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Navy punishes American sailors who wore ‘Make Aircrew Great Again’ patches during the Trump speech in Japan

The US Navy rebuked sailors who felt they had violated the Pentagon’s rules by wearing “Make Aircrew Great Again” patches on their uniforms while attending an event with President Trump in Japan last year.

The sailors were spotted aboard the USS Wasp on Memorial Day 2019 with the ‘Make America Great Again’ style patches attached to their uniforms.

The red areas show a cartoon-like Trump-like figure pointing at the way of navy recruitment posters, with the text ‘Make Aircrew Great Again’, a piece about the infamous slogan. The patches first appeared in 2017.

A spokesman for the Pacific Fleet said on Thursday that the sailors would be punished because the patches could be considered political activity. Active service personnel are required by the Ministry of Defense guidelines to avoid all political activities and must not wear political statements on their uniforms.

An American Marine with a “Make Aircrew Great Again” badge listening to US President Donald Trump during a Memorial Day event aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp in Japan

Donald Trump (R) arrives aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp to participate in a Memorial Day event in Yokosuka on May 28, 2019, with the Make Aircrew Great Again patch

Donald Trump (R) arrives aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp to participate in a Memorial Day event in Yokosuka on May 28, 2019, with the Make Aircrew Great Again patch

Donald Trump (R) arrives aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp to participate in a Memorial Day event in Yokosuka on May 28, 2019, with the Make Aircrew Great Again patch

Servants were seen wearing the plasters while listening to President Trump talking to troops at a Memorial Day event aboard the USS Wasp, on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Yokosuka, Japan.

A few days after the speech, eighteen sailors and officers assigned to the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron based in Guam were told that they were suspected of breaking the protocol with the patches and an investigation was started.

Nine of the people surveyed had attended the speech and their responsible officer, a lieutenant commander, immediately seized their patches after Trump had spoken.

Wearing an unofficial patch is common on military personnel uniforms, although they are forbidden to share political messages while they are in uniform.

Instead, patches are sometimes worn with humorous images in an attempt to promote morale.

It is generally up to the unit commanders to ensure that unofficial patches do not violate military regulations or that political messages do not appear.

Nine sailors wore the patch for Trump's speech - he can be seen arriving here aboard the USS Wasp

Nine sailors wore the patch for Trump's speech - he can be seen arriving here aboard the USS Wasp

Nine sailors wore the patch for Trump’s speech – he can be seen arriving here aboard the USS Wasp

President Trump spoke with US soldiers on the US Navy Wasp USS Wasp, a speech in which nine attendees were punished for uniform

President Trump spoke with US soldiers on the US Navy Wasp USS Wasp, a speech in which nine attendees were punished for uniform

President Trump spoke with US soldiers on the US Navy Wasp USS Wasp, a speech in which nine attendees were punished for uniform

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump took pictures with military personnel aboard the USS Wasp, where other sailors wore the patches of Make Aircrew Great Again

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump took photos with military personnel aboard the USS Wasp, where other sailors wore the patches of Make Aircrew Great Again

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump took pictures with military personnel aboard the USS Wasp, where other sailors wore the patches of Make Aircrew Great Again

The investigation showed that the sailors had not intended to make a political statement with the patches, but had nevertheless broken the rules.

“Although the investigation revealed that the sailors did not intend to wear the patches as a political statement for or against the president, US Pacific Fleet determined that because the American public could reasonably see wearing the patches on official uniforms as DoD association with President Trump’s 2020 campaign, it was contrary to DoDD 1344.10, “said Pacific Fleet spokeswoman Rachel McMarr in a statement released Thursday.

McMarr added that the “appropriate administrative measures” would be taken by the navy to ensure that sailors and their leaders understood the requirements and that they took due account of the increased risk that actions by service workers in uniform as an official are considered DoD position ‘.

Military.com reports that the sailors and officers have received non-judicial punishments that have been carried out at unit level. Such penalties include formal reprimand, loss of rank and pay or other restrictions.

During the speech the sailors were shown, grouped in wearing the red spots

During the speech the sailors were shown, grouped in wearing the red spots

During the speech, the sailors were shown, grouped in wearing the red spots

The speech took place last Memorial Day 2019 at the USS Wasp in Japan, pictured here

The speech took place last Memorial Day 2019 at the USS Wasp in Japan, pictured here

The speech took place last Memorial Day 2019 at the USS Wasp in Japan, pictured here

The patches were first noticed in 2017, but now it has been established that they are in conflict with the uniform

The patches were first noticed in 2017, but now it has been established that they are in conflict with the uniform

The patches were first noticed in 2017, but now it has been established that they are in conflict with the uniform

According to Ministry of Defense guidelines, “active service personnel should not be involved in party-related political activities and all military personnel should avoid the conclusion that their political activities imply or appear to imply DoD sponsorship, approval or approval of a political candidate,” campaign, or cause. ”

Defense Secretary Mark Esper issued a memo to staff members and civilians last week to remind them of the guidelines.

“All members of the Ministry of Defense must be steadfast in our commitment to defending the constitution and democratic principles of our nation,” he wrote.

‘As citizens, we exercise our voting rights and participate in the government.

“But as officials who have taken an oath to defend these principles, we maintain DoD’s long-standing tradition of apolitics in fulfilling our official responsibilities.”

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