`Top leadership at the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) informed active duty and retired service members that they cannot condemn President Joe Biden amid the chaotic — and now deadly — pullout of American troops from Afghanistan.
In an email from the ONI’s Chief of Staff, ONI members were reminded that per a Uniform Code of Military Justice and Department of Defense Directive clause they cannot disrespect senior government leadership. This includes the President, Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, and more.
The email reads:
Given the heightened political and social atmosphere surrounding Afghanistan, it is important to remind our uniformed personnel (active duty and reservists on temporary active duty) and military retirees of their responsibilities and obligations under Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Department of Defense Directive 1344.10. While it is vital to protect the constitutional right of freedom of expression for these groups, consistent with mission accomplishment, national security, and good order and discipline, it’s important to remember certain limitations. Namely, uniformed personnel and military retirees are prohibited from disrespecting senior government leadership (e.g. the President, Vice President, Congress, Secretary of Defense, Service Secretaries, etc.).
Per the same uniformed personnel policy, ONI members cannot participate in partisan political activity or distribute partisan political literature. An internal ONI member told The Daily Wire that these policies were more relaxed under the Trump administration and recalled retired officers condemning the former President.