Rob Diamond, a Navy veteran and Fellow with the Truman National Security Project, noticed something interesting with the Republican response to the State of the Union address:
Notice who is sitting directly behind McDonnell on his right side? You have an Army Staff Sergeant in full dress uniform. As Rob points out:
Slight problem, you see. That is probably against the law.
Look it up for yourself right here in the Department of Defense (DoD) Directive entitled “Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces.” The purpose of this DoD Directive is to mirror the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from engaging in partisan political activity in an official capacity. Since a DoD Directive is considered to be in the same category as an order or regulation, and military personnel violating its provisions can be considered in violation of Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, our Republican friends may have just caused this brave young soldier to break the law. Thank you for that, Governor McDonnell.
The response to the State of the Union, rather if it’s a Democrat or Republican giving it, is a political event. This Staff Sergeant could end up being in trouble because of the GOP wanting to use him as a pawn in their games.
You would really think that up and coming “stars” in the GOP would know a little more about our rules and laws, and those of our military. Hell back when I was a volunteer firefighter we had rules against appearing at political events in our dress uniform. You would think a governor would know that these kind of rules exist for a reason, but apparently McDonnell hasn’t read the “Governing for Idiots” book yet.