Army investigating uniformed personnel shown during Democratic convention

The Army is launching an investigation into the two uniformed personnel who were shown during the Democratic National Convention, the service said Wednesday.

During the second night of the convention, the soldiers appeared next to delegates from American Samoa during the state roll call, prompting questions about whether they violated military rules. The Department of Defense (DOD) forbids service members from appearing in uniform at political events. 

The Army announced it will investigate the two service members, who are assigned to the 9th Mission Support Command, Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Emanuel Ortiz confirmed to The Hill. 

“Wearing a uniform to a partisan political event like this is prohibited,” he said in a statement. “The Army follows the Department of Defense’s longstanding and well-defined policy regarding political campaigns and elections to avoid the perception of DOD sponsorship, approval or endorsement of any political candidate, campaign or cause.”

A Democratic convention official told The Hill earlier Wednesday that the service members’ appearance in uniform was “an oversight.”

“The composition of that shot was an oversight,” the official said. “Each state was asked to highlight issues and values that matter most and the American Samoa delegation wanted to highlight their commitment to military service when they filmed their segment.”

The Democratic Party’s 2020 platform, expected to be approved by leaders at the convention, commits that the party “will never use active duty soldiers as political props, and we will never send military forces to suppress Americans exercising their constitutional rights.”

The platform’s phrasing came after President Trump has threatened to deploy the military to address unrest and protests in U.S. cities, causing several to worry the military was being politicized.

Tags 2020 conventions 2020 Democratic convention American Samoa Army Democratic Party Donald Trump Investigation Military military service members

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