Two Tennessee Air National Guard members have been discharged following the viral video of Master Sgt. Robin Brown reciting her re-enlistment oath while wearing a dinosaur hand puppet. The video first surfaced at the Facebook group "Air Force amn/nco/snco." The video features the colonel reading the oath to the airman (Master Sgt. Brown) who repeats it with the dinosaur hand puppet on her right hand mouthing the words.
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Army Maj. Gen. Terry Haston addressed the issue in a post:
"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 member’s 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.
The Tennessee National Guard leadership as a whole is appalled by the actions of these individuals which do not represent our nation’s service members nor the Airmen and Soldiers of Tennessee. The selfless dedication to our State, Nation that these men and women exhibit on a daily basis is without question."
Maj. General Haston shared the post via the Tennessee National Guard Facebook page. The colonel who appeared in the video has not been named but according to Haston they will be demoted before being asked to retire. Brown will be removed from her job and may face other consequences to her action. The officer who filmed the proceedings is also in hot water and has been removed rom his job as unit first sergeant as well as receiving a reprimand from Haston personally.
Lieutenant General Scott Rice, Air National Guard Director, also made a public statement via Facebook. He says he was "equally shocked and dismayed by this event that mocks such a cherished and honorable occasion" and pointed out the whole farce "goes against our very foundation."
There's not much as far as an explanation for what was actually going on. The Washington Post reported some speculation regarding the ceremony potentially being done as entertainment for children, but an official spokesman's statement seems to discredit this possibility.
“This was not typical for a re-enlistment ceremony by any means,” William Jones, a spokesman for the Joint Base Andrews Public Affairs Office, told The Post. “And children were not present when the ceremony took place.”