Military Political Activity Restrictions

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As U.S. service members and DoD civilians have political opinions, however they should understand the limits placed upon their involvement in certain political activities.

The law regarding restriction of political activities by military members and civilian federal employees is known as the Hatch Act. It was enacted in 1939.

There are many questions concerning military policies that restrict both political activities by service members and DoD civilians, and candidates' use of facilities for political events.

While the rules generally prohibit any appearance of a military member in uniform supporting any political candidate or cause, using official government electronic devices to campaign for political candidates or causes or giving any impression that the military -- or military branch supports that cause or candidate.

The following pages outline these policies for each branch:

Read the official DoD Directive:

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