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July 2020
Tim Bilecki

Sailor’s Social Media Posts Spark Investigation, Bilecki Defends

Failure to Obey an Order or Regulation
Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan
Navy Petty Officer Second Class – E-5
Preliminary Investigation Closed Unsubstantiated. No adverse administrative action taken.

A Navy Petty Officer Second Class in Okinawa came under investigation after a fellow Sailor reported seeing posts on social media that raised concerns about potential violations of Navy and Marine Corps regulations regarding association with hate groups. The initial suspicion was that the Petty Officer might have signed up for a website associated with such groups, potentially breaching Article 92.

Upon the command’s initiation of an investigation, the Sailor retained military attorney Tim Bilecki. We cooperated with the investigation and revealed that while the Sailor had indeed signed up for a politically charged website, this site was not affiliated with any hate group. It harbored strong political views, but his involvement was strictly in a private capacity and breached no military regulations. Furthermore, his public social media postings, though scrutinized, contained no hate speech or other forms of speech that contravened policy.

The thorough investigation determined that the Sailor’s actions were protected under his First Amendment rights and did not violate any specific Navy or Marine Corps rules. Consequently, the investigation was concluded as unsubstantiated, and no adverse actions were taken against the Sailor.

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