The military community will likely play a huge role in the upcoming presidential election, and the internet knows which way at least one sailor will swing.
A man who identifies himself as a sailor wrote a letter to Mitt Romney that popped up on the Tumblr page of a girl who says she will be joining the Marines in her profile.
Petty Officer Millen writes that he is “part of the 47% that will never vote for you.”
The letter also states that the sailor’s brother had a tumor removed under Obamacare and his parents were auto workers in Michigan. He wrote that Romney only wanted to increase debt, while Obama ended two wars.
Is this a good way to show support for the current Commander-in-Chief? Is it appropriate for sailors to post political views online?
I believe this isn’t any different then the Marine that was kicked out for viocing his veiws on facebook. sailors need to remember that they can’t post these kind of things on any website. I hope the same action is taken as was on the Marine.
I’m a little confused, I was under the impression that the 47% that Governor Romney was speaking to (if you are going solely by what he said) were those who “are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them.”
So am I hearing this Petty Officer in the United States Navy saying he is a part of the above described 47%? I would have issues with that. I suggest folks in uniform get a little more informed before making statements that discredit himself and the Navy. Also, to the Navy Times to run something like this. There are forums to send out a message and a sailor in uniform like this is not one of them.
Absolutely, Lisa. Military members should definitely not be allowed to express their views just as any other American.
This boy is deluded, and has allowed a family tragedy to impact his ability to think clearly. Obama is creating war, this is exactly the type of sailor Obama wants.
The military has every right to voice their views. This letter was find until the name calling. It’s became disrespectful.
The military has every right to voice their views. This letter was fine until the name calling. It became disrespectful
Well Lisa & John are you saying that our military members can’t voice how they fell? He is not talking about OUR (yes I’m military as well) Commander in Chief therefore he can say whatever he wants… Being in uniform while voicing his opinion of course he is DEAD WRONG!!
SMH… DISRESPECTFUL!!! WOW And just how many people are “Disrespectful” towards our President everyday….
Please do not discharge this guy. It would most likely cost the tax payers more to support him and his family on welfare than it does to pay his military salary.
The Marine who got kicked out did so by showing disrespect for the current president (Read: His boss) How long do you expect to keep your job if you tell your boss exactly what you think of him? This guy isn’t insulting anyone in his chain of command, or otherwise doing anything that is contrary to good order and discipline. If Mitt Romney is elected, then this guy will have to treat him with respect, until then, he’s just as entitled to his opinion as anyone else.
Military folks should be allowed to express their views. We all should by voting in each and every election. The Marine was fired for saying that he would disobey a lawful order if given by the current President– not for expressing his views.
-Obama BALLOONED the Natl debt he is talking about by nearly 40%
-Twice as many servicemen have been killed in AFG since Obama took office than under Bush.
Please dont vote for Romney, we dont want you taking credit for getting America back on track.
I support him having an opinion about a presidential candidate, however aside from his facts/method, posting on behalf of the US Navy is very thin ice. He’s not supporting/encouraging a mutiny as in the case of the aforementioned Marine as far as I can tell. We service members have a right to our political opinions and regardless we’re still US citizens affected by the economy before, during, and after the uniform. Voice your opinion for yourself, not for the whole.
Shantai, actually, my comment involved fairly heavy sarcasm.
One of the things that has irked me to no end since the beginning of these wars in 2001, is that most Muslins will gladly hide thier face so they cannot later be identified when attacking American property. This individual, and I won’t give him the credit of being a sailor, because there’s a good chance he isn’t even in the military, is hiding his face, just like a Muslim would. This person is a gutless coward, just like every Muslim in the world.
Obviously this guy has no brain. Our Commander In Chief has hurt this country more than ANY other president ever. He has given the military the worst pay raises in history even during the depression, Sailors have gone from 5 1/2 to 6 month deployments to 7 – 9 month deployments. He has not completed 1 thing promised when ran for president except healthcare reform and that has raised healthcare for civilians. My father pays $800 a month for healthcare from the $500 it used to be before Obamacare. I think this guy needs to do research!!! Plain and simple.
I agree with the young man I’m retired. So that means I’m dependent on the goverment for my military penision. What about S.S
This isn’t about freedom of speech. This is about obeying the UCMJ and applicable regulations related to political activities. This Sailor took a public political stance under the cover of a military uniform which is contrary to the UCMJ and DoD Directive 1344.10.
