The United States Military And Department Of Defense Essay

1348 Words Nov 7th, 2016 6 Pages
With the upcoming presidential election, the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) released guidance on communication with presidential campaign for all members of the United States Military and department of Defense (DoD). This guidance creates restrictions on what military members can and cannot do or say in regards to politics, which creates potential dilemmas in ethical decision making. Social media creates new issues not seen in most previous elections, as members can, and should, not post anything politically related in regards to politics. Although the right to speak freely is given in the First Amendment of the Constitution, Military members hold a distinct position of power, which can easily be abused to influence the general public, making it unethical to utilize their profession as a means of spreading political beliefs. In ethical decision-making, one must always consider different ethical theories, as well as potential outcomes for their actions. A military officer is “responsible for making decisions that are not straightforwardly dictated by the stated or generally accepted rules governing his or her office” (Rubel, 25). This fact poses the question of whether or not it would be ethical for a service member to openly state his/her opinions on politics. In the SECDEF`s guidance, he states that “military personnel should avoid the inference that their political activities imply or appear to imply DoD sponsorship” (SECDEF 4). This limitation allows…

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