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Report: Sailors Rebuked for 'Make Aircrew Great Again' Patches

Report: Sailors Rebuked for 'Make Aircrew Great Again' Patches
A service member wears a patch that says "Make Aircrew Great Again" as troops listen to President Donald Trump speak at a Memorial Day 2019 event in Yokosuka, Japan. The patch includes a likeness of Trump. (Evan Vucci/AP)

By    |   Friday, 14 February 2020 08:25 PM

Some sailors were punished for wearing patches playing off President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan at a speech in Japan last year, Military.com reported.

Citing a Navy investigation document, the news site reported patches urging “Make Aircrew Great Again” violated a Department of Defense order banning troops from participating in political events in uniform.

While the number of sailors punished was not released, 18 sailors and officers from Guam’s Helicopter Sea Squadron 25 were told days after the speech they were suspected of violating the policy, Military.com reported.

Nine sailors had worn the patches to the speech aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, the news site reported.

Some officers also received nonjudicial punishments. Five commissioned officers and a chief petty officer in the helicopter squadron were also investigated on suspicion of violating the policy in connection with the patches, according to the report. It’s unclear whether they were all reprimanded.

Nonjudicial punishments are disciplinary actions carried out by commanders for minor offenses. They are documented in service members’ records and can include loss of rank and pay, extra duties, restriction to quarters and sometimes brief confinement, Stars and Stripes reported.

According to Stars and Stripes, the reprimands comes after Defense Secretary Mark Esper issued a memorandum on Feb. 5 that all military personnel and DOD employees “avoid any action that could imply endorsement of a political party, political candidate or campaign by any element of the Department.”

It was not the first time images of the patches were circulated.

In July 2018, Stars and Stripes photographed a helicopter crew chief wearing the patch at the Barking Sands missile range in Hawaii during Rim of the Pacific exercises. The Pentagon, itself, in a 2017 Twitter post used a photo of a sailor wearing the same patch, Stars and Stripes reported last year.

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Some sailors were punished for wearing patches playing off President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign slogan at a speech in Japan last year, Military.com reported.Citing a Navy investigation document, the news site reported patches urging "Make Aircrew Great Again" violated a...
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2020-25-14
Friday, 14 February 2020 08:25 PM
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