Commentary

October 18, 2013

Identifying domestic enemies

Col. Joseph L. Prue
821st Air Base Group commander

THULE AIR BASE, Greenland — As members of the military, we have all taken an oath of service. For officers it is the Oath of Office and for enlisted service members it is the Oath of Enlistment.

Although the titles are different, there is an identical statement in both that sparked my curiosity one day: “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Americans are continually reminded of our foreign enemies through newspapers, Internet news sites and local or national news television broadcasts. Identifying our domestic enemies is not so well known or broadcasted. To satisfy my curiosity I turned to our Constitution to see if it defined what a domestic enemy is to the United States of America.

Amendment 14, Section 3 states, “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” As a military officer, I honed in on the words military and insurrection. To me, this meant that any insurgent against the United States shall not hold any public office to include civil or military.

Naturally, I consulted Webster’s dictionary to gain ground truth on the definition of an insurgent. Insurgent is defined as “a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government.” From my many professional military education courses I began to fill in the blanks on what defines a domestic enemy, and naturally began to formulate a plan on how to defend the Constitution against them.

Insurgents are difficult to identify as they typically blend into the population and naturally thrive in a failed state environment. One way to negate insurgent operations is to integrate civil or military authorities into the population and provide protection and assistance in rebuilding a community and minimize the insurgent’s opportunity to take action. This is easier said than done.

By now I had defined a domestic enemy as an insurgent and an insurgent as one who revolts against authority. So the natural question is how could I apply this to my command tour? Surely we in the Air Force do not have domestic enemies amongst us — or so I thought.

I submit that perpetrators of sexual assault and harassment are one example of domestic enemies. They revolt against civil authority by committing criminal acts against other members of our service. They blend in to our population of Airmen as they meet physical standards and wear the same uniforms. When found guilty of “insurgent” actions they are removed from military service as directed in Amendment 14 of our Constitution. But how do we defend against them in a proactive instead of a reactive manner? More specifically, how would I execute defensive actions during my command tour?

First, integrate military authority into the base population. This is simply executed by walking around work places, dorms and chow halls to provide our Airmen with a level of visible protection and assistance on a physical level. Next, spending time talking with our Airmen will begin to build a level of trust that should foster open communication and reporting of possible “insurgent” activity.

Finally, get group buy-in to work as a team to identify insurgents and insurgent activity and minimize, if not eliminate, insurgents’ opportunity to operate by rebuilding the community in an effort to not become a failed state where insurgents thrive.

Domestic enemies cannot be defended against by just the commander. We all must take to heart our oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and be proactive in doing so.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Air Force fighters, bombers conduct strikes against ISIL targets in Syria

TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. military forces and partner nations, including the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, undertook military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria Sept. 22, using a mix of fighter, bomber, remotely piloted aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles to...
 
 
page-one

End of an era: 65th AGRS set to deactivate

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – After almost a decade of unyielding service, the 65th Aggressor Squadron will be deactivating. Since being reactivated Sept. 15, 2005, the 65th AGRS helped provide air combat training for militar...
 
 

Information security part of everything we do

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — It’s been one of those days. You are super busy and your unit just received another tasking. You are trying to do five jobs at once and don’t even have time to think. You decide to help your unit deployment manager get the word out and forward an email...
 

 

When leaders earn their keep

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — It’s no secret that a key to being a good leader, military or otherwise, is taking care of your people. I strongly believe Airmen aren’t able to perform at their peak if their personal lives are in disarray. Whether financial woes, marital issues, illnesses or other troubles, it’s tough...
 
 
birthday2

Nellis celebrates Air Force birthday

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed Lt. Col. Tammy Johnson, 99th Force Support Squadron commander, and Airman Scott Chatwin, 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator apprentice, cut a ceremonial U.S. Air...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Nellis remembers POWs, those MIA

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika U.S. Armed Forces veterans bow their heads in remembrance during the Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Recognition Ceremony at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Sept. 19. During th...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin