Despite longstanding rules prohibiting active-duty members of the military from engaging in partisan political events, particularly while in uniform, that has nonetheless been occurring with alarming frequency in recent weeks.
The latest example involved a contingent of National Guard troops from Guam led by the U.S. territory’s Democratic congressional representative to the office of freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Monday in reaction to a remark she made about the island weeks earlier, Breitbart reported.
Storming Greene’s office
During an address in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida, Greene said, “We believe our hard-earned tax dollars should just go for America, not for, what, China, Russia, the Middle East, Guam, whatever, wherever,” referencing the spending plans of the Democrat-controlled Congress.
Weeks later, Greene’s adversaries interpreted the remark to imply that Greene didn’t believe Guam was part of the United States since she had lumped it in with the other foreign nations and regions. That was then seized upon by Rep. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (D-Guam) and the island’s Guard troops stationed in Washington, D.C.
Bearing a basket of cookies and pamphlets about Guam, the congressman and the Guard troops approached Greene’s office, only to be informed that the congresswoman was not there.
Guam Rep. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas and members of the Guam National Guard visited the office of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene after she falsely called the U.S. territory a foreign land. pic.twitter.com/3M3L0BkJZ1
— The Hill (@thehill) March 15, 2021
Guard leader: Incident was not political
Breitbart noted that while partisans on the left cheered the incident, it was also widely condemned by centrists and the right as inappropriate — and likely a violation of military code — for the uniformed troops to take part in what was obviously a staged political event.
Coming on the heels of the coordinated pushback by uniformed military officers against Fox News host Tucker Carlson over his critique of military readiness, the use of uniformed troops for partisan purposes was deemed to be a highly concerning shift from the nonpartisan tradition of military service members.
The Military Times reported, however, that the adjutant general of the Guam National Guard, Maj. Gen. Esther J.C. Aguigui, insisted that her force remained a “nonpartisan entity” that had not participated in a political event but was merely helping “raise awareness” about the island of Guam and its status as a U.S. territory.
Greene fires back
That explanation is unlikely to satisfy Greene, who tweeted Tuesday that it was time for all of the Guard troops in D.C. to be sent back home. “The Democrats need to stop using them as political theatre and drama on Capitol Hill. Shame on Democrats for disrespecting our military,” she wrote.
Greene also sent a letter to Pentagon leaders to decry the “dangerous and troubling trend” of military service members being used for partisan purposes, including the “unnecessary” occupation of the Capitol complex, the “ambush” of her office and staffers by the Guam troops, and the seemingly coordinated attacks by military members and entities of Carlson, Forbes reported.
The congresswoman demanded an end to the occupation of the Capitol, the removal of the fencing and razor wire, and for members of the military to “no longer be used as a political tool to intimidate, harass, or critique members of the press or Congress.”