Active Duty and Retired Navy ONI Members Are Being Told They Cannot “Disrespect” Leadership

| August 29, 2021

Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 88 –
Contempt Toward Public Officials states: “Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Communications from top leadership at the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) shows the instruction of active duty and retired service members that they are forbidden from criticizing Joe for his stunning incompetence that led to the melt down in Afghanistan.

Via email, the Naval Intelligence Chief of Staff, Captain Scott Chesbrough, reminded current and former members of the Navy to follow the UCMJ guidance that prohibits criticizing senior government leadership.

Poetrooper sends.

EXCLUSIVE: Active Duty, Retired Naval Intelligence Members Told They Cannot ‘Disrespect’ Biden Over Afghanistan Debacle

By Chrissy Clark

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.).

This policy was just as vehemently enforced during the Trump administration too, no doubt. I am not a military lawyer, but I think the good Captain should check with JAG before making threats to stifle the First Amendment rights of civilian employees and retried service members with legal action under the UCMJ.

Daily Wire

Input from our duty legal eagles welcome. Thanks, Poe.

Category: "The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves", Biden, Guest Link, Legal

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Old tanker

First.

I don’t recall any threats towards retired soldiers, especially the generals who bad mouthed Trump before we were saddled with the dementia in chief. Particularly when Trump never did anything near as bad as what we have been seeing the last few weeks.

Anonymous

Mostly, it’s a fish story to cow retirees into not making comments. Professionalism and all that, etc.

Paul Davis

Agreed. This CAPT is not even in most sailors CoC.

Mason

There was talk, but it was immediately followed with accusations that Trump was an authoritarian Nazi who had aspirations of being God Emperor of America.

Of course, the talk was talk from pundits, it wasn’t official guidance/orders. Huge difference here.

MI Ranger

There is something on the books that says, if you are being paid a “retirement”, salary it is not to thank you for your service it is to retain you in case of emergency. And it is for this reason you are still subject to UCMJ.
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2021/01/14/can-the-pentagon-prosecute-military-retirees-under-the-ucmj-maybe-it-depends/

E4 Mafia '83-'87

I can see restrictions on active-duty members speaking out against the Chain of Command…in uniform and identifying themselves as AD members…but not any other way. However, retired and civilians don’t have that restriction at all, period. Ya know…the Constitution and shit. They stuff we hear Dems scream about “being under attack”.

I see this a “shot across the bow” for anybody that’s thinking of Whistleblowing on the incompetence they have witnessed.

Is anybody else losing faith in the military’s upper echelon?

SFC D

“Losing”? That ship sailed shortly after Obama assumed control. And just so there’s no question, the retiree / federal employee hereby states, unequivocally and without reservation, Fuck you, Joe Biden! No amount of soap will ever clean your hands!

SteeleyI

UCMJ applies to retirees that accept pay and even others in many cases.

Tee retirement check is actually retainer pay because retirees are subject to involuntary recall as long as they are fit to serve.

Again, the restriction is agains ‘contemptuous’ speech. I can state that I think a decision was wrong, a policy was bad, or even that the president should accept blame. I can’t call him an idiot.

Mason

Saying he’s an idiot is an objective fact though. 😉

USAF E-5

Need to read the entire section: Key part is “in which he is on duty or present”.

USMC Steve

The supremes did say that, although they are wrong. Making someone surrender their civil rights for the rest of their lives simply because they entered into a financial contract with the Government cannot be legally justified. In no way is retirement pay retainer pay, simply because retainer pay requires the continued retained services, and most retirees never do anything for the military ever again. Involuntary recall of all us retirees would require the enactment of the War Powers Act, and that is very unlikely. Very specific circumstances must be met. Retirement pay is earned through service, and the guarantee was that give a certain amount of time, and you get all this stuff for the rest of your life. It is down to nothing but a little money now, the rest of it having been stolen from us over the last 30 years or so. And that money was earned already.

The contemptuous speech thing only applies to officers under Article 88. For enlisted they could of course hit them with the Bullshit Article, 134.

