To the writer and supporters of “Clean USO shows preferred” (letter, Dec. 24-25): Soldiers are not allowed to view pornography or drink alcohol because it is stated in General Order No. 1 that they will not. G.O. 1 does not restrict profanity. The Uniform Code of Military Justice says nothing specifically about profane language. There are some restrictions, such as discriminatory language, and some language can be charged as causing a disturbance or being disorderly (situation-dependent).
No one censored the gore of dead and wounded soldiers I had to evacuate out of landing zones, which was much more traumatic than “foul and embarrassing language” or “entertainment that is morally compatible with Army values.”
There is no requirement to attend United Service Organizations shows. You have no real argument unless a statement is intended to excite libidinous thoughts or is discriminatory in nature.
The Motion Picture Association of America uses the “R” rating: “Restricted — under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. An R-rated motion picture contains some adult material … (and) may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity.”
It can be stated that a person 17 or older is an adult and can be subjected to any of the above materials at his or her leisure. Every soldier is an adult, and it is his or her inherent right to view such materials. People who are offended have the right not to watch it.
To withdraw the opportunity for soldiers to attend such shows is a violation of their rights under the First Amendment. A superior may issue an order that requires better decorum, but whether it’s practical is a different matter. I am a volunteer and so are you. If you don’t like what you see or hear, then leave the military.
Sgt. Chris HoffertCamp Speicher, Iraq