In the midst of our national turmoil in the aftermath of the presidential election, when a distraught, “stewing,” defeated president is not only attacking democracy itself but also creating havoc among our national security agencies including the military, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, had some poignant words to reassure the nation where the military stands.
Speaking at the dedication of the National Museum of the U.S. Army on Veterans Day and standing alongside the newly appointed (acting)defense secretary and Trump loyalist, Chris Miller, the top military officer did not mince words:
We are unique among militaries. We do not take an oath to a king or queen, a tyrant or dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual. No, we do not take an oath to a country, a tribe, or religion. We take an oath to the Constitution, and every soldier that is represented in this museum, every sailor, airman, marine, coast guard, each of us will protect and defend that document regardless of personal price. That has been true across generations that are on display in this building, in this great museum, and allows all of us to connect to be forever tied to those who came before us. We will never turn our back on our duty to protect and defend the idea that is America, the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.
Mr. President, I hope you were listening because Gen. Milley’s message was clearly directed at you and was unmistakable: “The military exists to defend democracy and is not to be used as a political pawn.”
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.