Camp Pendleton Marine faces possible discharged for making public comments about President Obama

CAMP PENDLETON – The U.S. Marine Corps was reported today to be taking steps to boot a Camp Pendleton-based sergeant out of the military for criticizing his top superior, the commander in chief.

Marine Sgt. Gary Stein, 26, of Temecula, said the Corps notified him Wednesday that he will be subject to administrative separation proceedings for making statements about the president ”that are prejudicial to good order and discipline” — a violation of Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to U-T San Diego.

Stein also stands accused of violating Defense Department rules when he created his ”Armed Forces Tea Party” web page on Facebook in 2010, the newspaper reported. The page has nearly 18,000 followers.

Under Defense Department rules, a service member can express personal views about politics but not as a representative of the Armed Forces.

Stein told U-T San Diego that he has done nothing wrong and that he believes the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech trumps the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

A preliminary inquiry into Stein’s online activities was launched on March 8 by his commanding officer at the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Until this week, Stein worked as a weather forecaster at Camp Pendleton on behalf of the depot, according to U-T San Diego, which reported that he was reassigned Wednesday after being restricted from computer access at work.

Stein told the newspaper that he can’t remember exactly what he posted that spurred the controversy but paraphrased it as, ”I say screw Obama. I will not follow orders given by him to me.”

The comment was made on Stein’s Facebook page during an online debate about American troops potentially being tried for burning Korans in Afghanistan. He later added a comment to clarify he meant ”unlawful orders.”

It was unclear early today when the administrative separation proceedings against Stein would take place.

Stein faces a discharge under ”other than honorable” conditions, and might also have his rank reduced and be ordered to pay back some or all of his $45,000 in bonus money and education fees for real estate classes, according to U-T San Diego.

30 Responses to "Camp Pendleton Marine faces possible discharged for making public comments about President Obama"

  1. Betty Scott   March 22, 2012 at 7:29 am

    I just made a comment and it was unapproved, why cause i swore, ok lets see it they approve this one, I can’t believe our men and women do not get the same rights as we do, for example freedom of speech, they are the ones who die and alot are injured for life, this is a stupid rule our military have to go by.

  2. Betty Scott   March 22, 2012 at 7:32 am

    The rule that our military can’t have the rights, which we do, freedom of speech, that, they fight for and die for, and injured for live is stupid.

  3. Betty Scott   March 22, 2012 at 7:33 am

    I just commeted three times, unapproved, i guess i don’t get the right of free speech either

    Note from Editor – Betty – read the disclaimer regarding the comment system. We clearly state that we try to approve, edit or discard submitted comments within one business day. We try to push things through as quickly as possible but 24-hour staffing isn’t possible in this current economy. Please be patient.

  4. Chris   March 22, 2012 at 7:49 am

    These sanctions are way out of line. Military should admonish him, allow him to post a correction & apology and then leave him the hell alone. There are far more important matters pressing our country.

  5. Unhappy   March 22, 2012 at 8:23 am

    If you’re unhappy with the person you work for, perhaps you’d be better off working somewhere else. If he refuses to "follow orders" given by the Commander in Chief, he should not be working in a job that is headed by that commander. If I refused to do the things my boss requires of me, I’d be fired.
    I don’t know if the First Amendment will trump the military code, but if he is that unhappy, maybe he should just quit.

  6. Ray (the real one)   March 22, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Well that is what happens when you join the armed forces, your so called constitutional rights get suspended, your government issue. Now if he created his Facebook page not listing he was a Marine or any connection to the armed forces, just an average "Joe" nothing the corps could have done but "always a Marine" got him his general discharge and years of his life in the corps wasted. Like it or not, Oblamo is still the "commander and chief" and you don’t critique your superiors period. I wish him well in his new career as a civillian.

  7. flbkboy   March 22, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Yes give his butt the boot. I warned him not to mock his boss… now he can look for a job on the street with a cup out…we do not need to pay this treason mongoring young man’s salary.

  8. Sharron   March 22, 2012 at 9:24 am

    As a military retiree I can understand if the Marine Corps is saying Sgt Stein cannot use a government computer to post his comments to Facebook. I cannot, however, understand how ANY service can deny an individual the right to free speach. Free speach is guaranteed by the constitution and one of the rights that those who serve in the military are protecting. I also understand that appearing at a political ralley in uniform is not acceptable and cannot be tolerated.

    However, everytime I comment with regard to an Obama policy I wonder if my retirement, social security benefits, etc will be messed with. There is something wrong with an administration that has created an atmosphere of fear and distrust. Have our military leaders also become puppets of this socialistic environment.