As long as you dont claim to be representing the military or the government. And as long as its not subversive or something like the KKK. You should be able to post whatever you want on FB or twitter or what have you. You should also be able to send letters and emails to whomever you want to. I dont remember everything that Marine did awhile back but I think some of what he posted could be seen as subversive or an attack on the Commander in Chief. And to me thats crossing a line. Telling a non sitting candidate why you arent voting for him should be fine.
First, let’s be clear. The ONLY issue is whether PO Millen is advocating a political stance either in the uniform of the US Armed Forces, or is engaging in political activity in military-sanctioned events or missions. If he were in civilian attire and did not refer to his rank in the “letter,” he would be perfectly within his rights as a US citizen to express his political views.
Such activity is clearly and unambiguously defined in DoD Directive 1344.10 and SECNAVINST 5720.44. His activities has allegedly violated several statutes in both publications. In most cases of this nature that I’ve seen when I was in the military (US Army), such actions were investigated rather thoroughly, as morale is indeed the major factor for this restriction.
Now, if he were in his barracks or non-military area, in civilian clothes, and did not include his rank in the letter (he could have said he was in the Navy or military without penalty), then his letter display would have been completely legal in accordance with the two publications above.
As a citizen, we should express our opinions and discuss with civility. That is the beauty of this country and to fight for freedom of speech so weed out the biases and untruth (especially in the media world that sensors or catters to the president to creat his image for the next election). As for me, a leader shows his leaders in his actions.
His actions had not warranted an re-election (great politician/oratory skills & nice dad/husband but not a leader I would pick or re-elect for America). Have mercy on the next generation-wake up. No matter how much money you put in the system, it’s not sustainable is one has a spending problem or other agendas for the country. At the end of the day, even if the majority gets it wrong, I trust God has the ultimate sovereign (big mess we create sometimes, but he is meciful).
Service members are not permitted to represent their respective branches when making their political opinions known. It does not matter if the opinion is targeted at the current CINC or a prospective CINC. The Framers of the Constitution intended for the military to be an apolitical organization to avoid the tyranny that resulted either from a military dictatorship or a ruler using the military to suppress the population.
First off, we don’t know if this person is a member of the Navy (you can get a uniform from any military surplus store); if he is, then he’s violated UCMJ for expressing a political opinion in-uniform.
Plus, his facts are off. The major policy changes under Obamacare do not take effect until 2014, the SOFA that ended our operations in Iraq were signed under the Bush Administration, and OEF is still on-going. At best, this is a service member who is ignorant of the policies governing the political activities of service members; at worst, he is a fraud who is mis-representing himself in order to further his political agenda.
@ LCDR Don Bryant: The 47 percent are those who have zero federal income tax liability – which includes a significant number of service members, either because they spent the full year with a combat zone exemption or have other deductions, such as the child tax credit. Contrary to Romney’s assertions, most are not leaching off the government – the are either on Social Security (earned) or, like Romney himself, taking advantage of those tax exemptions made law by Congress.
Perhaps you are the one needing to get a “little more informed” before embarassing yourself.
@ Gary: Unless, of course, his brother had the tumor removed under his parents’ insurance policy that, already under Obamacare, allows parents to cover offspring until they are 26. That provision is certainly helping our oldest, who cannot get insurance where he works.
First he is different than the Marine who expressed his opinion about Obama – the Marine posted it himself – iof you read this report the letter was not posted by the sailor. Next as Rod Says he could very well be a member of the 47%, he does depend on the government for his income ( that is stretching a bit I admit) but any memebr of the military earns that income -of course one could say Romney doesn’t earn his income (his income is from interest not from a job). Third – last I heard our military is their to protect the rights granted us under our constitution – I have never thought that we took those rights away from someone who was serving. Obviously I sisupect you all can figure my politics out but I will say this the Marine should bnever have been discharged for what he said either.
I believe this sailor has every right to say what he is doing/ but needs to be careful he doesn’t piss of his COC…BUT I am a Vet originally from MI… MI doesn’t require service members to pay state taxes… so while he claims to pay taxes, he’s getting a HUGE break from the state.
This young Petty Officer is rather deluded if he believes himself to be of the 47%…that 47% doesn’t pay taxes and is on entitlements..he can have any opinion he wants as long he isn’t proclaiming a political opinion in uniform…and since he is, apparently he is one of the 47% who are clueless and will in all likelihood vote for Obama…one of the few, the prideful and the stupid…
Our rights as service members, it is in black and white.
