Airmen fired, demoted over dinosaur puppet video
The US Air Force is making it clear that dinosaur puppets have no place in its “time-honored” military traditions — levying tough punishments against three members of the Tennessee Air National Guard involved in a viral video depicting a reenlistment ceremony.
All three of the individuals involved in the viral video — which showed a female non-commissioned officer taking the reenlistment oath with a dinosaur puppet on her right hand — were removed from their posts, according to an announcement posted on Facebook on Wednesday by Maj Gen. Terry M. Haston, the adjutant general for the Tennessee Guard.
The colonel shown administering the oath “was immediately retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel” and the senior NCO who recorded the event was “removed from his position as a unit First Sergeant” but will be retained in the Air National Guard, the statement said.
The senior NCO featured in the video wearing the puppet was removed from her full-time position with the Tennessee Joint Public Affairs Office and other administrative actions are underway,” Haston’s statement noted.
“The oath of office or enlistment not only signifies our commitment to our nation, but pays respect to our fellow service members and to those who came before us,” Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen Scott Rice said in a statement on Monday. “We as military members answer to a calling of service and represent the Profession of Arms. This action goes against our very foundation.”
Surfacing over the weekend on a Facebook group called Air Force amn/nco/snco, the video has been criticized by those who felt that it disrespected the ceremony.
“I am absolutely embarrassed that a senior officer and a senior NCO took such liberties with a time-honored military tradition,” Wednesday’s statement from Haston said. “Not taking this oath solemnly and with the utmost respect is firmly against the traditions and sanctity of our military family and will not be tolerated.”
As of Thursday morning, the video had tallied more than 2.6 million views.