Army Reservist Punished For Ron Paul Speech

The US Army Reserve announced on Friday it had reprimanded one of its own, Spc. Jesse Thorsen, for making a political speech while in uniform at a rally with Ron Paul on the night of the Iowa caucuses in January.

The Afghanistan war veteran received the letter of reprimand after an almost three-month investigation by his superiors.

Thorsen, who was wearing his green military fatigues that night, gave an impassioned and apparently impromptu speech promoting the Republican Texas congressman’s presidential bid. The specialist said at the time he particularly liked Paul’s anti-war policies.

A statement released Friday morning by the military said Thorsen had violated Defense Department rules by participating in a “partisan political rally” while in uniform.

The Army Reserve previously referred to Thorsen’s rank as a corporal, but during the investigation his superiors said they were unable to find any evidence showing he had been promoted to that rank.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him at nick@talkingpointsmemo.com
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