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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr.

First sergeant provides health, welfare for warriors

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr. Master Sgt. Phelipe Salinas speaks to his athletes during the 2014 Warrior Games at the Garry Berry Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 2. Salinas is the first sergean...
 
 

Safeguarding, re-evaluating your digital footprint

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Social media is a great resource for Airmen and their families to share information and stay connected to relatives at home and abroad. Although many depend on these wonderful tools, recent events have encouraged us to re-evaluate our digital footprint to ensure our personal and professional information is protected from online...
 
 

October is Energy Action Month: ‘I am Air Force Energy’

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Summer has come to a close, and we’re all looking forward to more tolerable temperatures in the coming weeks. Even better news — this means your power bill is likely to go down. But if you think you pay a lot for energy, imagine paying Nellis’ bill of approximately $1 million...
 

 

Taming ‘tyranny of urgent’

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Many Airmen lead incredibly busy lives, full of unfinished tasks that we often wish we had more hours in the day to fit it all in, and in our professional lives, budgets remain tight, the Air Force is shrinking, and we are challenged to do more with less. Yet...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Armory: A home for weapons

U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Jaime Romo, 99th Security Forces Squadron armorer, puts a M-240 rifle away after clearing the weapon at the 99th SFS armory at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo

Nellis Open House brings history to life

U.S. Air Force photo The AT-6 Texan, which was originally flown in 1935 and flown here in the 1940s, will be one of many aircraft at the Nellis Air Force Base Open House on Nov. 8 and 9. It is a single-engine advanced trainer a...
 




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