  9. observer   March 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I think where he ran into trouble is where he declared he would not follow orders from the Commander in Chief. It is one thing to voice your opinion, but to openly declare defiance regarding your command would sure put a soldier in trouble. NOW – that said – he hasn’t actually ‘defied an order’ only made a statement. Going through the process of giving him a dishonorable discharge and removing all his benefits seems a bit overkill. Does not send a good statement about our military or our ‘Commander in Chief’. Definately gives the impression of a dictatorship where full allegiance is in order and those not willing to go with the program are ‘removed’. hmmm..

  10. Rebecca Monge   March 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Of course since Mr. Obama started , I expected it.
    Soon none of us will have the right to state our opinions. Just like, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia. Funny when fun was made of all the other presidents, I never heard of this happening of course because it is ridiculous, but get ready folks this is only the start unless intelligence reigns in November you are in for a scary shock.

  11. Lorraine Conley   March 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    It isn’t anti, it is The Consitution of United States of America. Barack Hussein Obama II illegally jails United States soldiers for asking questions. – American Patriot Foundation

  12. 1st Air Cav   March 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    10 USC Sec 502 (a)Enlistment Oath-Each person enlisting in the armed force shall take the following oath: "I, ——–, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will OBEY the orders of the PRESIDENT of the United States and the orders of the OFFICERS appointed over me, according to the regulations and UNIFORM CODE of MILITARY JUSTICE. So help me God."

    Enough said-End of "argument".

  13. Unhappy   March 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Rebecca, you’re stating that fun was made of other presidents and nothing was done. This man was not making fun of the president, he stated that he would refuse to follow orders given by him. Yes, that’s exactly what we need…a military where no one follows orders. Plus it is not Obama making this decision, it is the organization he chose to join…the U.S. Marines. I’m sure Obama had nothing to do with making that code, it is the military that he chose to join.

  14. observer   March 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    @ 1st Air Cav = yes. True. However he did not disobey any orders whatsoever just stated that he would not. He has an opinion. His verbally declaring that he would not obey should get him in trouble but , really? dishonorable discharge for a comment? Slap his hand, set him straight, give him the opportunity to ‘think’ about his comment, but he has ‘done’ nothing wrong.

  15. ...   March 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Oblamo! funny

  16. Reality Checker   March 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    No, the first amendment does not and never has trumped the UCMJ and thats why enlisted and officers both swear an oath upon entry and re-enlistment. Thats old established law, no way its a viable argument. Many civilians dont know that our military personnel lose the unalienable rights civilians take for granted every day by the millions. Thats part of the reason the military is ready to stand and fight for everyones rights, because they have personal knowledge of how precious those rights are and what it is like not to have them.
    Its also why it is so very very important that their commander in cheif has their backs. If you have ever seen the photo of Obama standing on the platform out in the open sunshine apparently the national anthem is playing and everyone else on stage with him has their hand over their heart, but Obama doesnt. He is standing there, with obvious contempt for the flag and the anthem and the United States with his hands at his sides and his typical look of arrogance on his face. The photo says it all. It says everything you ever needed to know about the commander in chief. He despises the military. And they know it. But they dont have the right to say anything about it. They do have the right to vote, but their votes NEVER get counted as most are absentee and are mailed out too late to mark and send back in time for counting. Usually they come in one or two, sometimes up to six months too late to count. The military doesnt get the ballots until its too late to vote. Many blue states mail them out to the military well after the mandated dates set to ensure the military gets them in time to vote. Obama knows the military by in large will not vote for him. Lets see how many deployed service members get their ballot in time to vote this cycle. My guess is they wont get thier ballots until its too late. They will be disenfranchised by the Democrats like usual. Its an old game. In my 29 years in, I never recieved a presidential ballot in time while deployed. The democrat state I was from could have mailed it to me as well as everyone else in plenty of time to mark it and return it in time to be counted.
    So, the first amendment is hardly the only way our patriots are denied thier contitutional rights. Remember, they were labeld by homescare security as potential terrorists when they returned from war? You wonder why the military personnel are speaking out now, when they know they arent supposed to? They feel that no one listens or cares. They are hurting like never before. Not even like when the Marines landed on Normandy Beach, because they knew what the mission was and were given the means to accomplish it. Now, they are hated by their commander in chief, called terrorists by big sis, over extended on deployment after deployment without the needed support, and led by too many politically correct, politically motivated commanders in the field, distrusted by thier secretary of defense and disarmed in the field before they can hear his speach, and treated with disdain by the VA when they go to have their service connected injuries and illnesses treated, and end up on food stamps when they cant find a job after they separate from the service. Its not any easier on thier families either.
    Its not hard to understand why this Marine did what he did. I support our troops and I sincerely hope and pray they get the commander in chief they deserve this time.

