by Hope Hodge Seck
Dec 01, 2015
The Defense Department allows troops to participate in political and campaign activities as private citizens, but does not allow them to represent the military or associate the Pentagon with any specific candidate, issue or cause. Participation in political activities in uniform is prohibited.A Marine who recently performed the national anthem at a Donald Trump presidential campaign rally has been told to cease further uniformed campaign activities. Cpl. Jason Perkins, a reservist with Combat Logistics Battalion 451 out of Charlotte, North Carolina, awed crowds at a Nov. 21 campaign rally for the Republican candidate in Birmingham, Alabama, with a booming rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," which he performed in his dress blue uniform.
But when a video of the performance began circulating online, members of the military quickly pointed out that he was in violation of regulations prohibiting troops from wearing their uniforms to political events.
Marine Forces Reserve spokesman Capt. Andrew Chrestman said the command had reached out to Perkins after his campaign performance.
"Cpl. Perkins is now aware that his conduct violated long-standing DoD policy," Chrestman said in an email. "[He] has been informed of the appropriate ways to participate in the political process as a member of the Marine Corps."
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