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Study finds increased political activity on social media among military

A study by the National Defense University found that a growing number of military personnel are posting about political views on social media. 

In the survey of more than 500 West Point cadets and active duty officers, 75 percent of people who responded said they have witnessed fellow officers re-post or share links to political articles or promote politically charged viewpoints posted by others on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, according to POLITICO.

One-third of those surveyed said they regularly see fellow officers advocate directly for a political figure, disparage a candidate or encourage others to take action on a political issue. Researchers are particularly troubled by these numbers given the military's apolitical role.

"Such behavior threatens to erode the trust in which the public holds the military, leading to it being viewed as just another interest group," Army Col. Heidi Urben, a political scientist working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff who compiled the findings at the National Defense University, told POLITICO.

The full results of the study are expected to be published by the National Defense University later this year.

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