By: Marc King
As the unspecified threat continues to warrant the presence of National Guard troops in our Nation’s capital, some politicians cannot resist the temptation to drag them into a political rumble with their fellow Congressmen and Congresswomen.
Case in point, yesterday, Rep. Michael San Nicolas, D-Guam used a contingent of Guam National Guard soldiers to “pay a visit” to the office of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. It seems that Rep. Taylor Greene failed to recognize that Guam was a US Territory and lumped it in with other foreign nations while addressing the outrageous “COVID 19 Rescue Bill” passed by the House last week.
A rookie mistake, to be sure, and one that should have been addressed by her colleague from Guam with a note. Ms. Taylor Greene has been under some extraordinary pressure of her own since being sworn in — like I said, a rookie mistake.
But, Rep. San Nicolas, who is under investigation as reported by Roll Call for allegations of improper sexual relationships with staffers and for campaign finance violations, could not let it go.
Instead, using some of the soldiers of the Guam National Guard, he marched a contingent to the office of Rep. Taylor Green in what can only be considered a pure act of intimidation to ‘fill her in on just where and what the island of Guam is…!”
Let us remember our history here. It was 2010 when Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) raised some eyebrows with a comment he made about the U.S. territory of Guam during a House Armed Services Committee hearing. CBS News reported that day that…
Did a delegation of soldiers form up and march on Rep. Johnson’s office…?
If they did, I do not recall the evening news capturing the event.
The press was made aware of San Nicolas’ visit for the sole purpose of shaming a Republican member of Congress.
However, there is another story here … one that will go unnoticed, if not called to the reader’s attention.
That story is the on-going use of our Army, Air Force and National Guard assets to fulfill the will of politicians. The many reader comments that accompanied the story in the Military Times called for the court martials of the troops who should have known better then to participate in such a blatant political vendetta. The troops should have known the rules — especially since they all appear in uniform.
However, I do not lay the blame at their feet …
The blame lies squarely with their Chain of Command from the Adjutant General of the Guam National Guard, Maj. Gen. Esther J.C. Aguigui, their Command Sergeant Major Ron Brantley and the local commander on the ground.
“Under long-standing Defense Department policy, service members and department civilian employees acting in their official capacity ‘may not engage in activities that associate the DOD with any partisan political campaign or elections.”
That specifically includes appearing in uniform at political campaign events” as reported in Military Times. If there is any Military Justice called for, it should be on the General’s head, not the troops.
It is time for the senior leaders of our military to grow a spine, stop worrying about their next promotion and start doing the right thing for their soldiers and the Nation.
What do you think the response would have been if the Commander on the ground leading the brave men and women of the Guam National Guard told Rep. Michael San Nicolas — “No, not today, Congressman — today, we are assigned to security, we are not on intimidation squad duty.”
I can assure you that nothing would have happened, other than the troops from Guam would have been spared this embarrassment.