Joint Chiefs remind service members oath is to constitution

Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are photographed in the Joint Chiefs of Staff conference room, more commonly referred to as “The Tank”, in the Pentagon, Dec. 11, 2020. From left to right are: Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James C. McConville, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger, Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Michael M. Gilday, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of the National Guard Bureau Army Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. Raymond. DOD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos M. Vazquez II

Army General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote an unprecedented letter Tuesday to remind personnel in every branch of the nation’s military that America trusts them to protect they and their constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

The nation’s 1.3 million active duty and 811,000 National Guardsmen and reservists in every branch were made aware of the letter, signed by the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The American people have trusted the Armed Forces of the United States to protect them and our Constitution for almost 250 years,” Milley wrote. “As we have done throughout our history, the U.S. military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership, support civil authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law, and remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

“The violent riot in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process. We mourn the deaths of the two Capitol policemen and others connected to these unprecedented events.

“We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.

“As Service Members, we must embody the values and ideals of the Nation. We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values, and oath; it is against the law.

“On January 20, 2021, in accordance with the Constitution, confirmed by the states and the courts, and certified by Congress, President-elect Biden will be inaugurated and will become our 46th Commander in Chief.

“To our men and women deployed and at home, safeguarding our country-stay ready, keep your eyes on the horizon, and remain focused on the mission. We honor your continued service in defense of every American.”

The letter comes in the wake of the insurrection of January 6 in the U.S. Capitol building, allegedly fomented by President Donald J. Trump and after the FBI issued warnings to law enforcement agencies nationwide Monday of possible further acts of violent insurrection between now and Biden’s inauguration January 20 not only in Washington D.C., but in each state capitol as well.

On Wednesday, members of the House will vote on an article of impeachment charging Trump with incitement of insurrection. If approved, Trump will become the first twice impeached U.S. President.