Title 10 U.S. Code Section 502 contains the oath of enlistment, the military oath made by members of the United States armed forces stating:

“I _____, 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.”

This past weekend, the U.S. Navy ordered all of its personnel to retake this oath by April 2nd as part of a Department of Defense stand down on extremism. You might recall President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called for the 60-day stand-down on February 3rd, although at that point, the exact details of the training during the stand down were still being determined.

Now we’re finding out.

The Navy is the first branch to publicly announce its plan to fulfill the DoD-wide extremism stand down.

In an administrative message on Sunday, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell Jr gave details of his plan saying, “Extremist behaviors and conduct, even if from only a small percentage of our force, violate our Core Values, are detrimental to good order and discipline, reduce warfighting readiness and degrade the toughness, trust and connectedness we are building in our Sailors and teams through our Culture of Excellence.”

“The intent of this stand-down is to ensure service members and civilian personnel clearly understand the damaging effects of extremism and begin developing more effective, sustainable ways to eliminate the corrosive impacts extremist activity can have on our Force.”

“Commanders have the discretion to tailor discussions with their personnel as appropriate, but at a minimum the stand down will include a group re-administration and reaffirmation of the oath of
office/oath of enlistment.”

It will also include a discussion of “Actions that betray the oath” touching on “prohibited activities, UCMJ direction on extremist activities, review of political activity and social media dos and donts.”

In case you’re wondering what precipitated all of this, it was (of course) the protest in the Capitol on January 6th.

Investigators have found that military veterans made up a disproportionate number of those charged in the Capitol riot. NPR reports that according to a review of military records, social media accounts, court documents and news reports, at least 27 of the 140 people charged, or nearly 20 percent, have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military. That compares to only about seven percent of adult Americans who are military veterans.

So clearly, there’s a problem with “extremism” in the ranks.

According to a video posted on Facebook by Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell Jr. “Extremism consists of promoting supremacist causes, and discrimination against others based on their race, creed, color, sex, religion, sexual preference or national origin. Likewise, it also includes advocating for violence against the government and elected leaders.”

“In addition to engaging with offensive posts on social media, activities that also support extremism are demonstrating, rallying, fundraising, recruiting or training on behalf of organizations that espouse extremist beliefs.”

“Just by posting, retweeting, or liking an offensive post on social media — you could be participating in extremism.”

“You may not personally know any shipmates with extremist beliefs, but I assure you that those forces of darkness are among us.”

Well, okay, now you know the danger we face.

And let’s just be honest, whether you’re in the military or not, you’ve been warned.

11 Responses

  1. Kathleen Bellinger

    I wonder if the same analysis has been done in regards to the protests and riots of the past summer. How many of those small number of arrested were active or retired military. Just curious, is there a double standard being played out?

    Reply
  2. Chris

    Couple comments on this post are exactly why that stand-down had to happen. The denial of reality has become widespread among those in the cult of Trump. I’m embarrassed to say I ever voted Republican and this conspiracy wing of the GOP will shatter the party going forward.
    It’s good that the military is taking some steps here, even if it’s just a dog and pony. The optics from Jan 6 were really really bad with several of the insurrectionists being prior military or trained by prior military. A bit of CYA is definitely in order.

    Reply
  3. Rich

    Last time I checked a veteran is someone that has finished their contract. They are no longer required to answer to the military. Why is the active duty bowing down to civilians? I am almost ashamed to say I was a sailor in the US Navy or even in the military with the actions of the armed forces over the last five years. What happened to the ranks abiding by a moral code and following the constitution and UCMJ on doing what is right even when told not to? This move blatantly shows how the military is bowing to social movements of instead of following their own path away from public movements as they have done for years.

    Reply
  4. Terry USNRet

    This Article is a blatant lie. Not one service member will be required to have the oath readministered. All the Navy is saying is that it’s members need to understand and abide by the oath they took and also, the Navy will not tolerate Extremism of any kind. This is Fake News designed to get knee jerk reactions like some on here already. There’s nothing to see here folks. This is a “Nothing” report.

