5.26.2008

Military Chief Warns Troops About Politics

This one knocked my socks off (in a good way). Give me hope that all is not lost.

The NY Times:

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has written an unusual open letter to all those in uniform, warning them to stay out of politics as the nation approaches a presidential election in which the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be a central, and certainly divisive, issue.

The U.S. military must remain apolitical at all times and in all ways,” wrote the chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, the nation’s highest-ranking officer. “It is and must always be a neutral instrument of the state, no matter which party holds sway.”

Admiral Mullen’s essay appears in the coming issue of Joint Force Quarterly, an official military journal that is distributed widely among the officer corps.

The essay is the first Admiral Mullen has written for the journal as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and veteran officers said they could not remember when a similar “all-hands” letter had been issued to remind military personnel to remain outside, if not above, contentious political debate.

[snip]

“As the nation prepares to elect a new president,” Admiral Mullen wrote, “we would all do well to remember the promises we made: to obey civilian authority, to support and defend the Constitution and to do our duty at all times.”

“Keeping our politics private is a good first step,” he added. “The only things we should be wearing on our sleeves are our military insignia.”

[snip]

“I am not suggesting that military professionals abandon all personal opinions about modern social or political issues,” Admiral Mullen wrote. “What I am suggesting — indeed, what the nation expects — is that military personnel will, in the execution of the mission assigned to them, put aside their partisan leanings. Political opinions have no place in cockpit or camp or conference room.”

read more | digg story

blog comments powered by Disqus