :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Huxzr_keJT0