    Reply
    • Steve

      Do your research before posting. Look at section 3A

      UNCLASSIFIED//

      ROUTINE

      R 192207Z FEB 21 MID600050295537U

      FM CNO WASHINGTON DC

      TO NAVADMIN

      INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC

      BT
      UNCLAS

      NAVADMIN 044/21

      PASS TO OFFICE CODES:
      FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
      INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//

      MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/FEB//

      SUBJ/STAND-DOWN TO ADDRESS EXTREMISM IN THE RANKS//

      REF/A/DOC/SECDEF/MEMO/05FEB21/
      REF/B/MSG/SECNAV/121644ZFEB21/
      REF/C/DOC/DODI 1325.06/27NOV09/
      REF/D/DOC/NAVY REGULATIONS ART 1167/03SEP97/
      REF/E/DOC/OPNAVINST 5354.1G/24JUL17/
      REF/F/MSG/COMUSFLTFORCOM NORFOLK VA/131415ZFEB20/
      REF/G/DOC/OPNAV N1/23OCT20/
      REF/H/MSG/OPNAV/092219ZFEB21//

      NARR/REF A IS SECDEF MEMORANDUM DIRECTING DOD-WIDE STAND-DOWN ON EXTREMISM IN
      THE RANKS.
      REF B IS ALNAV 010/21 ON STAND- DOWN TO ADDRESS EXTREMISM IN THE RANKS.
      REF C IS DODI ON HANDLING DISSIDENT AND PROTEST ACTIVITIES AMONG MEMBERS OF
      THE ARMED FORCES.
      REF D IS ALNAV 053/97 INCORPORATED AS NAVY REGULATIONS ARTICLE 1167 ON
      SUPREMACIST ACTIVITIES.
      REF E IS OPNAVINST ON NAVY EQUAL OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM MANUAL.
      REF F IS 12-STAR MESSAGE PROMULGATION OF SIGNATURE BEHAVIORS OF THE 21ST
      CENTURY SAILOR, VERSION 2.0.
      REF G IS NECESSARY CONVERSATIONS GUIDE 2.1.
      REF H IS NAVADMIN 032/21, CNO MESSAGE TO THE FLEET ON EXTREMIST BEHAVIOR.//

      RMKS/1. Sailors live our Core Values every day. However, recent events
      highlight that the U.S. Armed Forces, including our Navy (service members,
      civilian personnel and all those who support our mission), are not immune
      from the corrosive effects of extremist ideology and conduct. Extremist
      behaviors and conduct, even if from only a small percentage of our force,
      violate our Core Values, are detrimental to good order and discipline, reduce
      warfighting readiness and degrade the toughness, trust and connectedness we
      are building in our Sailors and teams through our Culture of Excellence
      campaign.
      As an initial step in what will be a continuing and focused effort to address
      this problem, Commanders and Commanding Officers will conduct a stand-down
      prior to 2 April 2021 for all military personnel and Department of the Navy
      (DON) civilians to address extremism in the ranks in accordance with guidance
      contained in references (a) and (b).

      2. The intent of this stand-down (which may be conducted virtually or in-
      person with the appropriate COVID-19
      mitigations) is to ensure service members and civilian personnel clearly
      understand the damaging effects of extremism and begin developing more
      effective, sustainable ways to eliminate the corrosive impacts extremist
      activity can have on our Force. As public servants, we took an oath to the
      Constitution and we will not tolerate those who participate in actions that
      go against the fundamental principles of the oath we share, particularly
      actions associated with extremist or dissident ideologies. Service members,
      Department of Defense civilians and all those who support our mission, are
      entitled to an environment free of discrimination, hate and harassment.

      3. A discussion guide, supplementary slides, and additional resources to
      assist Commanders and Commanding Officers with the conduct of this stand-down
      are posted at
      https://www.navy.mil/Leadership/Chief-of-Naval-Personnel/CNP-
      Department-Exclusives/ . Commanders have the discretion to tailor
      discussions with their personnel as appropriate, but at a minimum the stand-
      down will include:
      3.A. A group re-administration and reaffirmation of the oath of
      office/oath of enlistment;
      3.B. Remarks from the Commander/Commanding Officer;
      3.C. Division/Work Center training/facilitated discussion
      addressing:
      3.C.1. The meaning of the oath of office/enlistment including what we
      protect (Freedom of Speech/Assembly) and the limits on these rights for
      service members (what we sacrifice in order to protect and build public
      trust);
      3.C.2. Actions that betray the oath per references (c) through (e)
      (prohibited activities, UCMJ direction on extremist activities, review of
      political activity and social media dos and donts);
      3.C.3. The responsibility of leaders at every level (obligation to
      report, obligation to investigate, remaining alert for signs of extremism and
      then intervening);
      3.C.4. Listening sessions focused on our Core Values, our Culture of
      Excellence and the Task Force One Navy report.

