Tuesday, August 7, 2012
This story actually headlined this way on Fox News:
Navy SEAL Forced to Retire for Criticizing Obama’s Policies
Carl Higbie served as a Navy SEAL for nine years, but was forced to retire after speaking out against President Obama’s policies. Higbie was threatened with dishonorable discharge for writing the book, “Battle on the Home Front,” but instead was able to simply retire.
“My commanders were more concerned about how the fallout of this book would affect their careers than they were concerned about how re-electing President Obama would affect the country,” Higbie said.
He discussed the controversy surrounding the book, saying, “It really points out how there is an agenda on Capitol Hill. It needs to be called attention to. There are so many things right now that are destroying this country.”
OK first of all let's get it straight: NOBODY "retires" from the military after only nine years- you have to make it to 20 to earn retirement pay.
The correct term for leaving the military prior to that time - whether honorably or otherwise - is "ETS" - End of Terminal Service.
No big deal, this doesn't actually affect the story; just one of the continuing misunderstandings civilian journalists have when reporting on the military.
In the U.S. military we are allowed to have political freedoms, of course; our officers are not allowed to order us which candidates to vote for, which is the norm in most 3d world militaries.
We may personally express our political beliefs as private citizens. We are NOT allowed to use the uniform as some sort of political soapbox - which apparently is what this young man did.
Navy SEAL Carl Higbie set himself up for failure and the DoD was correct in showing him the door. It speaks well for Higbie's conduct during the course of his service that they chose not to administratively prosecute him - which they may have been able to do - instead they let him ETS with an Honorable Discharge.
I wish the young man well and hope he follows through and makes something of himself in the political arena; our nation is in dire need of leadership.
Posted by STORMBRINGER at 17:14