Two soldiers appeared in uniform for the Democratic National Convention’s Tuesday evening nomination of Joe Biden as its presidential nominee.
Their presence during American Samoa’s turn in the official roll call vote raises potentially thorny issues about military involvement in politics, ABC News reported.
U.S. military members, like all citizens, may support political candidates, but only on their own time and never while wearing their uniforms, a point that military leaders specifically emphasize to members.
“All members of the Armed Forces … are prohibited from wearing military uniforms at political campaign or election events,” the Defense Department said in a statement cited Tuesday evening by Leo Shane, Military Times deputy editor.
The soldiers flank two of American Samoa’s Democratic delegates casting the territory’s votes before an iconic South Pacific backdrop.
The faces of the two junior enlisted personnel were hidden behind pandemic-era masks but their names are clearly visible on the uniform.