Mid-term elections are just around the corner in early November. Here are some quick “dos and don’ts” for active-duty and civilian members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Department of Defense Directive 1344.10 ‘Political Activities of Members of the Armed Forces’ covers active-duty and civilian members of the U.S. Coast Guard by departmental agreement. This policy promotes members of the Armed Forces exercising their obligations as citizens to vote and be represented.
However, there are guidelines to remember:
• Register, vote and express a personal opinion on political candidates and issues, but not as a representative of the Armed Forces. (This includes online or in personal social media use.)
• Display a political bumper sticker on your private vehicle.
• Participate fully in the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
• Join a partisan or nonpartisan political club and attend its meetings when not in uniform.
• Use official authority or influence to interfere with an election, affect the course or outcome of an election, solicit votes for a particular candidate or issue, or require or solicit political contributions from others.
• Serve in any official capacity with or be listed as a sponsor of a partisan political club.
• Speak before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate or cause.
• Participate in any radio, television, or other program or group discussion as an advocate for or against a partisan political party, candidate, or cause. (This includes online news media and social media platforms used by a political group, e.g. Facebook, Twitter etc.)
For more information, please read the full Department of Defense directive.