The Department of Defense has decided that current service members may not participate in the Internet Phenomenon known as the “Ice Bucket Challenge” while in uniform. If you haven’t heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge yet, that probably means that this is your first time on the Internet, in which case, welcome!
The DOD Office of General Council explained that having service members take video of themselves dumping freezing cold water on their heads in order to raise money for ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), while in military issued clothing could be construed as an endorsement of the cause.
The DOD posted a legal advisory explaining the reasons behind the policy on the Facebook page of the National Training Center in Fort Irwin.
It reads in part “ALS Association is a national non-profit organization. As such, participating in this event is subject to concerns about implied endorsement. The OGC is the federal agency that has final say on appropriate ethical behavior for the DOD.”
The DOD made the decision after a video was posted of a group of Navy Blue Angel Pilots taking the challenge. That video was later taken offline.