32 CFR 705.35 - Armed Forces participation in events in the public domain.
(a) Requests for bands, troops, units, teams, exhibits and other Armed Forces participation should be addressed to the nearest military installation. Local commanders have resources which they can commit to appropriate events if mission requirements permit. If no military installation is accessible, or if resources requested are not available locally or require approval by higher authorities, a standard Department of Defense Request Form should be completed. This form is used to evaluate the request, determine appropriateness of the event and compliance with Department of Defense policies, and eliminate repeated correspondence. The request form should be returned to the office or military command from which it was received unless another address is indicated.
(b) Basic criteria governing Armed Forces participation in public events have been developed by the Department of Defense to ensure compliance with public law, to assure equitable distribution of resources to as many appropriate events as possible, and to avoid excessive disruption of primary training and operational missions of the Military Services. the following general rules and information are included as an aid to you in understanding Department of Defense policies and in planning programs of mutual benefit to the Armed Forces and your community.
(1) When evaluating requests for Armed Forces participation in public events, the interests of the Department of Defense and the public at large, operational requirements of the Military services, and availability of resources are prime considerations. Commitment of resources to specific events must be balanced with the above factors and with requests for similar participation received from other sources.
(2) Department of Defense participation and cooperation must not directly or indirectly:
(i) Endorse or selectively benefit or favor or appear to endorse or selectively benefit or favor any private individual, group, corporation (whether for profit or nonprofit), sect, quasi-religious or ideological movement, fraternal organization, political organization, or commercial venture.
(ii) Be associated with the solicitation of votes in a political election. Sites such as commercial theaters or department stores, churches or fraternal halls; and events such as testimonials to private individuals or sectarian religious services, are generally inappropriate for Armed Forces participation.
(3) Participation by the Armed Forces in any event or activity may be authorized only if admission, seating and all other accommodations and facilities are available to all without regard to race, creed, color or national origin, and only if the sponsoring organization does not exclude any form of discrimination based on race, creed, color or national origin. This does not bar participation in events sponsored by nationally-recognized veteran's organizations when the program is oriented toward the veterans' interests, nor does it bar participation in non-public school events when the program is directed toward education or recruiting.
(i) No admission charge may be levied on the public solely to see an Armed Forces demonstration, unit or exhibit. When admission is charged, the Armed Forces activity must not be the sole or primary attraction.
(4) Armed Forces participation is authorized in a fund-raising event only when the sponsor certifies that all net profits in excess of actual operating costs will be donated to one of the consolidated programs recognized by the Federal Services Fund-Raising program. These include such agencies as the United Givers Fund, Community Chests, National Health Agencies (as a group), International Service Agencies and the military aid societies.
(5) When Armed Forces participation in an event is in the mutual interest of the Department of Defense and the sponsor of the event, participation will be authorized at no additional cost to the government. Additional costs to the government - travel and transportation of military personnel, meals and quarters or standard per diem allowance, etc. - will be borne by the sponsor.
(6) Department of Defense policy prohibits payment by the Armed Forces for rental of exhibit space, connection of electricity, or utility or janitorial costs.
(7) The duration of participation by military units in any one event is limited in the interests of proper utilization and equitable distribution of Armed Forces manpower and resources. While an exhibit might be scheduled for the duration of an event, a unit such as a military band is limited to three days.
(8) Armed Forces participation in professional sports events and post-season bowl games will normally be authorized at no additional cost to the government, will emphasize joint Service activity and must support recruiting programs. Participation in beauty contests, fashion shows, pageants, Christmas parades, and motion picture premieres is not authorized since military support would violate policy and appropriateness.