The violence at the Capitol on 6 January was reprehensible and contrary to Army Values and the U.S. Constitution. Frankly, as an American and Soldier, I was embarrassed by what I witnessed. The Army strongly condemns these acts of violence against our democracy. We will continue to perform our duties in accordance with our oath of office, and we will execute a peaceful transition of power on 20 January. Our people are sworn to defend the Constitution and our democratic form of government, and they will act accordingly.
As a reminder, Soldiers are prohibited from participating in off-post demonstrations, vigils, rallies, or similar events if they are on duty, the activities constitute a breach of law and order, if violence is likely to result, if they are in a foreign country, or if they are in uniform. Any type of activity that involves violence, civil disobedience, or a breach of peace may be punishable under the UCMJ or under state or federal law. Soldiers are also prohibited from participating in extremist organizations and activities. Soldiers and Civilians should only post messages on social media that are consistent with Army Values and demonstrate dignity and respect for self and others. Think before you type and post.
The First Amendment rights of speech, association, and peaceful assembly, although secured to service members and DoD Civilians alike by Federal laws and the Constitution, are not absolute. The need for an effective and disciplined military justifies certain restraints on service members, as well as DoD Civilians, and Family members on military installations.
In general, service members and DoD Civilians should not officially endorse, or create an appearance of officially endorsing, non-Federal entities or groups. If not otherwise restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participation in public demonstrations, vigils, marches, social gatherings, and similar events should be conducted in a personal capacity during off-duty hours or in a leave status unless official participation is authorized by the chain of command or chain of supervision. If expressing their own views or opinions, service members and DoD Civilians should make it clear that the views or opinions they are expressing are personal and do not represent the official position of their service or organization.
Thank you for all you do to uphold the Army Values and our Constitution.