Department of Defense


DIRECTIVE NUMBER 1325.6                                 
October 1, 1996


SUBJECT: Guidelines for Handling Dissident and Protest Activities Among Members
of the Armed Forces

References: (a) DoD Directive 1325.6, subject as above, September 12, 1969 (hereby

(b) Chapter 47 of title 10, United States Code, "Uniform Code of
Military Justice"

(c) Title 18, United States Code

(d) DoD Directive 1334.1, "Wearing of the Uniform," August 11, 1969

(e) Title 10, United States Code


This Directive reissues reference (a) to update DoD policy and responsibilities
governing the handling of dissident activities by members of the Army, Navy, Air
Force, and Marine Corps. Specific problems should be resolved only on the basis of
the particular facts of the situation and in accordance with the provisions of applicable
DoD regulations and reference (b).


This Directive applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military
Departments (including the Coast Guard when it is operating as a Military Service in
the Navy), the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Combatant Commands, the
Defense Agencies, and the DoD Field Activities (hereafter referred to collectively as
" the DoD Components"). The term "Military Services," as used herein, refers to the
Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps.



DODD 1325.6, Oct. 1,96


It is DoD policy that:

3.1. The Department of Defense shall safeguard the security of the United States.

3.2. The Service members' right of expression should be preserved to the
maximum extent possible, consistent with good order and discipline and the national

3.3. No commander should be indifferent to conduct that, if allowed to proceed
unchecked, would destroy the effectiveness of his or her unit.

3.4. The proper balancing of these interests will depend largely upon the calm
and prudent judgment of the responsible commander.

3.5. The following guidelines be applied to principal activities that the Armed
Forces have encountered:

3.5.1. Possession and Distribution of Printed Materials A commander is not authorized to prohibit the distribution of a
specific issue of a publication distributed through official outlets such as post
exchanges and military libraries. In the case of distribution of publications through
other than official outlets, commanders may require that prior approval be obtained for
any distribution on a military installation to determine whether there is a clear danger
to the loyalty, discipline, or morale of military personnel, or if the distribution of the
publication would materially interfere with the accomplishment of a military mission.
Distribution of any publication determined to be a danger in any of these areas shall be
prohibited. While the mere possession of unauthorized printed material may
not be prohibited, printed material that is prohibited from distribution shall be
impounded if the commander determines that an attempt will be made to distribute. The fact that a publication is critical of government policies or
officials is not, in itself, a ground on which distribution may be prohibited.

3.5.2. Off-Post Gathering Places. Commanders have the authority to place
establishments "off-limits" in accordance with established procedures when, for
example, the activities taking place there include counseling members to refuse to



DODD 1325.6, Oct. 1,96

perform duty or to desert; pose a significant adverse effect on Service members'
health, morale, or welfare; or otherwise present a clear danger to the loyalty,
discipline, or morale of a member or military unit.

3.5.3. Servicemen Organizations. Commanders are not authorized to
recognize or to bargain with any union representing or seeking recognition to represent
Service members.

3.5.4. Publication of "Underground Newspapers." Personal writing for
publication may not be pursued during duty hours, or accomplished by the use of
Government or non-appropriated fund property on- or off-duty. While publication of
" underground newspapers" by military personnel off-post, on their own time, and with
their own money and equipment, is not prohibited, if such a publication contains
language the utterance of which is punishable under Federal law, those involved in the
printing, publication, or distribution may be disciplined for such infractions.

3.5.5. On-Post Demonstrations and Similar Activities. The commander of a
military installation or other military controlled facility under the jurisdiction of the
United States shall prohibit any demonstration or activity on the installation or facility
that could result in interference with or prevention of orderly accomplishment of the
mission of the installation or facility, or present a clear danger to loyalty, discipline, or
morale of the troops. It is a crime for any person to enter a military reservation for
any purpose prohibited by law or lawful regulations, or for any person to enter or
re-enter an installation after having been barred by order of the commander under 18
U.S.C. 1382 (reference (c)).

3.5.6. Off-Post Demonstrations by Members. Members of the Armed
Forces are prohibited from participating in off-post demonstrations when they are
on-duty, in a foreign country, when their activities constitute a breach of law and
order, when violence is likely to result, or when they are in uniform in violation of
DoD Directive 1334.1 (reference (d)).

