Last I checked, we didn’t give up our First Amendment rights when we enlist. The timing of this Article 15, in light of the accusations of “offending” people because of his religious beliefs, is mighty suspect.
A member of the U.S. Army Band who said he was reprimanded for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his personal car, serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at a party and reading books written by conservative authors like Sean Hannity was found guilty of three Article 15 charges.
Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers, a decorated soloist with the Army Band, was found guilty Thursday of failing to go to an appointed place of duty, disobedience of an order and making a false official statement, his attorney said.
The charges were handed down June 9, one day after Sommers told Fox News that he was facing discrimination and persecution because of his conservative political and religious beliefs.
Retired Navy Commander John Bennett Wells told Fox News the charges were stemmed from giving a superior officer the wrong date for a doctor’s appointment. He’s also accused of failing to carry out an order. In order to comply with that order, Sommers would have had to disclose private information about his autistic son’s medical records.
“The timing does seem strange,” Wells told Fox News. “It’s suspicious. It looks like a graduated attempt to build a case against him on some really ridiculous charges.
Sommers, a 25-year military veteran, received an oral reprimand and will not be reduced in rank.
Wells said he plans on appealing the non-judicial punishment and is considering a lawsuit under the Administrative Procedures Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
……Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin told Fox News it appears the Army is trying to send a message to not only Sommers but others in his unit.
“Over my 36 years in the US Army I saw numerous situations like this where a Soldier is singled out by the chain of command for punishment,” Boykin said. “The Article 15 proceeding may be technically legitimate, but one must recognize that an Army Master Sergeant with 25 years does not normally do stupid things that are easily avoidable unless there is some mitigating circumstance.”
……Sommers’ troubles started last year when he was confronted about having pro-Republican and anti-Obama bumper stickers on his personal vehicle.
The stickers read: “Political Dissent is NOT Racism,” “NOBAMA,” NOPE2012” and “The Road to Bankruptcy is Paved with Ass-Fault.” That sticker included the image of a donkey.
His superior officer told the Soldier that the bumper stickers were creating “unnecessary workplace tension.”
Sommers also came under fire for reading the works of Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and David Limbaugh. Last summer he was reading Limbaugh’s “The Great Destroyer” backstage at a concert when a superior officer told him that he was causing “unit disruption” and was offending other Soldiers.
“I wasn’t reading aloud,” Sommers told Fox News. “I was just reading privately to myself. I was told they were frowning on that and they warned me that I should not be reading literature like that backstage because it was offensive.”
……But the incident that led to an official investigation of Sommers came late last summer when he served Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his promotion party.
“My family likes Chick-fil-A and we like what they stand for,” he said. “I can make a statement and at least express a religious point of view at my promotion party – theoretically without any fear of reprisal.”
The Soldier also tweeted about the party: “In honor of DADT repeal, and Obama/Holder’s refusal to enforce DOMA act, I’m serving Chick-fil-A at my MSG promo reception for Army today.”
Too bad there wasn’t a lot of indignation about Nidal Hasan’s incessant rhetoric before he screamed “Allah u Akbar” and mowed down 13 Soldiers at Ft. Hood.
The Army’s double standards for freedom of speech have really reached sickening levels. Everyone except Christians are allowed to voice their opinions and political views with little retribution.
When it comes to certain forms of free speech, the military tends to pick and choose what it tolerates. The in-your-face gay rights faction finally got DADT eliminated and can now serve openly in the military. Radical muslims in the ranks bad-mouth the United States and other religious denominations on MEMRI and Al Jazeera, without getting called on the carpet by their commanders. But gawd forbid you espouse Judeo-Christian beliefs. According to the Pentagon, that will get you an Article 15, or worse, in front of a Courts Martial.
You know the Army has gone bat-shit nuts when a superior officer emails his subordinates with diatribes about “Christian Right groups out there” that “do not share our Army Values”, but fails to mention the glut of anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and anti-Western Islamofascist thugs that make life a hell of a lot more hazardous than any Christian Right group in his fervid imagination.
I’m agnostic and even I can see that Christians are being blatantly discriminated against in the armed forces.
They were looking for a reason to nail MSG Sommers for his anti-Obama opinions, so they simply trumped up charges to cover their ass.
I can’t speak for the other branches of the military, but the evisceration of the United States Army is complete. There were hints of what was coming before Obama got installed, but since his regime took over, it’s gone berserk.
You think the EO concept is being abused now? I predict that within the next generation of Soldiers, we will witness the insertion of PC officers assigned to each unit much like the embedded KGB political officers in the former Soviet Army. Every Soldier who speaks out in defense of the Constitution we’re sworn to protect, and objects to the insane policies forced on them, will be duly reported to the authorities.
- Soldier Who Read Conservative Books Now Faces Charges (patdollard.com)
- Sgt. Nathan Sommers Found Guility By Army After Reprimand for Reading Books By Conservatives (foxnewsinsider.com)
- Soldier Told Not to Read Levin, Limbaugh or Hannity in Uniform (radio.foxnews.com)