Sgt. Gary Stein, the “Armed Forces Tea Party” Facebook page creator who was recommended for separation from the Marine Corps earlier this month, has now gotten the official word: he’s out.
“The Commanding General for Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego has reviewed the findings and recommendations of the administrative separation board regarding the misconduct of Sgt Gary Stein,” Marine spokesman Capt. Gregory Wolf said in an email. “The Commanding General found that the board was conducted in accordance with law and regulation, that the findings of misconduct were supported by the evidence of record, and thus has approved the board’s recommendation that Sgt Stein be separated from the Marine Corps with an “other than honorable” discharge.”
The “other than honorable” discharge entails an automatic reduction in rank to E-3, Wolf said, which means that Stein will be demoted two paygrades upon separation.
Stein’s supporters through this battle have included Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and lawyers for the ACLU and U.S. Justice Foundation, who have argued that Stein was within his rights to comment as an individual on a Facebook page, even when those comments included criticism of the president.
I’ve left a message for Stein and look forward to hearing about his future plans…something tells me that his bold stance on this issue will catapult him to conservative celebrity status as his military career ends.