Should military members be held to a higher standard when it comes to their social media activity? That is the question many military authorities are considering as unflattering or controversial social shares by service members are becoming more and more common.
As Army Times reports , the latest high-profile case concerns an Alabama Army Reservist who suggested in a personal Facebook post that he was selling drugs. The soldier, Pvt. Ryan Ross, is now under investigation after his post was featured by a Facebook page "U.S. Army W.T.F.! moments" and stirred responses from some users. Even though Ross' language in the post has been identified as lyrics in a hip hop song, his chain of command is now investigating him for selling drugs and "whether he made inappropriate posting on social media" according to Army Reserve spokesman Lt. Col. Tad Fichtel.
"The Army, the Army Reserve and the 412th take any alleged acts of misconduct seriously, and enforces the highest standards of personal and professional conduct," Fichtel added. He also revealed that Ross could be subject to administrative repercussions or a Uniform Code of Military Justice action for the post.
A RISE IN SOCIAL MEDIA CONTROVERSIES
Army Times also notes that Ross is just the latest in a growing number of military service members who have faced disciplinary action due to social media activity in the last few years. Lt. Col. Tad Fichtel revealed that The Reserve public affairs office monitors social media—but with the rise in soldiers and other service members who have suddenly found themselves under investigation, it is likely there are other social media monitoring systems in place.
If you are military service member who uses social media, your personal accounts are not subject to the same privacies many civilian accounts enjoy. If you are under investigation or have been charged with misconduct due to your social media activity, then we encourage you to contact Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law. Attorney Jordan has over a decade of experience with the U.S. Army and has defended U.S. military members stationed all over the globe.
It is possible to defend against these accusations and fight for your good standing. Contact our firm today for a free consultation.