  17. Lee Chew   March 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Gary Stein, watch what happens after all is said and done. Then ask yourself, was it worth it. I wouldn’t think so.

  18. BEA THOMAS   March 22, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    If you had an ounce of respect for your boss, you would not make those kinds of statement. There is a time for all things and Freedom of Speech does not allow you to say anything your want.
    Frankly I think you should be tried for treason. Mr Obama has shown nothing but respect for our Military men. Michelle and Dr Biden has spent hours sending things to our Military men overseas in Afghanistan and Irag. THERE IS A SIMPLE RULE TO LIVE BY, WHETHER WE ARE RACIST OR NOT. DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOUR WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.


  19. Duke Vanorsdale   March 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Hey I think he and anyone else i the service has just as much right to say what is on their mind. And if Obama does not like it , then that is tuff, because this is the USA and there is a thing called freedom of Speech. and hopefully people will be much smarter come November.

  20. Enough   March 23, 2012 at 6:18 am

    You anti obama people amaze me. Freedom speech is so important to you when it is anti obama. You right wingers sure didn’t think the Dixie chicks had freedom of speech when they said they were embarrassed to be from Texas home of George Bush. They actually received death threats. If I refused to do my job I would be fired. The things you people actually spew about Obama is truly amazing maybe if you actually made sense you would be credible.

  21. ERIN   March 23, 2012 at 9:34 am

    WOW! Don’t know if I would bet my military career and pension on the Tea Party. The Chargers winning the Super Bowl may be a safer bet.

  22. Fact Checker   March 23, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I can’t beleive I’m writing this but, I agree with Ray (the real one). I served in the Marine Corps under President Clinton and did not agree with all his descisions but, he is the commander-in-cheif and as member of the armed services you must follow his directives. I have heard that this Marine stated something to the affect " I won’t follow an unlawful order." That in an of its self is not a problem. His mistake was identifying with a political movement "The Tea Party." That is plain and simple supporting one particular party and as member of the armed forces serving for all americans, you can’t support any one political party.

  23. Reality Checker   March 23, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Enough, you are correct in that the problem exists on both sides, even all sides (meaning all flavors of political orientation.) Obama is just part of a much larger problem that exists on every side, but the people on the democrat side aren’t the democrats I grew up with. Today’s democrat is a socialist, Marxist, or Communist that is looking for every opportunity to dismantle the America we grew up in. They know it. That’s the big issue, and probably much of why this Marine did what he did, because that’s who he sees as the one person that is the leader of that "transformation" that he even promised would happen during his election cycle in 2008. This marine and many other servicemen and women in other branches see him as enemy number one, but are torn between their patriotism, their loyaly to the oath they took and their deep seated fear of impending doom for this country (meaning lost rights, and forced, manipulating efforts from every angle to run this country off a cliff in order to further the overall goal of transforming a free America into a communist dictatorship. Many service members feel he is an active agent in that transformation as the commander in chief. They believe he isnt a citizen of this country, and is working to ruin the American economy for outside interests in other countries, facilitating the transfer of wealth and the communist takeover of the USA. They are torn between following a commander in chief they believe is actively destroying America and protecting the country against enemies, both foreign and domestic. It’s not just about Obama, the man. It’s not a right of left problem for them. Your assumption that "right wingers" didn’t think that the Dixie chicks didn’t have the freedom of speech to say what they did is absolutely incorrect. Yes, there are wackos on every side, even the right, but to make a blanket statement and lump all "right wingers" together to say they don’t believe in freedom of speech unless it’s against Obama is as wrong factually as it can be. Actually, the vast majority on the right is ready, willing and eager to engage in debate with anyone willing to honestly debate the issues. You see, that’s what they actually believe in. A few Miscreants from either side is expected, but those views are the extreme, and while they are free to say it, doesn’t mean that all feel that way. We shouldn’t be torn apart by those miscreants. That’s their goal. We can debate the issues without resorting to calling names and telling outright lies to further our ideologies.

