The Military is not a venue for protest.

I am so annoyed, I had to come out of hiding and say something about this.

Yesterday, I was scrolling through the news and discovered a story that has my blood absolutely boiling. It is a story about a young woman, a Navy recruit, who is presently training at a Navy Base in Pensacola.  She decided she was going to completely defy military rules and traditions and sit through the National Anthem, as a way to demonstrate her feelings about no one having “her back”.  And during this whole fiasco, she brilliantly decides to film herself and go on about the men and women of the military who have lost their lives not defending the flag (which is news to me) but defending her personal right to protest. Here is CNN’s condensed version:

 

I spent 18 years of my life in the military and during that time, we were instructed as members of the military to stop everything we were doing, if we were outside, and stand for the National Anthem. It could heard anywhere on a military base.  If we were driving, we were expected to safely stop our cars, get out, and turn towards the direction of the flag and salute. And if you were noted NOT to be doing that, word would magically get back to your Commanding Officer, and you would be severely reprimanded. I understand from my husband, who works on a Navy base, people are no longer required to get out of their cars, but they are expected to at least pull over and stop during the playing of the National Anthem.  If a military member is walking while the anthem is playing, they must stop and salute.

Between you and me, having to stop and salute sometimes seemed a bit inconvenient, especially when everyone is dashing to the Daycare to pick up their kids, or trying to get home, but it is a tradition and a requirement, and not something that allows personal choice. It is a rule, not to be debated, not to be thought about, not to be used as a way to protest.  We did it, because that was the rule.

What this lovely individual does not realize, is when she signed her name to enlist, she signed away her rights. The military does not function well if everyone sits around and debates what the next move should be, and how it will affect them personally.  There is a Commanding Officer who gives the orders, and the lower ranking members follow those orders.  They don’t say “Oh, I don’t feel like you have my back, I am not going to do anything you say.”  If that was the case, nothing would get done and our country would be overrun with people telling us to practice a certain religion, telling us what we should and should not believe in, and what we can and cannot say (out of uniform).

She goes on to say she is standing up with some football player in protest of the National Anthem, because of the third stanza, because of racial inequity, and because of police brutality. I didn’t even know there was a third stanza to the National Anthem (it turns out there is a fourth stanza as well), so I went looking for it. I found it on Snopes.com – and here it is.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion

A home and a Country should leave us no more?

Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I agree the lyrics in this stanza are very concerning. However, in the case of this Navy sailor – none of this is really pertinent.  She voluntarily signed up to serve in the military, and as a military member, she is not allowed to protest about anything American while on base, while in uniform.  It is a slap in the face to all of us who have served with pride, all of us who have spent time away from our families, in other countries, defending the flag, defending our right to freedom, free speech and most importantly to those people who have died for this country.

And I think the thing that annoys me the most, out of all of this, is the fact the Navy doesn’t seem to have done anything about it, or maybe they have, and they are just keeping quiet. One article said the sailor would be allowed to transfer on to her next assignment.  If the Navy doesn’t take a stand on this, it will open up the floodgates for other young military members to do whatever they want.  This will lead to dissension, a lack of cohesiveness and a whole bunch of self-interested, egocentric individuals joining the military for personal gains who will say “To hell with United States, I am in it for me, and only me.”  It will be not “what you can do for you country” but “what can your country can do for you, while you whine and complain.”

I am pretty sure none of this woman’s fellow sailors will have “have her back” after this.  I am afraid this “fifteen minutes of fame” will most likely haunt her the rest of her life.

There is civilian life.

There are other countries.

Enough said.

 

Photo credit:  Pinterest

16 replies »

  1. You don’t want to get me going on this, so I’ll only make a brief comment (while biting the other side of my lip). If I’m not mistaken, the Star Spangled Banner was originally a poem. It was eventually put to music and only the first stanza is used. I started to say more, but I’m biting hard on that other side of my mouth. ;-P

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    • Hi Lori, I think you are right, it was set to music – and if we have historically used just the first stanza, why has this become such an issue all of a sudden. Bottom line is – though, regardless, the fact that she chose to protest on a military base, against regulations, irritates me to no end, especially on the pretense “that no has her back”. If this is the mindset of most of the troops today, we are in big trouble.

