As tradition goes, service members in any military branch are supposed to affirm their oath to the constitution*. Usually this would only happen on their initial enlistment after basic training (for non-commissioned officers), commissioning (for officers), and promotion/ re-enlistment into the military. Joe Biden’s secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, followed Biden’s February request to make members of the US military restate their oath to the constitution after the insurrection at the capitol. As reported by the New York Times, Jonathan Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesman, stated, “We do not tolerate extremists in our ranks.” That is why members of the military have restated the oath, to uphold and protect the constitution. This is the first time this has happened in history.
Steve Mounts, the Principal Deputy to the Assistant Director for Health Care Administration and a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force explains the situation. “Following the events in the Nation’s Capital on January 6, 2021, I believe President Biden directed the Department of Defense and all members of government to [re-affirm] their oath as a reminder of what it represents…The oath is actually a pledge to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States.’ This is a very important point, as military members are not swearing allegiance to any one person or leader, but rather to the Constitution itself and the principles it stands for.”
Jessica Cupo, a retired Major of the U.S. Air Force, also sees restating the oath as a positive. She explains, “It does not matter if a service member is an officer or enlisted, the principal duty is to the Constitution. It remains illegal to follow an unlawful order. It doesn’t matter what President the United States elects, enlisted or officer, armed service members have a duty to refuse to follow an unlawful order. I have no problem with asking members of the armed forces to reflect on the integrity of their service, their commitment to their oaths, and their dedication to defending the Constitution.”
After the military restates the oath, it ensures that we’re just as united as before. Five months later, all five branches are just as strong. After the insurrection, Biden has big plans for the future of our armed forces. According to the Federal News Network, Biden plans on increasing the Military budget from $704 billion dollars to $722 billion dollars which is a 2.7% increase, but not as steep of an increase as we’ve seen in the past. At Terra Linda, we thank our armed forces for protecting our country.
*The Oath of Enlistment is: “I, (state your 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. (optional)”
*The Oath of Office for the U.S. Air Force is: “I, (state your name), having been appointed a (rank) in the United States Air Force, 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 bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God. (optional)”