      4. We have been emphasizing the importance of listening sessions since the
      establishment of Task Force One Navy last summer. Some commands have leaned
      into this while others have not. CNOs direction is that every Commander or
      Commanding Officer will continue to conduct listening sessions and get it
      into their battle rhythm. This is where the hard work of establishing trust
      and connectedness starts. Reference (g), the Necessary Conversations Guide
      2.1, is a great tool to use to conduct listening sessions.

      5. Echelon 2 Commanders shall track subordinate command completion of the
      stand-down using Fleet Training Management and Planning System (FLTMPS),
      Course Identification Number SDTAE-1.0, STANDDOWN TO ADDRESS EXTREMISM IN THE
      RANKS. The Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower, Personnel, Training,
      and Education) (OPNAV N1) will promulgate procedures for Echelon 2 Commanders
      to submit stand-down completion reports (including lessons learned and
      recommendations) via a Department of the Navy Tasking, Records and
      Consolidated Knowledge Repository (DONTRACKER) tasker. In order to support
      the requirement for the Chief of Naval Operations to report completion to the
      Secretary of the Navy by 6 April 2021, the suspense for all Echelon 2
      Commanders to report stand-down completion is no later than 2 April 2021. In
      the event operational requirements prohibit the conduct of the stand- down by
      this date, extension requests must be submitted through the first Flag
      Officer in the chain of command, via the Chief of Naval Personnel, and
      ultimately to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve
      Affairs) for adjudication per reference (b).

      6. As Sailors, we must strive to be inclusive, creating an environment where
      every individual understands that they are a valued member of the Navy team.
      This is an All Hands effort.
      As we begin to implement the work of Task Force One Navy, I remind you of the
      Signature Behaviors promulgated in reference (f). These behaviors include:
      6.A. Treat every person with respect.
      6.B. Take responsibility for my actions.
      6.C. Hold others accountable for their actions.
      6.D. Intervene when necessary.
      6.E. Be a leader and encourage leadership in others.
      6.F. Grow personally and professionally every day.
      6.G. Embrace the diversity of ideas, experiences and backgrounds of
      individuals.
      6.H. Uphold the highest degree of integrity in professional and personal
      life.
      6.I. Exercise discipline in conduct and performance.
      6.J. Contribute to team success through actions and attitude.

      7. As CNO stated in reference (h), today, and every day, our Navy must be a
      shining example of an organization centered on respect, inclusive of all.
      Simply put, we must demand of each other that we treat everyone with dignity
      and respect. That is how we will become a stronger Navy.

      8. Released by Vice Admiral John B. Nowell, Jr, N1.//

      BT
      #0001
      NNNN
      UNCLASSIFIED//

      Reply
      • Billy

        “but at a minimum the stand-
        down will include:
        3.A. A group re-administration and reaffirmation of the oath of
        office/oath of enlistment;”
        Your brain is small.

    • Rich

      Must be nice to follow the cliche of Ignorance is Bliss? Where did you read that they are not re affirming oath? The only extremists that I see in the military is those who eat sleep and drink the military and their love of country!

      Reply
  5. Pablo

    REDİCULOUS !! And a can’t wait for my brothers and sisters in uniform to revolt. The reason soo many vet were there was because vets genuinely care about our nation and the fact our presidency was stolen. We swore an oath to defend against enemies both foreign and DOMESTİC.

    Reply
  6. Wesley Barker

    I served in the US Navy and I am ashamed that this has what become of the military. Pitting one against another when all that matters is having each other’s back when it matter not worrying if someone was an extremists.

    Reply
  7. Jared

    The only extremists are left wing extremists. They hate this country and hide behind their name calling. Schumer, Pelosi, Biden, Kamala, AOC, Omar, Swalwell (however it’s spelled) and many more are all stains on America and are national embarrassments.

    Reply

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