In a startling move, the leaders of the military broke with President Donald Trump and have denounced the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend.
Five of the military’s service chiefs representing the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and National Guard have taken to social media to condemn the white nationalists, the so-called alt-right rally where violence erupted between the white supremacist groups and the counter protesters on Saturday. One woman died after being run down by a car driven by a Nazi sympathizer and two police officers covering the rally also died when their helicopter crashed nearby.
The joint chiefs’ actions break with the military’s normal reticence of entering the political arena and their condemnation of racism and white supremacist groups stands in stark contrast with President Trump’s statements that blamed both all of the protesters for the violence that erupted on the streets of Charlottesville.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson’s shared his admonition hours later on Saturday night.
— Adm. John Richardson (@CNORichardson) August 13, 2017
Our WWII Airborne forefathers jumped into Europe to defeat Nazism. We know who we are. We know our legacy.
— All American 💯 (@82ndABNDiv) August 14, 2017
No place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC. Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act.
— Robert B. Neller (@GenRobertNeller) August 15, 2017
Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, also rebuked racial intolerance in his statement, stating that it stood against the institution’s very foundation.
The Army doesn’t tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks. It’s against our Values and everything we’ve stood for since 1775.
— GEN Mark A. Milley (@ArmyChiefStaff) August 16, 2017
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Photo courtesy DOD