Gary Stein is a Marine Sergeant, and on Wednesday, he was told that he could be possibly discharged from the Corps for his Facebook page.
Stein had started a page on Facebook called, Armed Forces Tea Party, and the page, according to Pentagon policy, is in violation of an order barring troops from political activities.
On Stein’s Facebook page, he has openly complained about President Barak Obama and the way he is running the country. He also stated that he would not follow the unlawful orders of the commander in chief. He has also criticized Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for comments he made on Syria.
Stein is based out of Camp Pendleton in San Diego, and is a nine-year veteran of the Marines. He said he started the page as a way for himself and other servicemen to exercise their right to freedom of speech.
An inquiry was launched on March 8th to investigate a complaint by a fellow marine, that Stein had violated a Pentagon directive with his political statements.
“I’m completely shocked that this is happening,” Stein said. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve only stated what our oath states that I will defend the constitution, and that I will not follow unlawful orders. If that’s a crime, what is America coming to?”
Stein says since the start of the injury began he has been removed from his post and given a desk job with no access to a computer. He was also told if found guilty, aside from the discharge he could have his rank reduced to lance corporal.
Stein said he had first launched the Facebook page in 2010 and after making some comments on the president’s health care overhaul his Camp Pendelton superior’s warned him he was violating policy. He briefly removed it but after reviewing the policy on his own decided he was not violating it and re-activated the page.
Stein said though he respects the office of the president, he does not agree with Obama’s policies, adding he is within his rights to speak up.