Jay

The “top leadership” at ONI can kiss my rosy red ass. Their stranglehold over what I could and could NOT say ended the day I walked out the door with 20 years of service.

You show me ANYWHERE where in that article where it addresses RETIREES.

Anonymous

Afraid not, Shipmate. It’s occifers only and then only if they’re not retired. (There’s some debate as to whether it’s all the time with reservists or only when doing duty, too>)

KoB

Speaking the truth will get you busted now, huh?

Got it.

Welp we all saw what happened to LTC Scheller…and it happened a lot quicker than we thought it would.

HMCS(FMF) ret

Speaking truth to power when a (D) is in office = WE’RE GONNA HAMMER THE DOG SHIT OUT OF YOU!

Speaking truth to power when a (R) is in office = Go ahead and vent your spleen!

Anonymous

Exactly.

26Limabeans

So happy to be a former Spec 5 that can and will say any fucking thing
I want about Joe Biden who by the way is an idiot.

STSC(SW/SS)

Commissioned O-Bangers only that’s a relief. Article 88 does not apply to O-Bangers criticizing Republicans.

MustangCryppie

Well, I’m fucked!

Off to the re-education camp for me!

SteeleyI

This is Article 88, and it is geared specifically towards ‘contemptuous’ speech: “Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.” So, officers can still criticize their chain of command, up to and including the president, they just can’t be contemptuous when they do so. ‘Contemptuous’ is not really well defined, but I think it is safe to say ‘the presidents policy will lead to the deaths of thousands’, but not ‘the president is a moron and his policy will lead to the death of thousands’. TheDoD directive is about political activity, and basically says that you are allowed to voice your political opinion but can’t do it in such a way that appears as though you are doing so in an official capacity- this is why you can’t wear your uniform to a political rally, pass out flyers in uniform, etc’. Interestingly, this only applies to state officials if you are present in that state at the time of the statement. So, I have to go to North Carolina to say that the governor of Virginia is an idiot (if I were to say that, which I am not. this is just an example). This was part of the Articles of War… Read more »

Ret_25X

the truth cannot be “contemptuous” by definition.

The truth cannot be: racist, sexist, classist, or even republican or democrat.

So saying that the President has done something incredibly stupid is not a form of contempt, but simple statement of truth.

Take Dumbkirk, the President’s “pull out” from Afghanistan.

In no way would be showing contempt by stating truthfully that the officers who planned and executed it are morons and need to be sacked forthwith.

I mean, the proof is in the results.

SteeleyI

It’s not about the truth being contemptuous or not.

It is totally acceptable and legal to state the truth or even voice your opinion. An officer can state that this was a bad decision, the planning for the pullout was incomplete, and that everyone involved was incompetent and should accept culpability or even be fired.

It is not acceptable to call the president or other specific officials a moron. That is contemptuous speech.

Also, keep in mind that the president sets policy and the military executes. Reports are coming out now that he set a limit of 700 troops on the ground, which means that the operational and tactical options are severely limited by an arbitrary number.

So, if you are Milley and McKenzie, and you are told that you can only put 700 boots on the ground, you are going to have to choose from a few bad options.

A Proud Infidel®™️

I say that I truly believe that Joe Biden is a worthless idiot who is dangerously stupid, now I’m off to give my DD214 another hug and a kiss!

steelyI

Retired service members are still subject to the UCMJ in many cases…

steeleyI

I said ‘in many cases’.

It is pretty clear cut. A due course, active duty retiree drawing pay is subject to the UCMJ, no question. Reservists and medical retirees are a special cas

That said, whether or not it is worthwhile pulling someone back for Court Martial is a different question. Some retired LTC calls the president bad name on a blog is one thing, a child rapist is another.

AW1 Rod

My annual 1099-R “Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc.” shows a normal distribution of what the article refers to as “deferred compensation,” a.k.a., a pension, NOT a salary.

