Air Force Puts the MAGA Hat Issue to Rest: Airmen Were Not in Violation of DOD Rules

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Posted: Dec 28, 2018 12:07 AM
Air Force Puts the MAGA Hat Issue to Rest: Airmen Were Not in Violation of DOD Rules

In a statement, U.S. Air Forces Europe said the Airmen who were photographed having “Make America Great Again” hats and at least one having a “Trump” flag were not in violation of Department of Defense policies barring active-duty personnel from engaging in partisan political activity while in uniform.

"There is no rule against Airmen bringing personal items to be signed by the president," USAFE told Stars and Stripes.

The service members had President Donald Trump’s merchandise for him to sign when he was visiting Ramstein Air Base on the way back from visiting troops in Iraq. 

He also signed MAGA hats for service members in Iraq:

"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," the command added.

After the photos circulated on social media, many have said the Airmen could be in violation of DOD policy and concerns of politicization of military: 

Per the DOD, some “examples of political activities that are prohibited include campaigning for a candidate, soliciting contributions, marching in a partisan parade and wearing the uniform to a partisan event.”