In a striking move, the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday officially reminded the troops that Joseph R. Biden will be their commander in chief when he is inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2021, and condemned the assault by pro-Trump rioters on the U.S. Capitol building.
The “Memorandum for the Joint Force” was released Tuesday and signed by America’s most senior military leaders, including Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
They said the actions taken by the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol 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,” they wrote.
President Trump whipped up a crowd of his committed supporters in Washington, D.C., urging them to fight against election results that he claimed — absent any evidence — had been stolen. A Capitol Police officer died after sustaining an injury in the attack and the building was ransacked.
“Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote in the memo.
The memo underscores the fact that the military remains among the most respected groups in an America that remains deeply divided over partisan politics and a variety of other issues. An unknown number of military veterans took part in the protest, including some who now face criminal charges.
“As service members, we must embody the values and ideals of the nation. We support and defend the Constitution,” the memo stated. “Stay ready, keep your eyes on the horizon and remain focused on the mission.”
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