2 Service Members Disciplined Over Hand Puppet Used in Oath Ceremony

Two Air National Guard members have been disciplined over a hand puppet used in oath ceremony.
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Two Air National Guard members have been punished over the use of a hand puppet during a re-enlistment ceremony.

The colonel who led the proceedings has been demoted to lieutenant colonel and immediately retired, officials said. Master Sgt. Robin Brown, who used a dinosaur puppet to recite her service oath, has been removed from her post with the Tennessee Joint Public Affairs Office and faces further administrative action.

The ceremony was videotaped and posted on social media, where it received outraged criticism from service members who said the puppet mocked a solemn proceeding.

"I am absolutely embarrassed that a senior officer and a senior NCO took such liberties with a time-honored military tradition," wrote Army Maj. Gen. Terry Haston, the adjutant general for the Tennessee National Guard, on Facebook. 

"The Tennessee National Guard holds the Oath of Enlistment in the highest esteem because that oath signifies every service member’s commitment to defend our state, nation and the freedoms we all enjoy," Haston said. 

"Not taking this oath solemnly and with the utmost respect is firmly against the traditions and sanctity of our military family and will not be tolerated."

The service member who shot the video also faces discipline, authorities said, but the person was not identified. Brown said the video was made for her children, who were not at the April 13 ceremony.

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