Was Soldier A-Kos-ted?

I am at conference so I get my information a little later in the day. It appears that a soldier was dressed down by a man who thinks he is an officer in the Army. He dressed down a soldier who discussed the surge but I do not know all that was asked or said by the soldier because I could not hear him. I only heard Jon Soltz threatening the soldier and telling him that he was not allowed to ask a political question while in uniform. The reports are that after this Soltz twit stood down people who were answering the original question. Then retired General Wesley Clark explained that soldiers were not allowed to participate in politics while in uniform. Both of these officers are probably incorrect based upon what it appears happened.

The regulation that governs the wear and appearance of an Army uniform is AR 670-1. Paragraph 1-10 j of that regulation reads:

Wearing Army uniforms is prohibited in the following situations:
(1) In connection with the furtherance of any political or commercial interests, or when engaged in off-duty civilian
employment.
(2) When participating in public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies, or public demonstrations, except
as authorized by competent authority.
(3) When attending any meeting or event that is a function of, or is sponsored by, an extremist organization.
(4) When wearing the uniform would bring discredit upon the Army.
(5) When specifically prohibited by Army regulations.

I doubt seriously whether Soltz or Clark or anyone else could make the case that this soldier was furthering a political interest. He was discussing a current military tactic, though he did do so at a political event. Soldiers are not barred from wearing their uniform at a political event so long as they are not furthering an interest. Is it illegal when soldiers ask the President questions when he is making a stump speech (and they are all there in uniform)? The whole issue is whether a case can be made that this soldier was trying to further a political interest and I do not think that case can be made.

I think the soldier might have exercised poor judgment by wearing his uniform to this event, even though Kos and his followers (including Clark and Soltz) would likely not say anything to a person who expressed a point of view that agreed with them. Kos has long advocated that soldiers should be allowed to wear uniforms at an anti war rally. I think in that instance they are furthering a political interest, as opposed to those who discuss the success of a tactic.

Soltz tried to intimidate this soldier and he and Clark likely got it all wrong. This is the problem when officers try to do the jobs that good NCOs are responsible for. In any event, Soltz is no different, if is still in the service, for bringing up his rank and threatening the guy in the open. He should have asked to speak to him off line and discussed the perceived infraction. A professional would do that but it is evident that Soltz is not a professional. Clark made a blanket statement that was incorrect, at least as it applies to this case, but he needed to do something to bring order back to his unhinged moonbat captain.

As I stated, the soldier probably should have avoided this whole issue by not wearing his uniform especially because of the other prohibitions on wearing it. The regulation above does not allow soldiers to wear uniforms to any event sponsored by extremist groups and the Kos Kids are definitely extremist. Additionally, the uniform is not to be worn in any circumstance that would bring discredit upon the service and being at a Kos convention fits that definition. These are the things that should concern the command.

It might turn out that this officer was correct but it does not negate the fact that he handled the situation unprofessionally. I doubt he will be correct and if I were there I would have corrected him and Clark and I would have been happy to talk to the young captain. I have been promoted five more times than he has so I doubt he will intimidate me.

Big Dog

Others:
Hot Air
Michelle Malkin
Jawa Report
186 K per second
Volunteer Opinion Journal
Fort Hard Knox



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