Steeleyi

They treat it that way for taxes, but it is one of the justifications for keeping you on the hook.

I’m not making this up, and I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying that active duty retirees are subject to UCMJ, to include Art 88.

Commissar

This is just spin and misleading information.

The UCMJ has not changed.

SFC D

It’s beyond spin, it’s a blatant lie intended to squelch the truth.

Anonymous

So sue us, basically.

Anonymous

They’re counting upon no one challenging it.

Ret_25X

Another ignoramus post from Dummissar.

As you should know, what the UCMJ actually means is defined by the courts…specifically the Court of Military Appeals and SCOTUS.

Over time, interpretation of several articles has changed greatly from the plain meaning of the text.

Therefore, just because the UCMJ has not changed, does not indicate that the judicial interpretation has not changed.

And it has, remarkably. In particular, Article 88 has been severely weakened by both refusal to prosecute fairly and by SCOTUS ruling that political speech is not subject to such articles. Couple this with the Hatch Act and it is not clear cut at all.

I would think that this common knowledge would be understood by a self identified cosmic brain such as yourself, but alas, you simply continue to prove that you never know wtf you are spouting off about.

Stay tuned for Dummissar’s next moronic post.

A Proud Infidel®™️

I’m betting that he’ll start his next post with shitting his pants over Donald Trump.

Commissar

There has been no recent ruling to change anything of substance on this issue.

Neanderthal

You are super happy no one is coming for you for sodomy, did that charge change? Your ilk enjoys hypocrisy above everything. This President armed the Taliban, thru he and his advisors lack of planning, prove me wrong. How did they not plan for the worst case scenario?! Again, ESAD, loser.

Commissar

You are not a serious person.

Neanderthal

Seriously, it appears you never served in a 2 or 3 shop or you would have planned the Talib would have taken over immediately after Jan 20 and been prepared for that. You were probably a project officer and only allowed to plan the unit’s Fun Day. Again ESAD, losing is your #1 Attribute.

Commissar

You have no idea what my military experience is. And yes, I worked in a 2 shop both as an NCO and as an officer.

And you clearly have no idea what the timeline was for the events in Afghanistan over the last year.

You also seem to be inexcusably oblivious to the fact that any planning for anything that might have happened on January 20th would have been conducted under Trump and was therefore his administration’s responsibility to plan, and prepare for.

Even the evacuation of US and NATO citizens and Afghan allies should have been planned and prepared for under Trump. He signed the treaty he agreed to the terms. He surrendered to the Taliban. He released 5000 Taliban prisoners.

Biden can be held responsible for the botched execution and whatever failures accorded in the final preparations …but any lack of planning was under Trump’s watch. As was the terrible treaty he signed when he completely capitulated to the Taliban’s demands.

SFC D

Trump’s plan, right or wrong, was shitcanned by Biden. You cannot Blame Trump’s plan for Biden’s failure. Biden owns this, just as the Chinese own him.

SFC D

He’s over there, in the corner by that 6 foot tall rabbit.

Neanderthal

Keep talking and you continue to remove all doubt…
how much does the orange man pay to be in your head?? The Supreme Court says he can finally be evicted, yet here you are.
I bet you got the Trump vaccine.
Just because they had you take out the trash and clear off the maps doesn’t mean you “worked”. How was the mandatory fun days you planned??

Blaster

You should know a bad plan! Your lord and savior obama gave us the Iranian nuke plan! That one was awesome, wasn’t it?

11B-Mailclerk

There there, major! Did the bad straw man frighten you?

QMC

Sieg hiel mein freunde, amiright?

Commissar

Germans spell if “Kommissar”. That is not the reference I was making.

So I don’t understand what you are getting at by your performative post in German.

SFC D

I’m pretty sure he called you a nazi. Your interpretation may differ.

Commissar

Ah, I completely missed the reference he was making.

Someone would have to be an incredible snowflake and pretty ignorant of political theory to think I was advocating Nazism.

Berliner

Победа исцелит моих друзей, я прав?

