Sometimes those who have offered their lives to defend the nation are allowed to be cute and funny. When taking or administering an oath is not one of them. Unfortunately, one member of the Tennessee National Guard learned the hard way that wearing a puppet on your right hand while taking an oath of office is just not cool.
Master Sargent Robin Brown, a public affairs officer, and the Colonel who administered her oath of re-enlistment both got the boot after a cell phone video of the ceremony got millions of hits on social media.
Brown has been removed from her full-time job with the Tennessee Joint Public Affairs Office and the yet-to-be-identified colonel has been demoted and immediately retired, according to Army Maj. Gen. Terry Haston, the adjutant general for the Tennessee National Guard.
The senior noncommissioned officer who videotaped the oath recital has been removed from his job as unit first sergeant but will remain in the Guard, Haston said in a statement Wednesday on Facebook.
“I am absolutely embarrassed that a senior officer and a senior NCO took such liberties with a time-honored military tradition,” Haston wrote. “The Tennessee National Guard holds the Oath of Enlistment in the highest esteem because that oath signifies every service member’s commitment to defend our state, nation and the freedoms we all enjoy. Not taking this oath solemnly and with the utmost respect is firmly against the traditions and sanctity of our military family and will not be tolerated.”
“The actions of these three individuals in no way represent the professionalism, honor, and courage of the 14,000 Soldiers and [Airmen] in the Tennessee National Guard,” he added.
And the incident was not amusing to commenters on social media everywhere. Comment boards lit up with derision for the act from those who have served and those who respect the military in all its forms.
At this point, no motivation for this incident has been published other than the claim that it was a video made for Brown’s children, but there really is no excuse for such behavior.