Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
The Regulation Is A Fraud
In recent months, most people at Fort Dix have been required to sign a statement that they “have read and understand” this or that regulation. The brass are not really autograph collectors; they were hoping that signing such a statement would fool EM into thinking that they had promised not to participate in demonstrations or to distribute literature--for example, The Ultimate Weapon.
Well, what are these regulations that we're supposed to “have read and understand?”
One of them reads in part as follows:
“1. Participation in public demonstrations of any type may imply Army support or approval. Such action by members of this command, unless specifically sanctioned by the Commanding General, this headquarters, is unauthorized.
“2. If a soldier takes part in a public demonstration, irrespective of the merits or bonafides of its purpose, and whether in or out of uniform, such participation could render him subject to disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. . .”
It would seem at first glance that this means anyone who participates in a demonstration, especially an antiwar demonstration, will be court martialled and thrown into the stockade. But in fact, nothing is further from the truth; the regulation is a bluff.
The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the “right to peaceably assemble” - - and that includes marching in an antiwar demonstration. Nothing in the UCMJ or any other law gives the Commanding General the right to overrule the Constitution, and the Commanding General knows it.
In the last issue of The Ultimate Weapon, I stated in a signed article that I had participated in the January 19 antiwar march in Washington. Since then, exactly nothing has happened; I have not been thrown into the stockade, court martialled or even threatened with charges. The reason the brass have not tried to court martial me even though I admit breaking their regulation is that they know they would lose.
The brass know that if anyone were brought to trial under this regulation,the final result would be that the regulation would be declared unconstitutional. And they want to be able to keep the regulation around to scare people out of marching in New York, April 5.
In short, the regulation is pure bluff; the Fort Dix brass cannot successfully prosecute even one GI for breaking it. And that means they sure as hell aren't even going to try to prosecute several hundred GIs for marching in New York on April 5.
Sp/4 Allen Myers
Ultimate Weapon , no. 5