Senior commanders on this southern Arizona Army post have told soldiers they may not take part in patrolling the border with Minuteman Project volunteers.
In a memo to soldiers assigned to the Network Enterprise Technology Command, Maj. Gen. James Hylton prohibited those assigned to his organization, to include the 11th Signal Brigade, "from participating in any active patrolling, monitoring or other intentional act associated with identifying and/or detaining illegal immigrants, either through an organized group, or on you own."
However, a former soldier, whose wife is still in the Army, said Hylton overstepped his authority in denying soldiers the right to take part in what he sees as defending homeland security.
NETCOM spokesman Eric Hortin, said the reason for the memo "boils down to safety."
"We don't want to put a soldiers in a situation where they could be hurt or killed," Hortin said. "The command does not want soldiers to place themselves in any situation that could pose a danger to themselves or others."
But Dan - who asked his last name not be used for fear of retaliation against his soldier wife - said he has signed up as a Minuteman Project volunteer and his wife would like to take part in the activities during her off-duty time.
"My wife is pretty upset," Dan said. "It's legal (the project). It's like a neighborhood watch."
If protecting the border is dangerous, so is driving a car and smoking off-duty, which the general should then prohibit, he said.
In his memo, Hylton stated his concerns about the Minuteman Project.
"This group has stated an intent to conduct twenty-four-hour patrols throughout the San Pedro Valley and along the United States/Mexican border to alert the Board Patrol about the presence of illegal immigrants.
Many of these citizens plan to arm themselves while conducting these patrols," the memo states.
Border Patrol and local officials have publicly stated concerns about the project "due to the lack of training in conducting such patrols, and the possibility of mistaking each other as illegal immigrants," Hylton's memo stated.
The government really wants this project to fail. So far, the Minutemen have highlighted the failure of the government to do its job protecting our borders and our citizens and their property.