[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/15/art.kirk.0315.youtube.jpg caption ="Rep. Mark Kirk was counseled by the military twice for violating rules that bar members of the armed services from partisan political activities. Kirk is running for President Obama's former Senate seat."]
Washington (CNN) – Republican Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois was counseled by the military twice in the last two years for violating rules that bar members of the armed services from partisan political activities, the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday.
Kirk is running for President Obama's former Senate seat. He recently apologized for mischaracterizing portions of his 21-year military career.
In December 2008, as then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich fought accusations that he tried to sell the Senate seat after Obama's election, Kirk "participated in video discussions in the media" while on active duty, according to a statement from Pentagon spokeswoman Maj. April Cunningham.
And in July 2009 Kirk, or a member of his campaign staff, posted a reference on his campaign web site to his Twitter status indicating he was on duty at the National Military Command Center, according to the statement.
"Commander Kirk was counseled about each of his violations after they occurred and signed a statement acknowledging the limitations on his ability to participate in campaign activities while on active duty. He was required to complete this acknowledgment before being allowed to begin active duty in December 2009," the statement said.
Maj. Cunningham's statement references a Defense Department Directive entitled "Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces" as setting the restrictions for active duty personnel.
CNN called Kirk's campaign but did not receive a comment.