  24. Reality Checker   March 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Fact Checker, your statement "His mistake was identifying with a political movement "The Tea Party." That is plain and simple supporting one particular party" is also incorrect. The TEA party folks just want honest, open, limited government that lives within its means. That’s all. It doesn’t matter weather democrat, republican, independent, or libertarian, white, black, yellow, green, brown, or blue. They are by in large honest hard working everyday red blooded Americans that just want to see their government stop spending over their budget, stop intruding into private business of our daily lives, stop over regulating our commerce, read the bills they vote on, and stop letting special interests buy their votes. That’s all. The TEA Party isn’t the extreme, racist, unintelligent, bigoted group they are made out to be. The left leaning media describe the TEA Party that way, because they are controlled by Marxist elite millionaires and billionaires around the world. Same people that most of congress I believe is beholden to. So, they can’t afford to allow a truly free press or they would lose their ability to socially engineer the general public. Those in control want everyone watching to believe the TEA Party is this extreme, out of touch, racist, bigoted, unenlightened group of mostly middle aged white men that just want Obama out of office because he’s black. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and a lot of people that never rallied with any TEA Party could be influenced by the media to believe that on face value. Unfortunately, a few people (mostly the younger, naive) don’t have the motivation or the desire to find out what is really going on, and acting with juvenile zeal, run out to these occupy rallies without a clue as to why they are there. And, unwittingly and naively are used as useful idiots helping these Marxist elites push communism through OWS. Kids these days come out of school taught that Marxism and Communism is cool, so they really dig it, feeling like they actually know something and are a part of some righteous revolution that in fact, the TEA Party is fighting against. So, it’s OWS against the TEA Party. Get it now?????

  25. Check Reality Cracker   March 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    So tell me Mr. Reality Checker,

    Was it in the best interest of either America or our Armed Forces to have the previous CIC engage us in a war of choice? To send our young heroes to the meat grinder over and over. For what?

    How about SECDEF Rumsfeld. Are you kidding me. He makes McNamara look like saint Robert.

    Have you seen our local Tea Party in front of the Post Office here in Fallbrook, with a picture of the president sporting a Hitler mustache? Is that a reasonable manner to register your discontent? When they saw my vehicle with my DOD and eagle sticker, and gave me a thumbs up looking for support, I gave them 2 thumbs down. They need to know most military believe in and support the chain of command. It has worked for centuries.

    There is no need for you to justify the Tea Party. Extremists on either end of the spectrum eventually fade away because they are so distant from the mainstream of American thought.

  26. mom of lots   March 23, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Some people on this thread really scare me. They will have their hand over their heart and be saluting the flag NO MATTER what the decisions are of the Commander in Chief/ military because they took an oath. I’d rather sit in the brig than go along with the illegal invasion and the murderous rampage of other fellow human beings. And I DO NOT whatsoever blame this on Obama so do not put me in that camp either. This is so very sad what we have going on in this country and what our country has done/ does to maim and destroy so that we can continue on to be "proud" USA.

  27. 6th level   March 24, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Question- How many times can some old dude crank out the words marxist/communist/socialist before everybody in their teens and twenties gives a big collective yawn and goes back to their playstations?

    Reality Checker sounds like he needs to get a grip on some reality himself and fast. Somebody’s still fighting old wars. Nobod’s afraid of the big invisible boogeymen any more. Obama’s not the enemy….you and the right wing reactionaries ARE!! YEA to OWS! No to Mittens Romney, Gingrich, Scanktorum and all the other collective republican fossils out there (Ron Paul says some good stuff here and there but he’s still a jerk on most of it). We’re not afraid of people of different colors or cower before your dated religious make believe. The government is not evil and big corporations are not our friends. Rethuglicans hating on gays and immigrants aren’t going to get our votes either and just makes you look like you have nothing important to say. And enabling corporations to trash the environment at will is a dumb thing and being a climate change denialist is the total dumbest. The whiners in the tea party have no message worth listening to except wave the flag, obstruct that nasty socialist health care for people of my age while making sure that their generation sucks the federal government dry when it comes to medicare.

    Last thing. I hope Obama kicks a** come november!!!!!

  28. Looking scary   March 24, 2012 at 8:40 am

    With each passing day the Tea Party group continues to look worse. When it first started in Fallbrook it seemed to have some normal intelligent people involved, but as time has gone on that has changed. More and more radical acts seem to be happening with these people across the country

  29. Enough   March 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Reality Checker you state that the vast majority on the right is ready, willing and eager to engage in the debate with anyone willing to honestly debate the issues well I don’t see that. All I see is the awful signs in Fallbrook with President Obama being depicted as hitler. All I hear and read is the awful stuff that is said about the President and I don’t see the vast majority of people on the right condemning those things. Like My husband says he didn’t leave the Republican party they left him by their actions.

  30. Christie   April 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

    He hasn’t actually defied any presidential orders at this time. Admonish him and move forward. He was obviously blowing off steam over the whole Koran trial (which is also a waste of our tax dollars). Unlike the President, I actually run a business, allow my employees to disagree as long as they do follow instructions and get the job done. This is an incredible waste of our time and money to disallow our military freedom of speech when they are still actually doing their job.


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