An Air Force colonel has been demoted and retired after allowing a senior non-commissioned officer to take her oath of re-enlistment with a dinosaur puppet on her right hand.
Master Sgt. Robin Brown, the SNCO who was taking the oath, is facing administrative action in addition to losing her full-time position at the Tennessee Joint Public Affairs Office.
A third SNCO, who allegedly recorded the event for Browns children to watch later, has also been reprimanded and removed from his post as unit first sergeant, but will remain with the Air National Guard.
The re-enlistment ceremony was recorded and shared on social media, at which point the 50-second video caught the attention of an unofficial military Facebook community.
The video eventually reached Lt. Gen. Scott Rice, Director of the Air National Guard, and he immediately reprimanded all who were involved in the situation. “I understand your outrage and frustration,” Rice said in a statement. “Let me say, Im equally shocked and dismayed by this event that mocks such a cherished and honorable occasion. … This action goes against our very foundation.”
Adjutant General of the Tennessee Air National Guard, Army Major General Terry Haston, announced the disciplinary actions that would be taken on Wednesday, along with a statement of his own.
“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 members 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.”
Haston made it clear that the situation was limited to those who had already been identified and disciplined, saying that it should not reflect poorly on the many who continue to serve every day with honor and integrity.
“The actions of these three individuals in no way represent the professionalism, honor, and courage of the 14,000 Soldiers and Airman in the Tennessee National Guard,” Haston said. “This act does not define our organization nor the men, women, and families that sacrifice so much every day for our state and nation. I am truly honored to lead such a professional organization.”