In a recent video, Jon Ritzheimer tearfully tells his daughter that he couldn’t be home for Christmas because, paraphrasing “…Daddy took an oath to protect the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Protecting the Constitution is a noble cause. It’s just that your Oath of Enlistment isn’t exactly the correct vehicle to attach your efforts.
Lets see why by unpacking this oath taking a little bit.
Here’s the text of the Oath of Enlistment to which all United States military enlisted personnel affirm.
There are two parts to this oath:
I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
The first part of the oath is the part that is often quoted by people such as Jon Ritzheimer. Much is made of the sacred oath taken by members of the military. In fact, there are “Oath Keepers” websites where similarly confused former military types vow to protect the Constitution in keeping with their Oath of Enlistment.
The Oath Keepers rarely mention the second part of the Oath of Enlistment. This is because when you consider the second part of the Oath of Enlistment, it becomes clear that the Oath has no meaning outside of the context of being in the military.
The second part of the Oath states that the individual will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over the individual.
and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
An individual who has left the military,as many militia members have, is no longer in the chain of command, and has no appointed officers issuing orders to which he must obey and is no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Thus, a former Marine, for example, Jon Rizheimer, who was apparently discharged from the Marine Corps for violating the Corps tattoo policy, is no longer bound by the Oath of Enlistment, no longer has any officers giving him orders, and is not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. and therefore has no excuse for not spending Christmas with his daughters.