Saturday, January 7, 2012
Keep The Military Out of Politics
I was watching the Iowa Caucus the other night. When it was Ron Paul's turn to mount the stage to thank and acknowledge his campaign for their efforts, he made a brief speech, then beckoned to a uniformed military member to the stage to "rally the troops".
This sent the blood boiling of about 5 million veterans as well as those on active duty. One of the military's most honored traditions is that we serve our country and we obey the orders of the Commander in Chief, without reservation. We do so whether we agree or disagree with the politics of our President. He is our President and he represents the American people. We, in the military, are honored professionals. When we signed that military contract we promised to protect and defend the constitution of the United States.
We are further bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The UCMJ specifically forbids any military member from appearing at political events in uniform. This military member violated not only the code but he violated our honor bound commitment to rise above party politics. That's one of the reasons the American people hold the military in high regard.
In no way does the UCMJ forbid military members from participating in political events. It simply says when you do, you attend in civilian attire. As every other American we are free to participate in the voting process. After all, one of our prime obligations is to serve and protect so that all Americans are free to express their own ideas and for the freedom to choose our leaders.
Airman Thorson violated the sacred trust that America places in the military. Ron Paul, who served in the Air Force and is well aware of these UCMJ restrictions, chose politics over honor in allowing this breech of military law and tradition. But even more disgusting was Airman's Thorson's political rant in the uniform that is meant to be worn with honor.
During my military career I served under Commander in Chiefs whom I did not support politically. However, I never allowed my political views to interfere with my professional commitment to defend our nation, without regard for who's occupying our nation's leadership positions.
Airman Thorson needs to be prosecuted under the UCMJ for this breech of honor, so that it may never happen again. It was a sleazy political episode and I was extremely embarrassed to see it happen.
Our loyalty belongs to no one but the American people and their chosen leaders...and no one else.