Following the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, and after high-profile cases of military member involvement in far-right and white supremacist demonstrations and violence over the past year, a now common refrain was offered in response: the military is just a microcosm of society.
Over my 12 years as an Air Force officer, I’ve heard civilian and military leaders alike refer to the men and women who serve in a different way: the best and brightest the nation has to offer. In daily life, both in and out of uniform, we are held to higher standards of behavior than society as a whole. That is why press reports regularly call attention to the participation of military members and veterans in anti-government and white supremacist activity, but do not similarly focus attention on the professions of others. The American people expect those who serve, who lead their sons and daughters, who are entrusted to protect and defend the United States, to be better, to be more capable, to be deserving of their trust.
The above excerpt was originally published in Military Times.
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