The Jade Helm Debate: Support the Military–But Don’t Trust Them?

PolitiChicks.comYou would have to live under a rock…literally, to not have heard some mention of the military exercise code named, Jade Helm 15. According to the U.S Army webpage the exercise is as follows:

Members of U.S. Army Special Operations Command will train with other U.S Armed Forces units July 15 through Sept. 15 in a multi-state exercise called Jade Helm 15.

USASOC periodically conducts training exercises such as these to practice core special warfare tasks, which help protect the nation against foreign enemies. It is imperative that Special Operations Soldiers receive the best training, equipment and resources possible.

While multi-state training exercises such as these are not unique to the military, the size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart. To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states; Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida. The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.

The training exercise will be conducted on private and public land with the permission of the private landowners, and from state and local authorities. In essence, all exercise activity will be taking place on pre-coordinated public and private lands.

Now, far too many on the right have accused the military of using this exercise to either outright institute martial law or to practice the future application of martial law. In not one example of this charge can ANY evidence be used to substantiate such a claim. That hasn’t stopped hundreds even thousands from sharing and championing these accusations on social media sites.

As a veteran and the spouse of an active duty Army officer, I am appalled that so many can claim to our face that they “Support our Troops” and then simultaneously accuse those same troops of preparing to violate their Constitutional rights! To accuse my husband and the many thousands of military members who have shed blood, tears, sweat, and all while under the most difficult of circumstances for their love of country…to accuse those same members of preparing to strip Americans of their rights is not only absurd, offensive, and blatantly paranoid…it is an affront to every veteran and active duty member to ever wear the U.S. military uniform.  On a very personal level I say how dare you claim my husband would order or follow the orders of officers above him, to violate our Constitution! The very same Constitution that he, I, and every American to wear the uniform has sworn an oath of allegiance to uphold and protect above all others. As an officer he swore the following:

“ I, _____________ having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _________ 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; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; SO HELP ME GOD.”

Enlisted make a similar oath:

“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.”

I added the italics at the end to emphasize that if the orders are not according to regulations, etc. they are unlawful and not to be followed. I find it hard to imagine that one minute you have full faith in our military to do their jobs while in battle but the next minute you are accusing them of betraying their country and countrymen. Either you believe they take their oath to the Constitution seriously or you have some idea that our military members are duplicitious in their oaths.

Now, I do not trust the current administration for a single second but I implicitly trust the whole of our military. Sure, there may be individuals who are not worthy of trust nor the honor of wearing our great nations uniform. However, these individuals do not control and could never control the vast resources of our military. Should the day come when a President begins to create his own Special Forces, SS or SA branch of the military, then I would caution that it is indeed cause for serious alarm.

That day has not come and I do not imagine it will in my lifetime but I will be on the lookout in any event. Please, halt all the insidious meme’s and social media rantings–claiming that our military is about to undo every oath of office they have sworn their life to uphold–and then on Memorial Day or Veterans Day posting your “Support our Troops” memes. Either you believe in our military members or you do not.

A day may come when those in our military will be trained to turn against the people and our Constitution but it is not this day nor will it be under the guise of some exercise called Jade Helm. I am proud to have served in the U.S Navy, I am proud of my father’s service, brother’s service, and I am proud of my husband’s current service. I have met thousands of men and women in my time as a sailor and an Army wife, not one of them left me with doubts about where their allegiance would lie towards their fellow Americans or our Constitution.

I have seen a meme that says, “If you won’t stand behind our troops then try standing in front of them” and I’ve always smiled. Today, as I read post after post and rant after rant warning of the impending FEMA camp incarceration of Americans at the hands of the military…I am left wondering if we veterans and military members want these individuals standing behind us after all…seems to me you folks are busy patting us on the back with one hand while the other is holding a knife in preparation to stab us.

Finally, I am not alone in this sentiment and have the support of dozens of other active duty members, retired, veterans, and spouses who feel the same way. I am certain it is more than a few dozen but those are the ones I spoke with personally and we are sick to death of this nonsense. If you have actual evidence of the military violating our Constitution that goes beyond the “tin foil hat” wearing conspiracy theorist…then by all means put up or shut up.

Shannon Grady

South Carolina Politichick Shannon Grady came to the staff in late 2013 with experience writing political pieces on US foreign, domestic, and education policy for Shannon has also been a guest commentator on The PonyTail Patriot BlogTalkRadio show. Shannon brings a unique perspective to European politics as she is able to cover events happening across Europe from the heart of the EU, while living in Brussels, Belgium. Her articles include original coverage of the Memorial Day events at Flanders Field, Belgium and the 70th anniversary D-Day events in Normandy, France. Shannon has a BA in History from the University of South Carolina, a Masters from Webster University, and recently finished her doctorate program at Liberty University where she focused on Educational Leadership and Administration. She currently teaches online AP courses in Macro and Micro Economics and AP US history. She is the wife of active duty Army officer LTC Matthew Grady who is currently assigned to NATO in Belgium and the mother of one rambunctious little boy. Follow Shannon on Twitter: @SGPAExPat

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