Be Careful What You Post








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Be Careful What You Post

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Image: – – Macho Spouse

 

NewsKid.jpgWe found this article written at the Fort Belvoir newspaper and decided to share as we feel this is a very important issue.

Last month's headlines proved that servicemembers are expected to behave on duty, off duty, in uniform and out, and even on social media.

First, there was the Facebook photo of an airman tongue-kissing a Prisoner of War-Missing in Action symbol, reported by the Army Times Feb. 14.

Then, there was the photo of Soldiers acting silly next to a casket, posted by a Wisconsin National Guardsman on an honors detail and the Intagram “selfie” of a Fort Carson, Colo., Soldier hiding in her car to avoid saluting the flag during retreat (reported by the Army Times Feb. 18 and Feb. 25, respectively).

Those servicemembers are facing investigations because their posts violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice.


Soldiers need to be aware that the UCMJ applies 24/7, no matter if they're in or out of uniform, anytime they're on activated status,” said Chief of Military Justice and Special Assistant United States Attorney Maj. Tricia Birdsell, who works for the Fort Belvoir Office of the Staff Judge Advocate.

This includes their social media posts, comments, photos, links or tweets, she added, whether they intended them to be “private” or not.

“It doesn't matter if they feel that they're making (the post) in a private capacity on their Facebook account; (the post) is still out there for the public to see,” she said. “On social media outlets … once you put it out there, you can't get it back.”

According to Birdsell, several UCMJ punitive articles can be applied to social media use, including:

Article 88: Contempt toward officials (such as the President and members of Congress)

Article 89: Disrespect toward superior commissioned officer

Article 91: Insubordinate conduct toward a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer or petty officer

Article 133: Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman (which applies to men and women)

Article 134: General article

Article 134 can be used for noncommissioned officers or enlisted members who display unbecoming conduct, since

Article 133 refers to officers, Birdsell said.
“The only addition withArticle 134 is it must be 'prejudiced to good order and discipline' or 'service discrediting,'” she said.

Servicemembers should think before they post, comment, or link to any materials that could violate the UCMJ, or they could face consequences from a counseling to a court-martial, Birdsell said.

“If (servicemembers) are saying something extremely disrespectful about their company commander or their brigade commander and it's out there on social media, that could come back to them and they could be subject to the UCMJ for that,” she said. “The same thing goes with the warrant officers, noncommissioned officers, or even negative comments against the President or members of Congress.”

Government civilians are also subject to punishment for certain posts on social media, even when they're off duty, according to Eura Cherry, attorney at the Fort Belvoir Office of the Staff Judge Advocate.

“Employees should be aware that some of their off duty conduct may be deemed misconduct that is punishable by their employer,” Cherry said. “They should be mindful when utilizing social media and making posts which could be interpreted as defamatory, libelous, obscene, abusive, threatening, racially or ethnically hateful or otherwise offense or illegal.”

Federal employees should never post any classified information to social media, she added, or make any partisan political statements that would violate the Hatch Act.

“Civilian employees should err on the side of caution when using social media as they may inadvertently be subjecting themselves to future disciplinary action based on their conduct,” Cherry said.
For more information the social media policy for government civilians, visit the U.S. Office of Personnel Management site


 


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TownePlace Suites and Motley Crue - Oh How Times Have Changed

chris pape motley crueWhen Motley Crue's “Final Tour” came through San Antonio, my wife and I felt we just had to go. Their music played such an important role throughout our impressionable years, well, honestly Vince, Tommy, and Nikki had more of an impact on Dana than me. (Sorry Crue, but I've always been more of a Parrot Head!) But I do like several of their songs and have seen them in concert a few times, so a final romp on the wild side sounded appropriate.

We are slightly older now than we were in '88 so a lot has changed. For one, rather than just show up slightly intoxicated and hope to find some cheap seats, we bought our tickets weeks in advance. Good ones to! We also made sure both of us had the following day off from work, no more working with ears still ringing and head pounding. We are now productive adults. Plus, neither of us was planning on passing out in our car after the show, or driving home, so we felt it important to get a room…a nice room…on the River Walk. Twenty-five years ago we would've shacked-up at the cheapest "roach motel" for the night and not worried about location, comfort, or cleanliness.  Oh how times have changed!

Staying at the TownePlace Suites was a pretty easy decision considering they had just given me a couple free nights in their hotels in exchange for some honest reviews, this is one. Before TownePlace Suites contacted me I honestly had no idea they had a location in downtown San Antonio, my wife and I usually stay at the Hyatt or Sheraton. So this would work out perfectly, especially since TownePlace welcomes pets and we wanted to bring our dog, Brutus. Yeah, bringing our doggie to a night of rock and roll craziness with Motley Crue...oh how times have changed!

 


 

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