MEMORANDUM FOR ALMAJCOM/CC
SUBJECT: Guidance on Political Activity for Military Members
Recently, there have been questions with respect to the rights and responsibilities of our uniformed military members. The below general guidance is provided as a refresher; we also urge Airmen at all levels to consult with their servicing legal office for advice on matters unique to their local environment.
Our Standards of Conduct define how Airmen and Space Force Professionals should behave when interacting with others and confronting challenges in the environment which we currently operate.
As individuals, we enjoy many of the same rights and have many of the same responsibilities as our fellow citizens. Because we have volunteered to serve as members of the military, however, the manner in which we exercise those rights carries some unique responsibility. Under our democratic system, the military as a group must remain politically neutral and divorced from political activity that favors any particular candidate or party.
Additionally, Airmen and Space Force personnel may not wear their uniform when furthering political causes or participating in activities such as unofficial public speeches, interviews, picketing, marches, rallies or any public demonstration which may imply official USAF or USSF sanction of the cause for which the activity is conducted except when specifically authorized by the Department of the Air Force.
Airmen and Space Force Professionals should only attend protest events where the circumstances reasonably lead one to conclude that the event will remain peaceful. Members should immediately cease participation and evacuate the area if there is a likelihood of injury to persons, illegal activity, damage to property, or confrontation with police or National Guard personnel.
As individuals, Air Force and Space Force members may sign petitions, display placards and wear civilian clothing bearing messages of peaceful protest or expressing solidarity with other U.S. citizens engaged in such demonstrations of peaceful civil protest.
While exercising one's First Amendment rights, federal, state, and local COVID-19 restrictions should be adhered to. While attending protest rallies, marches or similar events, Air Force and Space Force members should wear protective masks and strive, as best as possible, to maintain social distancing limits from all persons not members of their immediate family.
As we continue to navigate these challenging times please rely on the information provided by your installation threat working group and make smart decisions regarding your safety and security, and the safety and security of the Airmen and Space Force Professionals under your charge.
DAVID D. THOMPSON
Lieutenant General, USAF
Vice Commander of the Space Force
STEPHEN W. WILSON
Vice Chief of Staff
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