Army Leaders Remind Soldiers They Swore An Oath To Uphold The Constitution
In a “message to the Army community about civil unrest,” United States Army General James C. McConville, Sergeant Major Michael A. Grinston, and Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy urge soldiers to protect Americans’ Constitutionally guaranteed rights as well as their safety amid recent civil unrest.
- The three leaders, who are each Euro-American, write, “we can never fully understand the frustration and life experiences of people of color, in or out of uniform. But we do understand the importance of taking care of people, and of treating every person with dignity and respect.”
- They describe their “ability to defend this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic,” as founded on a “sacred trust” which “We need to work harder to earn… How we respond to the anger that has ignited will chart the course of that trust.”
- They emphasize that all Army soldiers swear to uphold the United States Constitution, including “the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
- They promise to “continue to support and defend those rights” while also protecting Americans “from violence in our communities that threatens to drown out the voices begging us to listen.”
- They also ask Army leaders to actively “listen to your people… Go to them. Ask the uncomfortable questions. Lead with compassion and humility, and create an environment in which people feel comfortable expressing grievances.”
The leaders close the message by invoking God to “bless the United States of America” and by saying,
Let us be the first to set the example. We are listening. And we will continue to put people first as long as we are leading the Army. Because people are our greatest strength.