Solemn Oath or Meaningless Formality?

About that Marine who was “less than honerably” discharged.

First, I had to check four major news sources before I could find what the Marine actually said.  The UK news, MSNBC and the WSJ all just quoted his “Screw Obama” bit (Yahoo News came through).  But what counts is the bit about the Oath;

But U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff refused to intervene, saying the military had the discretion to discipline Stein after he stated he would not follow all the orders of the president.

She said that message read: “As an active-duty Marine, I have sworn to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Obama is the economic enemy, the religious enemy, the domestic enemy.”

Stein has served nearly nine years…

I can see the judge’s position.  He said he would not follow “some” orders, so she kicked it back to the military.

Anyway, it puts you in a sort of pickle when you take that Oath, doesn’t it?  So all you who’ve taken it have a question to ask yourselves every single day.  Do you follow all orders, no matter what, OR do you defend and protect the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic?

With a communist in the Whitehouse, what are your options?  The Devil (so to speak) has you by the neck.  You’re damned if you do, damned of you don’t.  I don’t think we want a coup on our hands, but we don’t want a communist giving orders either.  Stein’s problem was that he posted about his obvious conundrum on Facebook.  Best to get out, maybe?  But then you’ll only be replaced with someone who doesn’t have a problem following order from a communist, and that’s not good at all (how long before the Oath is changed to one that gives alliagence only to the commander in chief?).  As I say; Pickle.

8 thoughts on “Solemn Oath or Meaningless Formality?

  1. I am behind this fellow brother in arms 100% Yes, I swore an oath, and I am damn proud of it. I follow all lawful orders from those appointed over me. That being said, I can’t tell you how many times I have told a junior officer to f___ off, because they were wrong and had I followed those orders blindly, I would have caused serious damage and personnel injury. I am an American first and a Sailor second. Even if the Commander in Chief gave me a direct order to do something contrary to the Constitution or would hurt an innocent, I would give him the exact same line. And it’s not just Obama, I would do the same no matter who was in charge of me.

  2. We shot Germans after WWII for “following orders.” Had they not followed orders, they would have been shot anyway.

    The rule in the military is, “follow orders.” You kinda don’t have a choice. Even if you get killed later for following orders.

    I always kind of thought, “The dumb bastards, why did they follow that order?” Well, I finally realized that it’s follow the order or die for them. It takes a very courageous person to say, “I’m not doing that, so go ahead and kill me.” It’s the right thing to do, but I’m not convinced I, personally, would be up to the challenge.

    Hank

  3. Hank, one small correction. As Geoffrey notes above the rule is “follow all LEGAL orders”. There is no conflict serving our country and following legal orders regardless of who is president. You can’t make the decision about what is legal until you receive the order. The Marine’s mistake was to announce in advance he wasn’t going to follow certain orders…bad move, and as he found out, pretty much self-critiquing. So there is no ‘pickle’, you follow orders until you get a bad one, then you do what you have to do.

    GregF (Col, USAF Ret)

  4. What the Colonel said.

    Bottom line, what that Marine did was insubordination, plain and simple.

    Good riddance.

    Rustmeister
    SFC, USA (Ret)

    (FYI, I served under Carter and Clinton, so I know how that Marine felt. I was just professional enough to keep my trap shut.)

  5. Odd, when I was in they made me swear to only follow lawful orders. By definition that means I was bound to only obey some orders.

    It’s a pickle. Being the first person to identify an enemy inside the chain of command means you’re the first person punished for it. These things need a critical mass before the enemy starts getting punished instead of the people who’ve spotted them.

    Part of the pickle is how short and simple the oath is. Now let’s look at all the regulations, lots longer, lots more complicated. There are several regulations that seem to be contraindicated by the oath, but we blithely continue on. There may come a time where some will be ashamed they followed the regs rather than speaking up and following their oath. There may not.

    Either the oath matters more than the regs or not. And I think we just got a lesson in what the official position is.

  6. Saying you wont follow orders, without qualifying that with “unlawful”, is a can’t do professionally. He’d have been better off saying he feared, based on his understanding of Obama’s actions and stated beliefs, that he would be given unlawful orders and be forced to choose.

    Which would make him a noble, thoughtful concerned warrior, not insubordinate.

  7. Matthew beat me to it.

    If he had chosen not to disobey what he thought to be an unlawful order, he could have been the test case to indicate whether or not such orders are lawful, and if they are not, it could have set an interesting precedent and he could have remained in the military.

    But announcing that he will simply not obey “some” orders is simply unacceptable to the military, and completely demolishes any trust his superiors or subordinates might have had in him, and violates (or shades on violating) various clauses and articles of the UCMJ.

    Speaking as a former Naval officer (whose father was a Naval officer for even longer, and who shares my concerns), this is becoming a… complicated… time for military members. I am certainly not regretting bailing, which is kind of a shame, honestly.

  8. The Oath also provides our priorities. Our first priority is to support and defend the Constitution, plus bear true faith and allegiance to it. After that, then we obey orders from the president and officers appointed over us.

    If any order, from anyone, is not in keeping with the Constitution, we are honor bound to NOT obey it.

    Here is the oath: I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

    He should not have put his thoughts on line. After 9 years in the Corps, he should have known there are paper pushers all over the place that would misconstrue his thoughts.

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