Freedom of Speech
Service members, like other citizens, have a right to express themselves. However, the right to engage in free speech does not provide an absolute immunity from subsequent punishment if the speech violates a criminal law. In the military, such criminal laws include:
1. Disrespectful speech toward superiors;
2. Use of words or gestures that might provoke a fight;
3. Disclosure of classified information;
4. Discussing official matters outside of the military without proper authorization.
Oh and the government provided me with health insurance, housing, food and when I was deployed I was tax exempt so yes I was part of the 47%
Kristen McFarland: I repeat: The 47 percent are those who have zero federal income tax liability – which includes a significant number of service members, either because they spent the full year with a combat zone exemption or have other deductions, such as the child tax credit. Contrary to Romney’s assertions, most are not leaching off the government – the are either on Social Security (earned) or, like Romney himself, taking advantage of those tax exemptions made law by Congress.
Personally, I work hard and bring in a decent lower middle class income – and haven’t paid federal income taxes since the child credit was bumped up to $1,000 under Bush. I didn’t have kids for the tax break – but I’m not an idiot… if they offer the tax break, I’m going to take… just like Mitt.
Politics has no place in the military just like commonsense has no place in politics. Its one thing to express your opinion with shipmates and another to go public.
The policy change that dictated his brother could be covered under his parents insurance has been in effect for some time now.
He is dead wrong for voicing his views in uniform so he should be given a punishment and lose rank.
I hear a bit of the same chattering from everyone. This issue is one of freedom of speech as well as a public affairs issue. The sailor does have a right to voice his opinion, but went too far donning his unis to make his point!
Kid’s a moron. The rules are laid out pretty clearly as to what you can and can’t do in uniform. Maybe he was looking for a way to get early-out?
Kudos for not hiding behind the veil of anonymity though.
I hope that Petty Officer Millen prepares for his Navy advancement exam understanding what the facts are versus contorting personal biases into baseless ranting. If Mr. Romney is clueless on economics, how the hell did he become such a successful business man and multimillionaire? I needed more professors like this to teach me about supply & demand. President Obama did not kill Bin Laden, Seal Team Six did. If Petty Officer Millen feels like he’s part of the 47% then I need to know where I need to go to collect my retroactive government hand-outs I missed on for the past 29 years of active duty. As for the car industry in Michigan going through a rough time, so did many people when they lost their homes and jobs likewise. Shipmate Millen….hint….hint….President Obama placed us in his tail spin by borrowing money to stimulate he economy ha failed miserably….the wars you speak about are far from over, just read about Syria, Iran, Benghazi, Al Qaeda infiltrating into Iraq, and the Taliban vacationing in Pakistan awaiting that 2014 withdrawal. Finally shipmate, you may want to reconsider wearing your uniform when making a political stance because your oath of enlistment may force you to serve and defend Mr. Romney in a few months!
I support this guys right to make a statement. My only problem is that he has no idea what he is talking about. It is uninformed people like this guy that sway other uninformed people. Any one with common sense would know Romney was not referring to active and retired military as that 47%, rather he was was speaking about those people that have never had a job and are able to sit at home and have multiple kids all on the governments dime. Open your eyes people.
I agree with JESSE , he needs to be punished and lose rank. Not a very smart thing to do especially in uniform.
Mitt Romney is not the president. The reason the Marine got discharged is because he blatantly showed disrespect toward his Commander in Chief. This is a different situation. He’s expressing his views on a Presidential Candidate, not the president. Sure, it’s not professional, but I see no wrong in it.
I’m not American, so I cannot comment about the views this sailor, or any other American has about who or who shouldn’t be President. But I’m confused, why are people saying he’ll be discharged? All he did was voice his opinion, don’t you Americans carry on and on about the importance of freedom of speech?
The fact that the people who defend our country have to be careful when expressing political views while every other dumb ass who has never done anything for it can run their mouths at will is ridiculous.
Let’s be clear: there is NO REPUDIATION of the sailor’s right of First Amendment or free expression of his political values, or any other non-restrictive (military confidential) information.
What IS the POINT is that he is in UNIFORM. He is not allowed, by distinct regulation, to express political views while in uniform or during duty hours (if his duty requires civilian clothes).
Bottom line: He has NO WORRY about retribution about the expressing of ANY view, political or otherwise, while he is OFF duty, and NOT IN UNIFORM.
(NOTE: he can vote in uniform or other administrative duties in conjunction with non-partisan activities; however, he cannot run for office or act in a political matter while wearing the uniform.)
I really hope this clears up things.