The military’s top leaders have issued a memo to forces decrying last week’s Capitol Hill violence and reminding service members that freedom of speech does not give anyone the right to resort to violence.
In a one-page memo to all U.S. troops, the eight members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the entire military force that President-elect Joe Biden will be their next commander in chief. All service members, they added, “must embody the values and ideals of the nation.”
The memo said, “Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law.”
The memo made no direct mention of military members having participated in last week’s insurrection.
“The violent riot in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process,” the general and flag officers said. “We mourn the deaths of the two Capitol policemen and others connected to these unprecedented events.
“We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.”
It was signed by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley; Vice Chairman Air Force Gen. John Hyten; Army Chief of Staff James McConville; Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger; Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday; Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown; Space Force Chief of Operations Gen. John Raymond; and National Guard Bureau Chief Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson.
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