No place for hate

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Natasha Hollomon
  • 28th Bomb Wing Equal Opportunity Office
As Americans, we have many freedoms and constitutional rights. But as Department of Defense military and civilian members, our rights are limited.

While mere membership in extremist groups is not prohibited, actively participating in their activities is. Commanders must preserve the servicemember's right of expression to the maximum extent possible, consistent with good order, discipline and national security. However, active participation, such as publicly demonstrating or rallying, fund raising, recruiting and training members, organizing or leading such organizations, or otherwise engaging in activities in relation to such organizations, is incompatible with military service and is prohibited.

Department of Defense civilians, on the other hand, are permitted to participate in demonstrations, petitions, speeches, private organizations and similar activities in his or her private capacity while not in a duty status as the exercise of the constitutional rights of speech, peaceable assembly and petition to Congress. However, taking part in these activities may subject the employee to disciplinary action if it interferes with the mission of the armed forces or interferes with the duty performance of the employee and other employees or military members. Employees may also be subject to disciplinary action, including removal, if convicted of inciting or taking part in a riot, civil disorder, or any group activity that results in damage to property or injury to people.

The Air Force holds our military and civilian personnel to higher standards. Our core values: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do--are a complete contradiction to the objectives and beliefs of these types of organizations. Extremist beliefs and activities can cause division and disrupt a unit's mission ... everyone suffers.

Please reference the documents listedĀ above for clarification and for answers to other questions about membership in extremist groups. If approached or you come across any literature promoting and recruiting hate groups, please contact the 28th Bomb Wing Equal Opportunity Office immediately at (605)385-1752, or the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at (605)385-2852.