The Other Whitey

Well, you do brag about your support of an organization that goes around acting almost exactly like Hitler’s SA and Mussolini’s blackshirts, so there’s that.

QMC

No, I’m sure Lt Col Vindman suffered your same non-partisan righteous fury.

OWB

Well.

There is a huge difference between what we can and what we may be able to do. Measuring what we can (are physically able) to accomplish is quite unlike what someone gives, or denies, us permission to accomplish. Looks like somebody somewhere doesn’t know the distinction.

Not being Navy, this has no impact upon me directly. But in defense of my Navy brethren, I am sure that how well they can operate their vocal cords and project meaningful sound forward is unknown to those who might wish to deny them permission to speak their minds.

Strange.

steeleyI

This was directed at ONI, but what it contains applies to all services. Note that the language includes not just elected officials but also SecDef and SecTrans. This is because it was written when the USCG was part of DoT

O-4E

Fuck him and every other draft dodger. Said the same thing about Trump.

Commissar

We are agreed on that at least.

Retired Mustang

I would argue, this internal email from the ONI COS reveals – there is a vocal and growing anger in ONI with this administration.
The COS issuing a threat, real or not, of UCMJ action (Art. 88) serves to reinforce my opinion; this administration is both incompetent and dangerous.
Would JAG go after prosecuting selected retired commissioned officers for contemptuous words? In this political climate and with this administration…what do you think?

SteeleyI

I think ONI saw an officer in the Naval Services dance awfully close to violating Section 88 and decided to remind everyone where the line is.

This dude was relieved, not prosecuted.

SFC D

It’s still early.

HMCS(FMF) ret

Nah, AW1Ed… that never happens in the Navy.

(HMCS rolls his eyes)…

Anonymous

Three M’s:

ME

MY ASS

MY CAREER

Jeff LPH 3, 63-66

I checked out my 1962 edition of the Blue Jacket’s manual and it was very limited and did not mention article 88, so I went to my 24th and 25 editions of the manual and it really covered ogotz. Went online and found a 1980 version of article 88 and it didn’t mention retirees at all. I also checked out the Dept of defense Directive 1344.10 which dealt with particians in voting by Mil. personal. I looked this up from the above intrduction from the ONI.

5JC

One more time for those who did not read the above.

It doesn’t cover all retirees. Only commissioned officers. Commissioned officers remain commissioned officers when they retire. They can resign if they like.

So all the insults hurled by Commissar at Trump when he was president would be covered, assuming he is a retired O4.

SFC D

That cannot be. A fine officer like Commissar would know that to be true and follow that reg to the utmost of his ability. Oh, the shame he must be feeling, knowing he’s a repeat UCMJ offender!

Commissar

You have to be retired and collecting or currently eligible for retirement pay to be subject to the UCMJ as a retired officer.

I am not collecting nor am I eligible for retirement pay.

I had 15 years active service and 15 years reserve/national guard. I am not eligible for retirement pay until 58.

SFC D

So by your logic, you are therefore exempt from any and all circumstances regarding contemptuous speech regarding the Commander-in-chief? You are separated from the military, did not resign your commission, and are still subject to recall at the discretion of the president? I think your loophole is as fraudulent as you and every other thought you had.

Commissar

This is not a loophole.

It is just the way it is.

SFC D

Ah. It is, because you say it is. An excellent retort.

Commissar

It is because that is how the courts have interpreted the law. The fact that someone is receiving or is eligible for retirement pay is the reason the government has the ability to prosecute them under the UCMJ.

If they are not currently eligible for or receiving retirement pay they are not subject to the UCMJ. You can Google it yourself you lazy asshat.

SFC D

“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Are you still not a commissioned officer? Yes, the courts may have interpreted the law in a manner favorable to you. The courts also fail to prosecute thousands of weapons charges. It’s still illegal.

Commissar

That is not how the law works.

If they don’t have jurisdiction over you then it is not illegal.

If you are not currently eligible for or collecting retirement pay then you are not under the jurisdiction of the UCMJ.

