Marine discharged for criticizing Obama on Facebook
Sgt. Gary Stein, a U.S. Marine who lashed out at President Barack Obama on Facebook, has been given his marching orders.
The Marine Corps said Stein will be given an “other than honorable” discharge for violating a Pentagon policy banning service members from criticizing senior officials such as the president, according to the Associated Press.
Stein, 26, served in the Corps for almost 10 years, and the discharge means he loses all benefits.
The Administrative Separation Board, according to the LA Times, found that Stein made “disparaging” remarks about Obama that were deemed in breach of military law and damaging to good order and discipline.
In a comment that has since been deleted, Stein apparently wrote, “Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him” and “Obama is the economic enemy, he is the religious enemy... he is the domestic enemy.” Those March 1 comments were made on a Facebook page used by Marine Corps meteorologists.
A federal judge previously turned down a request to have military proceedings against Stein halted. U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff ruled that the military had the right to respond to Stein’s comments.
“I have spent the last 9 years honorably serving this great nation and the Corps,” Stein wrote on Facebook. “Even though I will be discharged no one can take the title of Marine away from me. I thank my family and friends for their support and love. Today is just the start of the rest of my life. Semper Fi.”
This is not the first time Stein’s politics have gotten him in the public eye. He 2010, he received national attention when he started the Armed Forces Tea Party Facebook page.
It’s not the end of the line for Stein’s case, however. An other than honorable discharge makes Stein ineligible for military benefits. But after nine months, Stein can appeal the categorization of his discharge on the basis of whether the decision was granted in a proper manner and if it was fair and equitable. If that measure fails, Stein can plead his case to the Board for Correction of Naval Records as a last resort.
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