It’s election season again, when federal, state and local political campaigns kick into high gear. Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper’s latest ethics video lays out the importance of political activity rules that Defense Department civilian employees and service members must follow.
In the 2020 DOD Public Affairs Guidance for Political Campaigns and Elections memorandum of Feb. 11, DOD spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman summarized the rules that apply to all DOD personnel regarding involvement in political events.
“The Department of Defense has a longstanding and well-defined policy regarding political campaigns and elections to avoid the perception of DOD sponsorship, approval or endorsement of any political candidate, campaign or cause,” Hoffman wrote.
“The department encourages and actively supports its personnel in their civic obligation to vote, but makes clear members of the armed forces on active duty should not engage in partisan political activities,” his memo read.