Tag Archives: army

U.S. Army/Navy Bans Service Members from Using TikTok Over Security Concerns

Following advice from the Pentagon, the United States Army has joined the Navy in a stance against allowing service members to use the viral social media app known as TikTok. Stating that they have serious security concerns with the Chinese owned platform, service members in both branches are now barred from using the social media platform on all government devices. Previously, the platform was being used with some success by military recruiters in reaching out to the younger members of Generation Z who frequent the music-based video platform.

“It is considered a cyber threat,” Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa, an Army spokeswoman, said in a press statement to Military.com. “We do not allow it on government phones.”

Sen. Tom Cotton R-Arkansas, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York began asking U.S. intelligence officials to begin investigations into whether TikTok represented a national security threat risk to the United States in late October of 2019. As a result, in mid-December members of both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy were being advised to cease using the platform on all government-issued phones and computer systems, the Navy even going as far as banning users from Navy Intranet services if they had not complied with the new order.

 

The lawmakers argued that since ByteDance is based in China, TikTok could be forced “to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.” Later, in their bipartisan request to the acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, they added that “there is no legal mechanism for Chinese companies to appeal if they disagree with a request.”

“There was a Cyber Awareness Message sent out on 16 December identifies TikTok as having potential security risks associated with its use,” Army spokesperson Lt. Col Robin L. Ochoa told reporters. “The message directs appropriate action for employees to take in order to safeguard their personal information. The guidance is to be wary of applications you download, monitor your phones for unusual and unsolicited texts, etc., and delete them immediately and uninstall TikTok to circumvent any exposure of personal information.”

In response to the investigation, TikTok said that all of their stores of U.S. user data is saved in the United States and that they back it up in Singapore. “Our data centers are located entirely outside of China, and none of our data is subject to Chinese law,” the company said at the time. “Further, we have a dedicated technical team focused on adhering to robust cybersecurity policies, and data privacy and security practices.”

While service members are still not banned from using the platform on their personal devices, leadership in both branches of service are suggesting service members use caution on all social media platforms. The Department of Defense has released social media guidelines in the past, advising service members to remain aware of their actions online at all times.

The United States Marine Corps and Air Force have yet to comment or enact similar policies at the time of this writing.

List of Active Duty/Veteran Discounts You Might Not Know About

military-discount

We all like discounts and free shit so we set out to find some solid companies out there who offer some solid discounts to active duty and or veteran personnel.  Please note that some of the discounts may change from the time this blog is written so be sure to check with the company for further details.   If you are out shopping don’t be afraid to ask if the store offers any military-related discounts, you might be surprised who actually does.

5 Awesome Active Duty and Veteran Discounts

If you know of any other discounts please be sure to add it in the comments below so we can help grow the list!

1: RE Factor Tactical-  We offer 15% off to Active Duty Military Personnel, Law Enforcement Personnel, and Emergency Services.  To qualify, please create an account using your official government email address.  Once complete email info@refactortactical.com and we will adjust your account to receive the discount.

RE Factor Holiday Gift Guide

2: National Park Service– Offers free entry with a valid Active Duty ID.

3: Banana Republic- Offers 20% off to all Active Duty and Veteran personnel.

4: Verizon– Offers 15% off to  Active Duty Service Members

5: Chick-fil-A– Offers 10% off to Active Duty Service Members (varies by franchise)

6:  Lonestar Stakehouse- Offers 20% off every Monday and 10% off every other day to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.

7: Hard Rock Cafe- Offers 15% off to Active Duty Personnel.

8: Cabelas– Offers 5% off to Active Duty, Reserve, Retired and VA Personnel.

9: Footlocker- Offers 20% off to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.

10: Lowes– Offers 10% off to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.

11: Nike– Offers 10% off to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel. (If you’ve stumbled upon this article July 2020, update, they are offering a temporary 20% discount.)

12: Dick’s Sporting Goods- Offers 10% off to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.

13: Bed Bath and Beyond- Offers 10% off to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.

14: Apple– Offers varied discounts to Active Duty and Government Personnel.  Ask for their federal program.

15: AT&T– Offers 15% off to Veterans and Active Duty Service Members.

16: Home Depot– Offers 10% off to Active Duty and Veteran Personnel.

17: Proof Research Barrels- 25% off to all Active Duty and LE personnel.

18: Brass Flags– 7% off to all Active Duty Military, Fire, EMS and LE personnel.

19: Manta Defense- 20% off to all current or former Military, LE, FED and EMS personnel.

20: RMJ Tactical- $65 off all axes and tomahawks for LE, EMS and Active Duty Personnel. $35 off for Veterans personnel.

21: Sarge’s Shooting Bags- 25% off to all Active Duty Military, Veterans, EMS, Fire and LE Personnel.

22: Lantac USA– Offers 10% off to all LE personnel.

23: AZ Guns- Offers a variety of price breaks to Active Duty Military, LE and Federal Employees.

24: Fox Group Tennessee– Offers 20% off to all Active Duty Military, Veterans, LE, Fire and EMS Personnel.

25: California Emergency Prep- 10% off to all EMS, Fire, Active Duty Military and LE Personnel.

26: Madison Fight Science Gym- Offers free 20 hours of training to all Active Duty Military and LE personnel.

27: Strip Gun Club, Las Vegas– Offers 10% off to all Active Duty Military and LE Personnel.

Tax Deductions for Service Members

NOTE: It is against DoD policy to scan, copy or send your CAC Card for any reason other than official government business.   If a company asks for a copy of your CAC Card you should ask for confirmation via other means.  If you copy your DD214 don’t forget to black out your Social Security Number.

***Want to find out more useful tips? Sign up for our newsletter***