Outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley delivered a scathing rebuke of former President Donald Trump, calling him a “wannabe dictator” and saying that the military does not swear an oath to any one person in a farewell speech on September 29, 2023.
In a news report by ABC News on September 29, Milley’s comments were widely seen as a reference to Trump’s attempts to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election, which included pressuring state officials to change the results and inciting a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
“We don’t take an oath to a person,” Milley continued. “We don’t take an oath to a dictator. We don’t take an oath to a king or queen. We don’t take an oath to a tribe or a religion. We take an oath to the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Milley’s speech was a powerful reminder of the role of the military in a democracy. The military is not an instrument of personal power for the president, but rather a force that is sworn to defend the Constitution and the rule of law.
Milley’s comments were also a warning to those who would seek to undermine American democracy. The military is strong and united, and it will not stand for any attempts to subvert the Constitution or the will of the American people.
In the aftermath of Milley’s speech, Trump responded with a characteristically vitriolic attack, calling Milley a “traitor” and a “coward.” But Trump’s attacks only served to further highlight the contrast between him and Milley.
Milley’s farewell speech came at a time of great turmoil for the United States. The country is still grappling with the aftermath of the January 6th attack on the Capitol, and there is a growing sense of political division and extremism.
Milley has served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since September 2019. During his time in office, he has overseen the military’s response to a number of major challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Milley has also been a vocal critic of Trump’s attempts to politicize the military. He has repeatedly emphasized that the military is a non-partisan institution that is sworn to defend the Constitution and the rule of law.
Milley’s tenure as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been marked by both challenges and successes. He has faced significant criticism from Trump and his allies, but he has also earned the respect of the military and the American people.
His legacy as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will likely be debated for years to come. Some will point to his role in the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan as a failure, while others will praise him for standing up to Trump and defending the military’s independence.
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