Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, answers a question during a virtual town hall at the Pentagon, May 28, 2020.
Chad J. McNeeley | Department of Defense
WASHINGTON – In an extraordinary letter Tuesday, the nation’s top military commanders condemned last week’s acts of “sedition and insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol, while acknowledging Joe Biden’s election victory.
The message did not mention President Donald Trump by name, but the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, made it clear that the military intends to stand by the constitutional transfer of power to the next administration.
“As we have done throughout our history, the U.S. military will obey lawful order from civilian leadership, support civilian authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law, and remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” penned the nation’s highest military officers.
“As Service Members, we must embody the values and ideals of the Nation. We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law,” the chiefs wrote.
The message comes one week after thousands of the president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, resulting in five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer. The pandemonium that ensued, derailed congressional proceedings to tally electors’ votes and confirm Biden’s win in the Nov. 3 election.
Trump, who is slated to leave office on January 20, said last week that he would skip President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. On Thursday, in his first address to the nation since the riot that rocked Washington, Trump called for national “healing and reconciliation.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark A. Milley listens while President Donald Trump speaks before a meeting with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC on October 7, 2019.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
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