Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force Chiefs Take Stand Against Racism

The chiefs of the Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force and the National Guard have all denounced racism via tweets in the aftermath of the weekend violence in Charlottesville—three of them coming after President Donald Trump’s Tuesday press conference in which he again blamed the violence on “both sides.” A defense department spokesman insists the latest anti-racism tweets are not an attack on the commander in chief, but rather the service chiefs following the lead of the Navy Chief. The defense official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the sensitive matter. Adm. John Richardson tweeted Saturday that “events in Charlottesville unacceptable & musnt be tolerated,” followed by the Marine Corps Commandant Robert Neller saying, “No place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC.” As cable news lit up with debates over Trump’s equivocating the alt-right marchers with the “alt-left,” Army Chief Gen. Mark Milley chimed in Wednesday morning with, “The Army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks,” followed by Air Force Chief David Goldfein and then National Guard Gen. Joseph Lengyel adding, “I stand with my fellow Joint Chiefs in condemning extremism & hatred.”

—Kimberly Dozier