Talking About Politics While Serving in the Army, ARNG or USAR is Dumb!

It’s often said that politics, sex and religion are three things you shouldn’t talk about at work, or while in uniform.  I agree.  While it’s great that we all have our own opinion, and rightfully so, we also have a set of rules to abide by in the Uniform Code of Military Justice and State Militia Laws.

I can’t tell you how many times I see people on Facebook (who are Soldiers) talking about how bad Obama is, how bad Congress sucks, or the state of today’s world.  Many of these Soldiers even have a profile pic with them in a uniform in it.

Also, many Soldiers discuss their political views with friends, family or strangers while meeting face to face or via email.

In my opinion, it’s stupid to talk about your political views while you are a Soldier.  It will seldom do you any good and it will often come back to haunt you.

You have to remember that while you are in the military you are a public figure.  People are always watching what you do and say, specifically when you are in uniform.  You need to make sure you are a true professional at all times and that you uphold the image of a professional Soldier.  It’s part of your responsibility in being a Soldier.  It just comes with the ground, whether you like it or not.

This applies to ALL ranks, both enlisted and officers.

Also, if people know you are a Soldier, I still wouldn’t express your political views, even if you are off duty in civilian clothes.  You should just keep your views to yourself until you retire or get out.

You see, when you are in uniform and you speak with others, you are representing the government, whether you realize it or not.  The last thing you want to do is say something political that gets published in the paper, on video or on social media.

Once again, I’m not saying you can’t have an opinion about politics.  You should.  And you should educate yourself about both parties, the system, what’s working, and what isn’t working.  You need to read up on the Constitution and know what’s going on in today’s world.

But as you do that, do yourself a favor and keep your mouth shut about your views so you don’t say or do something dumb or inappropriate that comes back and ruins your career, or has you meeting with your Commander or JAG.

What are your thoughts about talking about politics while serving in the Army, ARNG or USAR?  Leave a comment below and let us know.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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11 thoughts on “Talking About Politics While Serving in the Army, ARNG or USAR is Dumb!”

  1. First off, I just want to say I ordered your Company Commander CD and really liked it. I actually just recently address my soldiers on this very issue. I told them that they needed to read up on the Hatch Act. This is a very heated election year and emotions are high. I prefer that politics is not brought up at BA, but I know that it does when I’m not around. Secondly, you are correct, everyone is watching everything we do or say on a daily basis. I think the biggest thing that gets soldiers into trouble is their irresponsible use of social media. If you have pictures of yourself in uniform and you post negative comments about the commander-in-chief, then not only are you potentially harming your career but you paint a negative imagine of yourself to your friends and family. Control your emotions and move on.

  2. Talking about politics while serving doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, seeing as you’ve signed on and now you really belong to the government for a set amount of time. During that period, you do as you’re told and don’t have too much choice built in. Wasting time and energy talking about politics is exactly that: a waste.

  3. Politics have no place on the battlefield, PERIOD!! Whatever your feelings are about the current government, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. Government changes constantly. Presidents change, congress changes. What doesn’t change, that you are an American! That you are not just a citizen of this great country, but a soldier sworn to protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens. And however you feel about the President, its about the office. Our system of gov’t isn’t perfect, but it is OURS!

    1. Candace Ginestar

      I agree, no place for politics! Besides, it doesn’t do anything or change my job, so what is the point? I never understood that. I was in class one time, and it was a small discussion class. I got asked if politics bothered me in my Army job (I was a private at the time). I said, ‘poli-wha??’ and went on to explain that my job had nothing to do with politics.

  4. Opinions about politics can be shaky territory even if not a soldier; even more so if you are a soldier.

    I somewhat agree with you and somewhat don’t. I feel as American citizens, we need to voice when something is wrong or against our Constitution. If a soldier notices such a thing, they need to voice it. Now just saying Obama sucks by a soldier is like pulling the pin on a grenade and putting it (the grenade) in their pants. It won’t help them or their reputation.

    The key is, have evidence to back up what you are speaking or writing. Keep in mind that their may be a backlash to anything you say. There are always consequences, both good and bad. Are you willing to face those consequences?

    Common sense is the best thing to have when opening you mouth about politics.

    1. In the Army it is against regulations to speak badly of your superiors. Some people disagree, but I will tell you this. As a young Soldier, go up to your First Sergeant tomorrow and call him a “bitch” or “shit head” and see what happens! Not only will you lose rank and pay, but you could even face higher charges (like a Court Martial). So saying similar things about your Commander in Chief is even worse, as I see it. Plus, it makes you look bad as a Soldier. I’m not saying people shouldn’t have an opinion, but doing it in uniform or talking about it to people who know you are a Soldier makes you look very unprofessional. Just my two cents.

      1. Candace Ginestar

        True story – people think that they can talk about the President however they want, and post things on their FB! it is actually worse than writing things about your commander on FB!

  5. Over years I’ve Seen soldiers post what most would deem inappropriate about politics on Facebook. Have not looked into what Reg or Law applies to part time soldiers? I have an opinion on what I want to say and usually do. But need to be able to have something to back up my claims for impact. If anyone has already looked this information, please post. Thanks

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