Top military leaders have issued separate statements condemning racism after a white nationalist rally turned violent over the weekend in Charlottesville, Newsmax reports.
Admiral John Richardson, head of the Navy, was the first one to comment on the events, tweeting on Saturday that the incidents were “shameful” and “unacceptable, and that the Navy should save violence “only for our enemies.”
Others joined in on Wednesday, in a move the Los Angeles Times saw as distancing themselves from President Donald Trump, their commander in chief. Army Chief of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, said that his branch “doesn’t tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks. It’s against our Values and everything we’ve stood for since 1775.”
General Robert Neller, who is head of the Marines, said on Tuesday that there is “No place for racial hatred or extremism in [the] USMC. … Our core values of honor, courage, and commitment frame the way Marines live and act.”
Air Force chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein and the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel said on Wednesday they “stand with” their fellow service leaders.
“We’re always stronger together,” Goldfein tweeted, while Lengyl said, “Our diversity is our strength.”
Defense officials said they were not aware of any active-duty service members who were under investigation for involvement in the protests, though the Navy said it is investigating allegations that a reservist may have taken part.
Many involved were veterans of the military however, and James Alex Fields, Jr., who has been charged in the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer, was discharged of the Army basic training after four months.