Three Tennessee Air Guardsmen are facing various serious degrees of punishment in the wake of a controversial video involving using a puppet during a re-enlistment ceremony that went viral on the internet.
In the aftermath of the video, the Commanding officer, First Sergeant and the Airman who used the dinosaur puppet during her reenlistment ceremony have all been swiftly punished after the video drew 2.4 million views and considerable controversy.
In the ensuing investigation, Master Sgt. Robin Brown -the guardsman with the puppet- was removed from her full-time position with the Tennessee Joint Public Affairs Office and will face further administrative action. The Colonel administering the oath was immediately retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and the First Sergeant responsible for filming the event received an official reprimand.
Tennessee Adjutant General MG Terry M. Hatson released a statement on the matter, expressing his disgust:
“I am certainly aware of a recent Facebook video post depicting a Tennessee Air National Guard Senior NCO re-enlistment.
I am absolutely embarrassed that a senior officer and a senior NCO took such liberties with a time-honored military tradition. 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 Tennessee National Guard leadership as a whole is appalled by the actions of these individuals which do not represent our nation’s service members nor the Airmen and Soldiers of Tennessee. The selfless dedication to our State, Nation that these men and women exhibit on a daily basis is without question.”
Lt.Gen.L.Scott Rice wrote that he was “shocked and dismayed” at the irreverent display.
“This single act does not reflect the selfless dedication and professionalism shown every day by the outstanding Airmen of our Air National Guard in their service to our great nation,” he wrote on social media.
Other criticisms include the commander not knowing the oath by heart and failing to raise his right hand.
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