A female soldier who hid in her car to avoid saluting the American flag and then brazenly posted a selfie of her actions on Instagram is under heavy scrutiny by Internet users and her chain of command.
Army Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey posted under the Instagram handle "sheffeynation" a photo of herself leaning back in uniform with a caption saying she was avoiding a flag salute, according to the Army Times:
“This is me laying back in my car hiding so I don’t have to salute the 1700 flag, KEEP ALL YOUR ‘THATS SO DISRESPECTFUL/HOWRUDE/ETC.’ COMMENTS TO YOURSELF cuz, right now, IDGAFFFF,” the caption said.
Sheffey's indignant post has drawn sharp criticism from fellow military members online.
"The disrespect doesn't lie in her not saluting the flag," one Facebook user wrote. "It comes from the fact that she posted it on social media like she is a bad-@$$ and like she so blatantly says in her post IDGAFFFF. I bet after her leadership found out about her bad attitude she gave a FFFF."
Sheffey is a member of the 59th Quartermaster Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, at Fort Carson, Colo., post spokewoman Dee McNutt confirmed to TheBlaze Wednesday.
"As young soldiers in this generation use social media we try to educate them on the moral thing to do, both on- and off-duty, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether they are in uniform or out," McNutt said.
But what is the moral thing to do? That's tough for a federal organization to pin down.
"Soldiers are expected to conduct themselves in line with Army values," McNutt said. "Soldiers must display appropriate behavior on social media that upholds the values the American people expect of their Army."
McNutt said Fort Carson's leadership is "aware of the social media post," and is "looking into the situation, and reviewing potential next steps."
The goal, McNutt said, is better education. "Fort Carson leaders will continue to educate soldiers on standards and discipline and appropriate professional conduct on social media consistent with Army values -- both on and off-duty."
Despite a report that some Gold Star Mothers — those who have lost a child in uniform — have called for Sheffey's removal of service, a Gold Star Mother spokeswoman told TheBlaze, "As a national organization we have no comment on this issue."
And some Facebook users tempered their responses, and even suggested an ideal punishment.
"Let he who has never stood just inside the commissary exit during retreat cast the first stone ... She got caught breaking a military custom, or rather, avoiding one. Make her the NCOIC of the base retreat ceremony for a month and be done," said one military member on Facebook.
McNutt said when and if a disciplinary action does come down for Sheffey, according to Uniform Code of Military Justice Guidelines, it likely won't be public knowledge: "Whatever actions the chain of command chooses to take ... or not take depending on what a commander decides, is not releasable."
If Sheffey receives non-judicial punishment for her actions - essentially anything less than a full court martial - it will likely stay under wraps at the command.
McNutt said the people calling for Sheffey's removal from service are expressing their free speech, something the military protects.
"What we fight for in the military is freedom of speech; everyone on both sides of this issue have their opinions and are certainly entitled to their freedom of speech. What we need to do is a fair and balanced investigation into the situation and treat the soldier with dignity and respect regardless," McNutt said.
(H/T: Army Times)
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