Semper Bye

“Theirs not to reason why; Theirs but to do and die…” —Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Charge of the Light Brigade

The motto of the U.S. Marine Corps motto is Semper Fidelis, Always Faithful, and they have been since their establishment in 1775.  Their enlistment oath is as follows, and contains no date of expiration:

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.”

But what happens if the President of the United States is one of the domestic enemies you have sworn to defend the Constitution against?  Well, Sgt. Gary Stein may soon find out:

A Marine sergeant who started a Facebook group that is openly critical of President Obama and posted comments saying he will not follow the unlawful orders of the commander in chief is facing possible dismissal from the Corps.

The Marines on Wednesday told Sgt. Gary Stein — a Camp Pendleton Marine who started the Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party — that he is in violation of Pentagon policy barring troops from political activities.

“I’m completely shocked that this is happening,” Stein said. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve only stated what our oath states that I will defend the constitution and that I will not follow unlawful orders. If that’s a crime, what is America coming to?”  U.S. Marine faces boot for anti-Obama Facebook posts

But it seems that Sgt. Stein is only the point man for legions of disgruntled jarheads:

The Marine Corps Times previews its cover story about anti-Obama Marines at their ‘Battle Rattle’ blog.

According to the article, of the 792 active-duty troops and mobilized reservists who responded to this year’s Military Times Poll, 44 percent said that they disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job as commander in chief.

The article cites hot button issues such as repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” relaxing restrictions of women in combat, and steep budget cuts, behind the disapproval numbers. Paper: Marines down on Obama

The military is a serious organization, and the people who serve in it are serious folk. That 44% of respondents in the MT poll expressed disapproval of their commander-in-chief and his policies is remarkable, and an indicator of serious and justifiable discontent within the ranks. After all, when you follow the colors, you follow orders, no questions asked.  As Tennyson wrote, yours is “not to reason why,” yours is “but to do or die.”  And, for 137 years, that is exactly what the U.S. Marines have done.

But America is not Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich; Americans take the oath to protect our founding document, not as a measure of personal fealty to any leader, elected or otherwise.  We follow orders because those who issue them have taken the same oath—to defend the Constitution of the United States.  So what do we then do when that oath is violated by the leaders who have sworn to uphold it?  “Befehl ist Befehl” (“an order is an order”) as a defense didn’t pass muster in 1945; why should it in 2012?


About Bob Mack

Retired since 2003. Military Service: U.S. Army, 36th Artillery Group, Babenhausen, Germany 1966-67; 1st Signal Brigade, Republic of Vietnam, 1967-68 Attended University of Miami, 1969-73
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16 Responses to Semper Bye

  1. AFVET says:

    Same oath I took, same oath you took.
    If the order is in conflict with the Constitution, we always had the right to refuse to follow it.
    That’s where the JAG’s come in.
    Even though they can throw you into the brig, the oath you took should hold precedence.
    Maybe not in today’s military.

    Great post Bob.
    Semper Fi !

    • Bob Mack says:

      Thanks, AFVET. I don’t believe Barry’s gonna be able to take the military down without a fight–though the response of the high command to his various schemes has been less than stellar.

      • AFVET says:

        The response from the high command is disconcerting to me.
        Where the hell is George Patton when you need him ?
        Leon Panetta is the Secretary of Defense ?
        Hillary Clinton is the Secretary of State ?.
        Barack Obama is the president of the United States of America ?
        Periodic escapes from reality can be condoned for teenagers.
        After all, experience is the father of wisdom.
        We have a president that has no experience at anything.
        A man that was thrust upon us in 2008, shielded by the sitting congress, and the media, and he won the office of the President of the United States of America.
        The question remains as to whether the people that voted for him that time will vote for him this time.

  2. I wonder how many active duty military belong the Oath Keepers?

  3. Bob Mack says:

    From the L.A. Times:

    A Marine sergeant in the process of being discharged for making “political statements” about President Obama said the allegations have been “drummed up against me” to keep other Marines from speaking out.

    Gary Stein, 26, in a post on the Facebook page of the Armed Forces Tea Party, said he has always stayed within Department of Defense guidelines about free speech and never “spoken on behalf of the Marine Corps or in uniform.”

    “If I am guilty of anything,” the post said, “it would be that I am American, a freedom loving Conservative, hell bent on defending the constitution and preserving America’s greatness.”

  4. While Obama seems to have the unions and occupods as would be allies, there also seems to be a giant swell of resistance bubbling right under the surface.

    Obama may one day make the same realization as Yamamoto did, “I fear that all we have done is awakened a sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve.”

    • Bob Mack says:

      The proof’s in the proverbial pudding, MATT. We need to hand these domestic enemies their hats in November—a thorough repudiation of the disastrous policies of Obama & the “Democrats” (socialists, communists, & useful idiots). But we also need to begin the Long March (to borrow one of their terms) to re-taking the education system & forcing the media to begin practicing honest journalism once again.

  5. Freedom, by the way says:

    I am afraid we may be losing out of getting talented young people to join the ranks of the US Military because of the Commander in Chief. And others leaving before they intended to. My son is currently in his HS Naval ROTC and is enjoying it tremendously. He’s only a freshman so I have no idea if he will want to continue or is seriously considering the military. But I can tell you this, as his Mom, I have serious reservations about it. I am distraught over the lives lost and destroyed in the middle east and I fear escalations in that region for years to come and I certainly don’t trust Obama or his ilk at the helm.

  6. Freedom, by the way says:

    Excuse the multiple before-enough-coffee typos, Bob.

  7. bunkerville says:

    One does not even have to be a U.S. citizen to join the military. One can only guess the number who have infiltrated into our services. I was stunned to hear this. If anyone saves our sorry A** it will be the military.

  8. cmblake6 says:

    Same OATH as I took, same as I’ve written about numerous times. And for that very reason. What does one do when the whatever at the top is a clear and present danger, either a spy or a traitor? If I’m not too horribly mistaken, one removes that individual to protect the Constitution. And holds any that aided and abetted this assault equally guilty.

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