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Political Activity Guidance for Armed Service members

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The Department of Defense has a longstanding and well-defined policy regarding political campaigns and elections to avoid the perception of DoD sponsorship, approval or endorsement of any political candidate, campaign or cause. The Department encourages and actively supports its personnel in their civic obligation to vote but makes clear that members of the Armed Forces on active duty should not engage in partisan political activities to avoid this perception. Below are some items service members should remember during the campaign season:


Wear of the Uniform:

Members of the Armed Forces on active duty are prohibited from engaging in prohibited partisan political activities to avoid the perception of DoD sponsorship, approval or endorsement, including wear of the uniform at any political event.


Social Media:

If a social media site/post identifies the member as on active duty then the entry will clearly and prominently state that the views expressed are those of the individual only and not those of the Department of Defense.

An active duty member may not post or make direct links to a political party, partisan political candidate, campaign, group, or cause because such activity is the equivalent of distributing literature on behalf of those entities or individuals.

An active duty member may become a friend of or like the Facebook page, or follow the Twitter account of a political party or partisan candidate, campaign, group, or cause. However, active duty members will refrain from engaging in activities with respect to those entities' social media accounts that would constitute political activity. This would include, for example, suggesting that others like, friend, or follow the political party, partisan political candidate, campaign, group, or cause, or forwarding an invitation or solicitation from said entities to others.

Members of the Armed Forces not on active duty are not subject to the social media restrictions listed above so long as the member does not act in a manner that could reasonably create the perception or appearance of official sponsorship, approval or endorsement by the DoD or the member's service.


On an Installation:

No candidate for civil office is permitted to engage in campaign or election-related activities while on a DoD installation or in a DoD facility, however if they have base access they may use authorized facilities (post office, commissary, base exchange, etc.) for their respective purposes.


Voting:
Voting assistance information also is available by telephone at commercial 800- 438-8683, 703-588-1584, DSN 425-1584, by fax 703-696-1352, DSN 426-1352, by e-mail at vote@fvap.gov, or at the website www.FVAP.gov.


Who to contact if contacted by a candidate or candidate's office:
459th members can call 240-857-6873 or email 459arw.pa@us.af.mil.