US Marine discharged for Facebook comments

According to sources, A US Marine sergeant who wrote on Facebook that he would notfollow orders from President Barack Obama; would be discharged from the military on “other than honorable” terms.

It was stated by Major Michael Armistead that US sergeant who belongs to California, named Gary Stein, a 26year old Iraq war veteran, was advised for the decision after a commanding general upheld the recommendation by a review board.

In a statement, Major Michael Armistead said, “He was formally informed of that today, of the separating authority’s decision. Now he will go through the transition required to leave the Marines”. It is a process that can take up to 20 days.

“Stein was not considered a security risk during that time. It can mean the loss of benefits that are available to most US military veterans, if there is any discharge from the military that is not honorable,” Armistead said.

The Marines have said they initiated disciplinary proceedings against Stein, a meteorologist at Camp Pendleton, after he posted political statements about Obama, who is commander in chief of the US military, on a Facebook page he ran called the “Armed Forces Tea Party”.

In an account he gave to the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper, Stein paraphrased himself as writing: “I say screw Obama. I will not follow orders given by him to me.”

He later removed the comments and said he meant to refer only to unlawful orders.

Stein, who was supported by a coalition of attorneys who argued that his remarks were protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution, had asked a federal judge to block the Marines from taking disciplinary action against him.

But US district judge Marilyn Huff refused to intervene, saying the military had the discretion to discipline Stein after he stated he would not follow all the orders of the president.

Marilyn Huff said, Stein had also cricised President Barack Obama in a post which was on the military’s internal network for oceanographic and meteorological information.

She said that message read, “As an active-duty Marine, I have sworn to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Obama is the economic enemy, the religious enemy, the domestic enemy.”

According to the documents of court, Stein has nearly served his nine years in the Marine, including a tour of duty in Iraq. He was there due to re-enlist or end his enlistment at the end of July

He ran afoul of the Marines in 2010 for expressing his opinion as a member of the armed forces rather than as a civilian on the Facebook page. At the time, the American Civil Liberties Union spoke up in his defence.

Marines and all other military members swear an oath to defend the US Constitution and follow the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which restricts political activities while in uniform.

Off-duty, out-of-uniform actions are far less restricted, but there are limits.