As members of the military, we fought to defend our constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech. But the attack against the U.S. Capitol on January 6th was not about free speech, it was an insurrection. Any military member who participated violated their oath to defend the United States’ Constitution — against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, military members in their private capacity have a right to voice their political opinions, to vote in elections, and to participate in legal protests. However, if criminal investigations identify any service member — active duty, reserve, or retired — who willingly joined this attack against the United States, they should be held fully accountable.
As veterans, we must unite around the values and the principles for which our nation stands. Together, we must condemn those who have violated their oath to defend our nation. While we may have political disagreements, we must defend our democracy.
Eric Oehlerich is a retired U.S. Navy Commander (SEAL) from the Naval Special Warfare component of the USSOCOM’s Joint Special Operations Command. He is an Analyst for ABC News and a Co-founder of the Lobo Institute.
Michael “Mick” Patrick Mulroy is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, a retired Paramilitary Operations Officer in the CIA’s Special Activities Center, and a retired U.S. Marine. He is an Analyst for ABC News and a Co-founder of the Lobo Institute.