Since you brought up firearms I will use that to illustrate….different states have different firearms laws. It may be illegal to own a fully automatic weapon in 8 states, but if you are not under any of the jurisdiction of those states it is not illegal for you to own one.

Commissar

The real loophole is that they can prosecute a retiree based on the fact that the retiree is still getting paid.

For a century and half that was not the case. They once were protected under the 1st Amendment.

Retired soldiers should be able to speak truth to power without costs or repercussions..

Especially our experienced military members. They earned it and they know the costs of failed policies.

So you are on the wrong side of this argument, ethically.

USMC STEVE

Are you still carrying an ID card identifying you as a commissioned officer? If so, you ARE GUILTY of violating article 88, pure and simple. And unless you have resigned your commission, you ARE an officer.

SFC D

That was my point. Unless you’ve resigned your commission, your pay status means squat. You’re still an officer. A failure and a fraud as an officer, but you’re still commissioned.

SteeleyI

Here’s my take: If you can’t make your point without insults you don’t have much of a point. LtCol Scheller made his point, and he was not contemptuous at all. That said, he does not have a right to command, and his video clearly made his leadership question his judgement. Being removed for command is not the end of his career- he will probably sit out a few years making coffee and epic PowerPoint slides and retire quietly when he is passed over for Col. Who knows, his board may recognize his morale courage and promote him. Either way, for those in a civilian job, imagine if you went up to your boss in a public forum and said ‘I think you are an idiot’. You might be right, but your boss has every right to fire you. The fact is that commissioned officers have a unique status. We serve at the pleasure of the president, and act with his authority to apply violence and lethal power in the interest of the nation . If you publicly disagree with his policies, then you shouldn’t command. If you publicly insult him, you should rightly face disciplinary action because you are undermining the authority of the president. I know a lot of you are thinking of Vindman. Here’s the deal: While Vindman disagreed with the president’s policy, what he actually did was approach his chain of command with concerns about the legality of the presidents actions through official channels. This is a… Read more »

SFC D

There are a whole lot of people wearing eagles and stars that should’ve been resigning ahead of him. I have no doubt this officer will land on his feet and do well in the future.

The Other Whitey

He chose to do what’s right in spite of personal cost. He’s a leader worth following.

They should be begging such a man to stay in.

SFC D

He can’t stay in. He just held up a mirror and showed the emperor he was buck-ass naked. This will not do.

inbredredneck

Don”t suppose any of this would’ve applied to John F’ing Kerry back in the day…

Sj

Scheller made a decision I support. He knew the end game. Geezing I remember that in the 1963 White Name Era one could not drive on Fortress Bragg in a car with any political stickers.

Sn

Correction: White Name Tape era

Sj

Correction: White Name Tape era

Slow Joe

Sj, like Slow Joe?

I am the only Slow Joe!

Change your name or face me in the thunderdome of mean words!

Slowest Joe

Pleez dude, I am the slowest

The Other Whitey

Two men enter! One man leave!

Two men enter! One man leave!

Two men enter! One man leave!

11B-Mailclerk

Slowly

Roh-Dog

From the asshole tracking retirees at the Pentagram, on up through to the Con-gross, across the way to the White House and the dicktaster despot residing within (especially Xiden’s Big-eared controller): kiss my ass.

You know where I am.

How many fingers and toes were lost to frostbite the night Washington crossed the Delaware?
This is the resolve of a Patriot.

alligatorcrocodilesame

But how can you be in contempt of the UCMJ against a person who stole an election??? :/

Doesn’t make any sense… oh well, such is life.

Anybody wanna go get some ice cream, I hear from an old pal that a little shop in Louisiana just had a huge blowout on Delicious Dementia?

Also, under the age of 13 gets free scoops all day!

Skivvy Stacker

The guy who wrote that is just as demented as his god.

Smith

Last time I checked a dd214, the bill of rights and, the ucmj protects vets from this kind of unlawful order from outside ones CoC.