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Recruiter Journal
Election Year Reminders

By Office of Inspector General,
Jan 05, 2016

Campaign season for 2016 national elections is in full swing. Recruiters in USAREC play a key part in helping citizens take full advantage of the right to register and vote through compliance with the National Voter Registration Act. Keep in mind, that there are rules which apply to both Soldiers and civilians. Here are the Staff Judge Advocate’s "Political Activities DOs and DON'Ts". If you have questions about these rules and how they will apply to a particular situation, contact your brigade judge advocate, the USAREC staff judge advocate, or the USAREC Office of Inspector General for assistance.


1. Register, vote, and express personal opinions on political candidates and issues as a private citizen, but not as a representative of the Army.

2. Promote and encourage other Soldiers to exercise their voting franchise, if such promotion does not constitute an attempt to influence or interfere with the outcome of an election.

3. Join a political club and attend club meetings when not in uniform.

4. Serve as an election official, if such service is not representative of a partisan political party, does not interfere with military duties, is performed while out of uniform, and has prior approval of the Secretary of the Army.

5. Sign a petition for specific legislative action or a petition to place a candidate's name on an official election ballot, if the signing does not obligate the Soldier to engage in partisan political activity and is done as a private citizen, not as a representative of the Armed Forces.

6. Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper expressing the Soldier's personal views on public issues or political candidates, if such action is not part of an organized letter-writing campaign or a concerted solicitation of votes for or against a political party, partisan political cause or candidate.

7. Make monetary contributions to a political organization, party or committee favoring a particular candidate or slate of candidates.

8. Display a political sticker on the Soldier's private vehicle.


1. Use official authority or influence to interfere with an election, affect the course or outcome of an election, solicit votes for a particular candidate or issue, or require or solicit political contributions from others.

2. Be a partisan candidate for a civil office in federal, state, or local government, or engage in public or organized soliciting of others to become partisan candidates for nomination or election to civil office.

3. Participate in partisan political management or campaigns or make public speeches in the course thereof.

4. Make a campaign contribution to another member of the Armed Forces or to a civilian officer or employee of the United States for promoting a political objective or cause.

5. Solicit or receive a campaign contribution from another member of the Armed Forces or from a civilian officer or employee of the United States for promoting a political objective or cause.

6. Allow or cause to be published partisan political articles signed or written by the Soldier that solicits votes for or against a partisan political party or candidate.

7. Serve in any official capacity or be listed as a sponsor of a partisan political club.

8. Speak before a partisan political gathering of any kind for promoting a partisan political party or candidate.

9. Participate in any radio, television, program or group discussion as an advocate of a partisan political party or candidate.

10. Conduct a political opinion survey under the auspices of a partisan political group, or distribute partisan political literature.

11. Perform clerical or other duties for a partisan political committee during a campaign or on an election day.

12. Solicit or otherwise engage in fund raising activities in federal offices or facilities, including military reservations for a partisan political cause or candidate.

13. March or ride in a partisan political parade.

14. Display a large political sign, banner, or poster (as distinguished from a bumper sticker) on the top or side of a private vehicle.

15. Participate in any organized effort to provide voters with transportation to the polls if the effort is organized by, or associated with, a partisan political party or candidate.

16. Sell tickets for, or otherwise actively promote political dinners and similar fund-raising events.

17. Attend partisan political events as an official representative of the Armed Forces.

18. Wear a uniform or use any government property or facilities while participating in a political activity.

19. Allow political participation to interfere with, or prejudice, the Soldier's performance of military duties.

20. Engage in conduct that in any way may imply that the Army or DoD has taken an official position on, or is otherwise involved in the local political campaign or issue.

21. Use contemptuous words against the officeholders described in Article 88, UCMJ (President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense, Congress, Secretary of a military department, Secretary of Transportation, or Governor of a State in which present).


1. Be candidates for public office in nonpartisan elections.

2. Register and vote.

3. Assist in voter registration drives.

4. Express opinions about candidates and issues.

5. Contribute money to political organizations.

6. Attend political fundraising functions.

7. Attend and be active at political rallies and meetings.

8. Join and be an active member of a political party or club.

9. Sign nominating petitions.

10. Campaign for or against referendum questions, constitutional amendments, or municipal ordinances.

11. Campaign for or against candidates in partisan elections.

12. Make campaign speeches for candidates in partisan elections.

13. Distribute campaign literature in partisan elections.

14. Hold office in political clubs or parties.


1. Use official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.

2. Collect political contributions, unless both the collector and the donor are members of the same federal labor organization or employee organization and the donor is not a subordinate.

3. Knowingly solicit or discourage the political activity of any person who has business with DoD.

4. Engage in political activity while on duty.

5. Engage in political activity while in any federal workplace.

6. Engage in political activity while wearing an official uniform or displaying official insignia identifying the office or position of the DoD employee.

7. Engage in political activity while using a government owned or leased vehicle.

8. Solicit political contributions from the general public.

9. Be a candidate for public office in partisan elections.

10. Wear political buttons on duty.

11. Contribute to the political campaign of another federal government employee who is in the DoD employee's chain of command or supervision or who is the employing authority.

* Link to all of the USAREC SJA’s information papers on sharepoint. http://span.usarec.army.mil/sites/HQ/SpecialStaff/SJA/Shared%20Documents/Forms/AllItems.aspx


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