The Marine Corps has announced that it’s decided to discharge Sgt. Gary Stein, the Marine who criticized President Barack Obama on Facebook.
Earlier this month, a military board recommended that Stein be dismissed from the Marine Corps for his disparaging comments about Obama on the world’s largest social network.
The Corps said Sgt. Stein will be given an other-than-honorable discharge for violating Pentagon policy limiting speech of service members.
The San Diego-area Marine has served almost 10 years in the Marine Corps. He has maintained that he was merely exercising his right to free speech.
A federal judge had previously denied a request to block military discharge proceedings against Stein, who called Obama an enemy on Facebook.
At the time, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff ruled that the U.S. military has the right to respond to Stein’s online comments in a case that has called into question Pentagon policies regarding social media.
Huff disagreed, calling Stein’s postings “truly troubling.” Members of the Armed Forces have had their speech limited since the Civil War, especially if their comments are believed to disrupt good order and discipline.
The judge pointed out Stein’s March 1 comments on a Facebook page in which the sergeant stated, “Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him.”
The discharge means that Stein will lose all benefits.