The holiday season is here and many of you may be planning on giving gifts to your fellow Marines, or you may receive some yourself. To ensure that you don’t unwittingly violate any of the Marine Corps policies on gift giving and acceptance, let’s take a moment to review some of the rules.
Throughout most of the year, the Marine Corps prohibits Marines from accepting gifts from their subordinates. However, they do make an exception for occasions on which gifts are typically given. In these instances, a subordinate may not give a gift valued over $10 to his or her superior. The Marine Corps does not have any legal restrictions on gifts given to peers or subordinates, however, common sense (and good taste) should apply. Finally, cash, under all circumstances, is prohibited from being given or accepted as a gift.
With the holiday season comes holiday parties, and many of your shops may be having some form of gathering to celebrate the season. It’s important to remember that your shop or unit may not solicit non-DoD sources for contributions for your party. Also, office parties are unofficial events, and you may not use appropriated funds to pay for them. Be aware that door prizes or drawings could involve gambling, which would require compliance with federal regulations. DoD regulations prohibit gambling on federal property or while in a duty status.
While this article hits the highlights for Marines, there are other exceptions to the general prohibition and even more complex rules when contractors are involved. Please feel free to contact the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at 843-228-7385 with any questions or concerns. We hope everyone aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort has a safe and wonderful holiday season but while you do, here are some real life ethics scenarios.
“Sampling of Gift Not Sufficient
A Lieutenant Colonel committed dereliction of duty when, in violation of the JER, he received a bottle of Ballantines 30 year-old Scotch valued at $400 and failed to report it and properly dispose of it. In lieu of a court-martial, the colonel resigned from the military service for the good of the service under other than honorable conditions.” Is a gift worth ruining your career?