Veterans have every right to participate in politics

My short response to the recent OpEd by a retired CJCS who doesn’t like to see retired officers involved in domestic politics.

He wrote it for the Washington Post.  I’d give you the link but they want me to subscribe to see the story again…


I disagree on many grounds but foremost our military veterans have earned the right to participate in the political process when they have left the service, maybe even more than any other citizen. Every citizen is equal under the law and our constitutional protections must apply to all citizens.

Any civilian leader that is so weak minded and poorly skilled as a leader that they spend their day trying to figure out the political leanings of their Generals and Admirals, instead of leading our nation is unfit for elected office.

Our officers at the senior level are part of the policy level of government. That will not change…they operate in a political world. But the professionalism of our military while in uniform ensures they apolitically give advice to their civilian bosses.

Civilians either trust the professionalism of our active duty military officers or they don’t. What veterans do after they have served should have no impact on that relationship.
We will need to rethink the constitution if we want to have a separate set of liberties for people after working in different professions.

I hear no cries about diplomats, intelligence officers, development workers, and other critical federal government employees that advise the president and congress on matters of grave national security.

This is shortsighted thinking that takes no account of the great history of veterans serving again after they leave the military at the highest levels of elected or appointed governemnt.

Officers usually do what is right instead of what is easy or pay a severe and public penalty. Can we say the same for our elected officials?

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