Top military officials are warning troops to be careful about political involvement and stay clear of political controversies, Politico is reporting.
Faced with a potential Senate impeachment trial and the 2020 elections drawing closer, the military brass says the troops should avoid being sucked into the firestorm.
They fear the active-duty military could lose its role in society as a force untainted by politics, according to Politico.
"We're a pretty young force so we can't assume that a lance corporal or a lieutenant knows what an election year means," Gen. David Berger, the commandant of the Marine Corps, said.
“There wasn't social media eight, 12, 16 years ago. That wasn't a factor. Now it's a huge factor.”
The Marine Corps has issued guidance on how its troops can and cannot engage in politics.
According to Politico, active-duty Marines can like a candidate’s social media page or otherwise “express personal views,” but can’t attend campaign events in uniform, engage in partisan fundraising, display candidates’ yard signs or share their online appeals, or volunteer for their campaigns.
And the chief of naval operations told the fleet this month they “must not give anyone cause to question our fundamental values.”
Charles Allen, a retired Army colonel who is a professor at the U.S. Army War College added: “Being nonpartisan is part of our DNA, part of our culture and ethos."
"What makes us different from other nationalities is we don't pledge allegiance to an individual but to a principle that is embodied in the document called the Constitution."
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