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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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February 26, 2014 - 7:56 am

Army Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey has made at least two major choices in her life. One was to volunteer for the United States Army. That’s a brave choice that could cost her her life. Joining the Army is very serious business.

The second is her decision to publicly disrespect the flag that represents the United States. This was a foolish choice that could cost her dearly.

A soldier who hid in her car to avoid saluting the flag — and then flaunted it on Instagram — is the latest service member to come under attack via social media and be accused of dishonoring her service.

Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey, whose Instagram handle is “sheffeynation,” posted a selfie with a caption that reads:

“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 image was distributed via Facebook and also sent to Army Times. Angry service members, Gold Star mothers and spouses have called for the soldier’s removal from service.

The IDGAFFFF is profane slang for “I don’t care what you think about me or my actions at all.” A person with that attitude is a discipline problem. A person who puts that attitude out on social media is begging for trouble. This is not a free speech issue.

Sheffey is not a civilian. She is a member of a unit at Ft. Carson, Colorado. Her commanders will care about what she has done, and she will have to care about what they think. When she volunteered for the Army, Sheffey voluntarily put herself under their authority. She is subject to discipline under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. She has yet to apologize for her actions, but apologies may not even matter. Her actions threaten her unit’s and the Army’s good order and discipline. Commanders will take the good of the unit into account as they decide what discipline Sheffey faces. That doesn’t automatically mean that she will be ejected. Commanders can be pretty creative about maintaining order. Her punishment will depend on her prior discipline record and how she treats this issue, and could be as simple as ordering her to report to the flag lowering every day to stand apart from the ranks and salute for an extra amount of time. Or she could be booted if she sticks to that IDGAFFFF attitude. Being booted may be what she wants. People have done all kinds of things to shirk the duty they have volunteered for.

Exit question: What are the odds that Sheffey’s actions make her a cause célèbre to some on the left?

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
Here's the difference. While walking down the street at Goodfellow AFB, I saw a young Marine straighten a flag that had got tangled on it's pole, step back, come to attention, salute, then continue on his way. I will never forget that sight.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Obama had a grown daughter. . . .
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
As an NCO, I'd have her low-crawling in full battle rattle from one end of post to another, and past every displayed American flag where she would then stand and render honors. She'd be doing this for DAYS. She would then be voluntold to report to the command post's detail unit to help post the colors daily for months. Lack of discipline, my pasty white hairy Scotch-Irish... well, you get the picture.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (97)
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She's a "Solider" according to the headline. Are "Soliders" subject to the same disciplinary actions as "Soldiers?"

Jus' Askin'
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's get some things straight. It's not disrespectful to stay in your car or to stay indoors until the flag ceremony is done. That's standard procedure.

On base when they lower the flag, if you're outdoors, you salute. If you're in your car you come to a stop. That's also SOP. When I am on base and they sound retreat, I stop my car if I am driving and come to attention if I am walking -- I am a civilian now.

What's disrespectful is going out of your way and then bragging about it. What's more disrespectful is the "IDGAFFFF".

Unfortunately I don't think there anything she can be punished for, but peer pressure can be brought to bear. She doesn't have to get out of car. That's not part of flag etiquette. But her hiding -- that's an indication she is trying to avoid peer pressure.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
A more fitting response by the base commander may be to keep her in uniform and not transfer her - but also keep her at that specific base.

Cancel all leave for the foreseeable future....for everyone.

Then, have additional flag ceremony events added to the schedule and make it mandatory that all personnel on base are obligated to show up - rain or shine - and pay the proper respect for that flag.

As others have noted, have this soldier required to stand at attention at every event - separate from the others - and not salute.

Make ALL of the soldiers on that base pay for her lack of intelligence.

Crappy assignments are a given....I believe someone mentioned toothbrushes and toilets?

At some point, I'm sure her fellow soldiers will get the message across to her how much she's f%cked up and exactly what they think of her stupidity.

That would be a more apt teaching approach as it lets her know just how screwed she really is, reinforces upon her brain that she literally belongs to the army and has to obey army rules, it brings the entire base into the situation as participants, and as such the entire base gets to deal with it.

It also sends a clear signal to any others that would do likewise just how bad and idea it is and dissuade them from similar behavior.

And who knows, she may just learn something herself from the experience - or she may just despise the flag even more.....if so, well...it's not like she showed much respect for it to begin with.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have to say I'm not a big fan of collective punishments. Punishing her fellow soldiers for something she did smacks of the same kind of mentality used by tyrants.

During WW II, the Germans would kill 50 or 100 innocent people if one of their own soldiers were killed by a resistance fighter. The World at War series begins with Laurence Olivier telling the audience about an entire French village that was wiped out by Germans in the last months of the war, presumably that was for some act of resistance.

Two wrongs have never made a right. Punishing the innocent is never just.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Collective punishment is a great way to teach Soldiers to hate their leaders. It kills morale and breaks down unit cohesion. Hold Soldiers to standards, and punish those that are out of line. Mess up in public, get punished publicly. But collective punishment should seldom, if ever be used.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Basic Black.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
And what are the odds that any appropriate disciplinary action shall be forthcoming from the commanding officers of the Army in which she "serves".

The obvious disciplinary action to "get the attention" for the "teaching moment" for other exhibitionists is Dishonourable Discharge.

That she can carry as badge for the rest of her life of her "heroism" in dishonouring the symbol of the nation for which military she volunteered

WHY volunteer? with such contempt for the organisation to which she belongs.

And how does this contempt play with her colleagues ,her fellow soldiers?

Or daren't they, all things considered, say anything critical about her execrable behaviour?
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's used very effectively and with good purpose in Basic Combat Training and Marine Boot camp.

OR at least, it used to be.

21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now heading for a top level aide job at the White House, along side Valerie Jarrett.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Write to her at APO Fort Levenworth.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
If she really doesn't care what other people think about her antics, why did she post about it?
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
To gloat about how cool she is for being above such petty things as patriotism? Just a guess....

22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
She's the logical result of all of this politically correct, multi-culti, affirmative action, integration of females into a combat ready Army where they simply do not belong.
The WACs and WAVES and women Marines of past generations would never have admitted her into their ranks in the first place.
She represents the "new inevitable"...just a matter of time...no one should be surprised at this disgrace.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
She should be shamed. Made to stand apart from the formations and not allowed to salute, as they do with army prisoners. For a prescribed time, or I think, the remainder of her service. Let her never salute the colors in uniform again. She can choose to put her hand over her heart or not like the rest of us, when she is discharged.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
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