      PS. Hope all is well with you!!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. my guess is she was given a Letter of Reprimand or a Letter of Counseling and sent on her way to her permanent duty station. she’ll find out shortly what Article 92 means if she does this there. this happens every now and then where a good recruit has the wrong execution of the right idea. they find out very quickly that the US military is usually not the best place to assert a political statement.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you. As a National Guard member, I don’t understand why some of these people agree with this rhetoric. And that’s all it is. There’s nothing to it but rhetoric. Do they feel superior or intelligent as they do this? I don’t get it. Our country isn’t perfect. No country is. But ours is a country where you are free to pursue your own path of life. We choose our future, regardless of our start. You make your own decisions and face all consequences, whether positive or negative. I know rich, and I know poor, and the way either become successful is not how they started but the dedication and hard work they showed. I especially don’t understand people in the military who can say things like this. They volunteered to serve. We all get paid the same based on rank. You work hard, you promote. I just don’t get these people. The only thing I can think of is that they aren’t using their own cognitive reasoning and are just following trendy rhetoric. Sad sad sad.

    The only way I can see her thinking she’s so alone is if she’s done it to herself. She’s decided people don’t like her and has distanced herself from people so much they don’t want to be around her. The military for the most part – I know there are outliers – is a place of camaraderie. We all come from different backgrounds to work together to complete a mission. There’s plenty of red tape, bureaucracy, and annoyances in the military, but I love the people I’m with. I know that if I need something, they’ll be there for me.

    I hope this girl starts thinking for herself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You go, girl! I have never served, but I hold in high esteem every man and woman who has served. She should have thought about it before signing on the dotted line; especially if she didn’t want to protect, defend, serve our country.
    Frankly, I am sick and tired of spoiled brats of all genders & races, who think the world revolves around them and “their feelings.” She doesn’t think the military has her back? Then get out; move, see if she can find any other country as good as the USA. Sure, our country is not perfect, but we’re the best there is. I believe in the 1st amendment as do most Americans, but this woman and the NFL player
    (btw, making millions ) are doing nothing more than trying for their fifteen minutes of fame.
    It galls me to hear her and others protest our national anthem – police brutality? Inequality? The military doesn’t have my back… Give me a break. Tell that to the men and women who ran into the twin towers, toward rather than away from the danger of a terrorist attack, or into rocks and bottles as low-life’s destroyed their own city. Tell that to the parents, wives, husbands, brothers, or sisters who have fought, lost life and limb, and who sacrificed so she and some NFL loser can exercise such blatant selfishness.

    @sheilamgood at Cow Pasture Chronicles

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  5. I’ve never served either, but I don’t like this at all, civilian or military. I understand the reasons for protest, but think there are better — and less polarizing — ways of going about it.

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    • Hi my friend – hope all is well with you. Got tired of writing and reading ridiculous news, thought I would come over to WP to see what was up with everyone. Yes, I understand the reasons for the protest too, but the military is not a democracy, or at least it didn’t use to be, and so you are right, there must be better ways to get your voice out there.

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  6. Excellent article, wouldn’t you just love to have a piece of garbage like this next to you in a fox hole while you are under fire? If she didn’t at the very least get an article -15 then her Commander’s should all get one themselves. There is no room for racist trash in the military, none. Personally I believe she deserves the article -15, beaten within an inch of her life then locked up until her tour of duty ends (while doing hard labor 6 days a week 12 hrs a day) then when she is physically thrown out of the front gate of the base (naked) (for all to see) she should have her dishonorable discharge papers also tattooed onto her face, chest and back. She wants to act like a piece of trash toward our Country she should have her worthless a– treated like she is a piece of garbage since that is exactly what she is acting like.

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    • It’s funny how we haven’t heard what happened to her. Probably nothing, as the military doesn’t seem to have the courage to punish anyone for fear of public outcry from people who have never served. Ever since the military started up with Total Quality Management, and EEO offices, people think the military is a democracy and their voices should be heard.

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  7. Reblogged this on Truth Troubles: Why people hate the truths' of the real world and commented:
    Excellent article, wouldn’t you just love to have a piece of garbage like this next to you in a fox hole while you are under fire? If she didn’t at the very least get an article -15 then her Commander’s should all get one themselves. There is no room for racist trash in the military, none. Personally I believe she deserves the article -15, beaten within an inch of her life then locked up until her tour of duty ends (while doing hard labor 6 days a week 12 hrs a day) then when she is physically thrown out of the front gate of the base (naked) (for all to see) she should have her dishonorable discharge papers also tattooed onto her face, chest and back. She wants to act like a piece of trash toward our Country she should have her worthless a– treated like she is a piece of garbage since that is exactly what she is acting like.

    Like

    • I looked p “dupek” – and as far as I can tell it means a**hole in English. At first I thought you were calling me that, but then I realized (I hope) that you were calling the navy sailor an a**hole.

      Like

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