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News | Feb. 17, 2021

From the Chiefs of the Joint Staff

By The Chiefs of the Joint Staff Joint Force Quarterly 100

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The Chiefs of the Joint Staff
Pictured (left to right, top to bottom): General Mark A. Milley, USA, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General John E. Hyten, USAF, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General James C. McConville, USA, Chief of Staff of the Army; General David H. Berger, USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps; Admiral Michael M. Gilday, USN, Chief of Naval Operations; General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., USAF, Chief of Staff of the Air Force; General John W. Raymond, USSF, Chief of Space Operations; General Daniel R. Hokanson, USA, Chief of the National Guard Bureau.
The Chiefs of the Joint Staff
The Chiefs of the Joint Staff
Pictured (left to right, top to bottom): General Mark A. Milley, USA, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General John E. Hyten, USAF, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General James C. McConville, USA, Chief of Staff of the Army; General David H. Berger, USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps; Admiral Michael M. Gilday, USN, Chief of Naval Operations; General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., USAF, Chief of Staff of the Air Force; General John W. Raymond, USSF, Chief of Space Operations; General Daniel R. Hokanson, USA, Chief of the National Guard Bureau.
Photo By: NDU Press
VIRIN: 210217-D-BD104-012

MEMORANDUM FOR THE JOINT FORCE

SUBJECT: MESSAGE TO THE JOINT FORCE

The American people have trusted the Armed Forces of the United States to protect them and our Constitution for almost 250 years. As we have done throughout our history, the U.S. military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership, support civil 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.

The violent riot in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process. We mourn the deaths of the two Capitol policemen and others connected to these unprecedented events.

We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.

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.

On January 20, 2021, in accordance with the Constitution, confirmed by the states and the courts, and certified by Congress, President-elect Biden will be inaugurated and will become our 46th Commander in Chief.

To our men and women deployed and at home, safeguarding our country-stay ready, keep your eyes on the horizon, and remain focused on the mission. We honor your continued service in defense of every American.

[signed]

Mark A. Milley
General, U.S. Army
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

John E. Hyten
General, U.S. Air Force
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

James C. McConville
General, U.S. Army
Chief of Staff of the Army

David H. Berger
General, U.S. Marine Corps
Commandant of the Marine Corps

Michael M. Gilday
Admiral, U.S. Navy
Chief of Naval Operations

Charles Q. Brown, Jr.
General, U.S. Air Force
Chief of Staff of the Air Force

John W. Raymond
General, U.S. Space Force
Chief of Space Operations

Daniel R. Hokanson
General, U.S. Army
Chief of the National Guard Bureau


Statue of George Washington and Constantino Brumidi’s 1865 fresco, The Apotheosis of Washington, in Rotunda of U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC, September 6, 2016 (Architect of the Capitol)
Statue of George Washington and Constantino Brumidi’s 1865 fresco, The Apotheosis of Washington, in Rotunda of U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC, September 6, 2016 (Architect of the Capitol)
Statue of George Washington and Constantino Brumidi’s 1865 fresco, The Apotheosis of Washington, in Rotunda of U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC, September 6, 2016 (Architect of the Capitol)
Statue of George Washington and Constantino Brumidi’s 1865 fresco, The Apotheosis of Washington, in Rotunda of U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC
Statue of George Washington and Constantino Brumidi’s 1865 fresco, The Apotheosis of Washington, in Rotunda of U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC, September 6, 2016 (Architect of the Capitol)
Photo By: Architect of the Capitol
VIRIN: 210217-D-BD104-013

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.

—President George Washington Farewell Address, 1796