Social Media and political guidance for military members

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — In the midst of this political season, service members and Department of Defense personnel should be aware of behaviors, on social media and in real-world activities, to steer clear of. 

Here are a list of Do’s and Do Not’s for social media and political activities:

Do:

• Register to vote and vote.

• Make personal monetary donations.

• Express personal views. This is the same as writing a letter to the editor, however, do not engage in any political partisan activity.

• Include a disclaimer if you are identifiable as a military member.

• “Friend,” “like” or “follow” the Facebook page or Twitter account of a political party or partisan candidate, campaign or group. But refrain from engaging in political activities with respect to partisan political entities’ accounts that would constitute political activity.

• Forward all inquiries from political campaign organizations to a public affairs officer for awareness and appropriate action.

Do Not:

• Suggest that others “like, “friend,” or “follow” the partisan account.

• Forward invitations to partisan events.

• Post direct links of “likes” to partisan sites.

• Solicit others or fundraise.

• Imply or appear to imply Department of Defense sponsorship, approval or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign or cause.

• Campaign for a candidate on or off base.

• March in a partisan parade.

• Wear a military uniform to a partisan event.

• Attempt to influence the voting or participation of any other service member.

Partisan political activity is defined as activity directed at the success or failure of a political party, partisan political candidate, campaign group or cause.

A political campaign or election begins when a candidate makes a formal announcement that he/she seeks to be elected to a federal, state or local political office or when an individual files for candidacy with the Federal Election Commission or equivalent state or local regulatory office. A political campaign or election does not end until one week after the conclusion of the relevant election.

For a complete list of permissible and prohibited activities, please refer to DOD Directive 1344.10, Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces Guidance for Military Personnel.

For voting assistance information, visit http://www.FVAP.gov or email the Hill AFB voting officer at hill.vote@us.af.mil.