For the first time in the nation’s history, a military service is requiring all its members-military and civilian-to re-take their oaths of office.
After dozens of service members were arrested for their participation in the riots and attack on the Capital and lawmakers on Jan. 6, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell said he was requiring all of those working for the Navy to again swear to defend the nation.
Nowell wrote in a service-wide message: “As public servants, we took an oath to the Constitution and we will not tolerate those who participate in actions that go against the fundamental principles of the oath we share.”
The Chief of Naval Operations has also directed distribution of a guide for discussions for officers to have that stresses that troops’ freedom of speech and right to peaceful assembly are protected by the First Amendment. However, the document adds, “these important rights are not unlimited in their protections.”
“Vandalizing government property and storming a police barrier is not an exercise of First Amendment rights,” the guide states. “…Understanding that we support and defend the Constitution of the United States, not a supervisor, political appointee or person occupying a political office.” (emphasis added)
What a shame on our country that such an action has to be taken. As a former naval officer, Thinking Man is deeply saddened and embarrassed by the conduct of some of my fellow sailors, a small minority though it may be. I can only hope that as any military member who participated in the riots is identified, that they are charged with treason and given the appropriate punishment.