It’s really much ado about nothing, to quote the Bard. According to the United States Air Forces Europe, there is nothing wrong with members bringing a Make America Great Again hat to an event for the president to sign while in uniform.
U.S. Air Forces Europe (USAFE), responding to social media and TV reports that claimed troops who brought “Make America Great Again” hats for President Trump to sign were doing something wrong, issued a blunt statement on Thursday: “There is no rule against Airmen bringing personal items to be signed by the president,” adding, “Any time the commander in chief offers the opportunity to meet with Airmen, such as this official holiday visit by the President and First Lady, Airmen are welcome to participate. No policy violations have been brought to our attention at this time.”
Well, alrighty then. CNN and the other fake news outlets jumped the gun again when they went out and found military personnel willing to back their stance that the service members in Iraq were making political statements when they brought their MAGA hats to a get together so that Trump could sign them.
Some people connected to the military had criticized the troops; retired Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling tweeted, “There are myriad reasons for both a Department of Defense and an Army Regulation against military personnel participating in or showing allegiance to ANY political party while in uniform. Good commanders enforce; good NCOs jerk a knot in the (expletive) of those who violate.”
Pam Keith, a former Navy judge advocate general who ran for Congress as a Democrat, echoed on Twitter, “As a former Navy JAG, I can tell you that engaging in partisan political activity such as flying a Trump flag or wearing a MAGA hat, while in uniform is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and its implementing regs.”
Not everyone agrees, obviously. However, it looks like USAFE is not going to pursue the matter, so file this one under tempest in a teapot and be done with it.