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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

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Marine Corps Reinforces Political Campaign Guidelines

By Emmanuel Necoechea | Marine Corps Installations West | December 3, 2015

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – A message released by Headquarters Marine Corps reinforces policies involving Marines and Sailors participation in partisan political activities.

According to Marine Corps Administrative Message 603/15, active duty Marines and Sailors are allowed to register, vote and they are also allowed to express a personal opinion on political candidates, but may not do so as representatives of the Armed Forces.

The message, released on December 1, also states that Marines and Sailors will not be in uniform when attending partisan or nonpartisan political fundraising activities, meetings, rallies, debates or conventions.

Dora Rodriguez, assistant installation voting officer for Marine Corps Installations-West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, says all commands should review the message and ensure that all service members are aware of their limits to political support as we enter an election year.  

“It’s a good thing, to remind everyone what they can and can’t do because once the election starts going fast and furious, you might get caught up,” said Dora M. Rodriguez, an assistant installation voting assistance officer at Marine Corps Installations West-Marine Corps Base. “A lot of people are not familiar with the rules and regulations.”

The message also addresses active duty Marines and Sailors political interaction on social media.

An active duty Marine or Sailor can express his or her own personal views via social media but if it identifies the member as active duty, or if the member is otherwise identifiable as an active duty member, then the entry must explicitly state the views expressed are those of the individual only and are not shared with the Department of Defense.

 “We as Americans, we make the rules that we follow,” said Rodriquez. “We need to set guidelines and boundaries because there are people that will go overboard. These rules are in place to make sure the vote will always be a democratic vote.”

For more information on voting and registration visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website.