3.5.7. Grievances. The right of members to complain and request redress of
grievances against actions of their commanders is protected by Article 138 of the
Uniform Code of Military Justice (reference b). In addition, a member may petition or
present any grievance to any Member of Congress or an Inspector General under 10
U.S.C. 1034 (reference (e)). An open door policy for complaints is a basic principle of
good leadership, and commanders should personally ensure that adequate procedures
exist for identifying valid complaints and taking corrective action.



DODD 1325.6, Oct. 1,96

3.5.8. Prohibited Activities. Military personnel must reject participation in
organizations that espouse supremacist causes; attempt to create illegal discrimination
based on race, creed, color, sex, religion, or national origin; advocate the use of force
or violence; or otherwise engage in efforts to deprive individuals of their civil rights.
Active participation, such as publicly demonstrating or rallying, fund raising, recruiting
and training members, organizing or leading such organizations, or otherwise engaging
in activities in relation tosuch organizations or in furtherance of the objectives of such
organizations that are viewed by command to be detrimental to the good order,
discipline, or mission accomplishment of the unit, is incompatible with Military
Service, and is, therefore, prohibited. Commanders have authority to employ the full
range of administrative procedures, including separation or appropriate disciplinary
action, against military personnel who actively participate in such groups. Functions
of command include vigilance about the existence of such activities; active use of
investigative authority to include a prompt and fair complaint process; and use of
administrative powers, such as counseling, reprimands, orders, and performance
evaluations to deter such activities. Military Departments shall ensure that this policy
on prohibited activities is included in initial active duty training, pre-commissioning
training, professional military education, commander training, and other appropriate
Service training programs.


4.1. The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness shall:

4.1.1. Develop overall policy and guidelines for handling dissident and
protest activities among members of the Armed Forces.

4.1.2. Approve policies and procedures developed by the Secretaries of the
Military Departments that implement this Directive.

4.2. The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall:

4.2.1. Establish policies and procedures to implement this Directive within
their respective Departments.

4.2.2. Ensure compliance with the training requirements set out in paragraph
3.5.8. above.



DODD 1325.6, Oct. 1,96


This Directive is effective immediately.

Deputy Secretary of Defense

Enclosures - 1

1. Constitutional and Statutory Provisions Relevant to Handling of Dissident and
Protest Activities in the Armed Forces



DODD 1325.6, Oct. 1,96



El.l. Constitution

The First Amendment, U.S. Constitution, provides as follows:

Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the
press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
government for a redress of grievances.

El.2. Statutory Provisions

El.2.1. Applicable to All Persons

El.2.1.1. 18 U.S.C. Section 1381, reference (c) — Enticing desertion and
harboring deserters.

El.2.1.2. Section 2385 — Advocating overthrow of the Government.

El.2.1.3. Section 2387 -- Counseling insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or
refusal of duty.

El.2.1.4. Section 2388 -- Causing or attempting to cause insubordination,
disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty during war.

El.2.2. Applicable to Members of the Armed Forces

El.2.2.1. 10 U.S.C. Section 917, reference (e), (Article 117, UCMJ) -
Provoking speeches or gestures.

El.2.2.2. Section 882 (Article 82, UCMJ) - Soliciting desertion, mutiny,
sedition, or misbehavior before the enemy.

El.2.2.3. Section 904 (Article 104, UCMJ) - Aiding the enemy.

El.2.2A. Section 901 (Article 101, UCMJ) -- Improper use of a countersign.



DODD 1325.6, Oct. 1,96

El.2.2.5. Section 888 (Article 88, UCMJ) - Contemptuous words by
commissioned officers against certain officials.

El.2.2.6. Section 889 (Article 89, UCMJ) — Disrespect toward a superior
commissioned officer.

El.2.2.7. Section 891 (Article 91, UCMJ) — Insubordinate conduct toward a
warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer.

El.2.2.8. Section 892 (Article 92, UCMJ) - Failure to obey order or

El.2.2.9. Section 934 (Article 134, UCMJ) - Uttering disloyal statement,
criminal libel, communicating a threat, and soliciting another to commit an offense.