1LT Alex Stovall, an Army Reserve officer and Trumpian GOP candidate for Congress from Arizona, seems pretty confident that he is going to be completely exonerated for his numerous military regulation violations, telling One America News (OAN) in an interview last Friday that the Army Reserve’s investigation into his political activities would end up being no big deal, haughtily saying of the general who will sign off on the investigation’s results:
“I was actually part of the unit that she was a part of overseas, so we share that rapport, so I don’t anticipate her trying to do anything that would harm or defamate [give me made-up words for $800, Alex] my character.”
Friday’s OAN interview of 1LT Stovall deceptively focused on only one incident — 1LT Stovall’s previous OAN interview in which he had appeared in uniform — leading OAN viewers to think that this was all that he was being investigated for.
1st LT Stovall has repeatedly and even more egregiously denigrated President Biden not only by reiterating his belief that Biden is not the president by calling him “Resident Biden” but by implying that the president is a pedophile!
But that one incident was just the tip of the iceberg in 1LT Stovall’s long list of military regulation violations. In fact, his other violations of both regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) — the violations that prompted the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) to write a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in May and to send several subsequent emails to the Army Reserve Command detailing further violations were far more serious.
As I’ve previously reported, 1LT Stovall has committed multiple violations of DoD Directive 1344.10, “Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces,” which contains a detailed section on what is and what is not allowed in campaign materials for active, reserve, or retired members of the military running for office, and also Article 88 of the UCMJ, “Contempt toward officials.”
As I reported in my May 26 post – “Army Chaplain Running for Congress Denies that Biden is President, Vows to ‘Take on AOC’” – 1LT Stovall had violated Article 88 of the UCMJ by publicly proclaiming that Joe Biden was not the legitimate president, saying on the GunFreedomRadio podcast:
"We saw the inauguration of this well, I don't think he's President but whoever you would call this sleepy guy in office.”
Since that May 26 post, 1st LT Stovall has repeatedly and even more egregiously denigrated President Biden not only by reiterating his belief that Biden is not the president by calling him “Resident Biden” but by implying that the president is a pedophile!
1LT Stovall’s incessant and outrageous denigration of the president is in clear violation of Article 88 of the UCMJ, which unambiguously states (emphasis added):
“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”
A violation of Article 88 is no minor slap-on-the-wrist offense; it is a crime punishable by court-martial.
I’ve detailed in my previous posts a number of ways in which 1LT Stovall has been flagrantly violating DoD Directive 1344.10, “Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces,” by the manner in which he uses his military service and photos of himself in uniform not just as biographical information, which regulations allow, but as the dominant selling point of his candidacy, which is strictly forbidden.
In this post, I’m going to focus on one of Stovall’s biggest lies – the lie that he is an “Army Chaplain” –and how this big lie violates several different sections of DoD Directive 1344.10.
In his campaign videos, he fraudulently states that he is an Army Chaplain, not only saying this verbally, but by having text that says this throughout the video, as shown by the screenshot below.
This one campaign video is in violation of two additional sections of DoD Directive 1344.10 regarding Reserve members running for office in addition to the one reported in my previous posts.
First, it violates Section 18.104.22.168., which says that a Reserve officer, which is what 1LT Stovall is, “must clearly indicate their retired or reserve status.” Nowhere does 1LT Stovall indicate his Reserve status, and by calling himself an “Army Chaplain,” (disregarding for now that he is not a chaplain at all, even in the Reserve), he tacitly implies that he is regular Army, not Reserve.
Second, and this is the big one – HIS LIE ABOUT BEING A CHAPLAIN. 1LT Stovall is not a chaplain, either in the Army or the Army Reserve. He is merely a chaplain candidate, as reported on May 28 by the Army Times, which had been provided with 1LT Stovall’s military records. And yet in his campaign ads he claims to be an “Army Chaplain,” and in the pinned post at the top of his Twitter feed, he falsely states “I am a Chaplain.”
Stovall’s lie that he is a chaplain violates another section of DoD Directive 1344.10 – Section 22.214.171.124., which states that a candidate may not (emphasis added):
“Depict or allow the depiction of themselves in uniform in a manner that does not accurately reflect their actual performance of duty.”
The following screenshot from one of 1LT Stovall’s campaign videos, showing him in uniform in front of the Army Chaplain School with the words above falsely saying that he is an “Army Chaplain” is a perfect example of 1LT Stovall’s violation of this section.
We know from the records obtained by the Army Times that 1LT Stovall was not a chaplain as of May 28, and we know from MRFF’s sources that the Chaplain Accessions Board, the group of Chaplains that makes recommendations to the Chief of Chaplains on who should be offered commissions as Chaplains, just met earlier this month, and 1LT Stovall was not selected to become a chaplain.
And yet 1LT Stovall claims on his LinkedIn page to have been an Army Reserve chaplain since February 2019! But just below this claim, where he lists his education, he says that he didn’t finish his master’s degree (a requirement to become a chaplain) from Grand Canyon University until 2021!
1LT Stovall is a liar and a spreader of conspiracy theories, which may be qualities admired in today’s GOP, but when it comes to the military, his lies about his military service and contemptuous statements about the president and his legitimacy are punishable offenses.
So, will the Army’s investigation into 1LT not-a-chaplain Stovall’s habitual flaunting of regulations and UCMJ-violating denigration of the president result in the deserved punishment of this miscreant Army Reserve officer, or will it, as he sanguinely told OAN, let him off scot-free.
MRFF has submitted a FOIA request for: “All documents related to the 15-6 investigation of Army Reserve Chaplain Candidate (1LT) Alex Stovall of the Army Reserve’s 91st Training Division, commenced in May 2021.”
We will find out exactly which of his multiple transgressions 1LT Stovall was investigated for, and what the outcome was.
Military Religious Freedom Fundation