US National Guard officer wears dinosaur hand puppet while taking oath, gets fired after video goes viral

  • Two other senior officers face tough punishments for mocking "honourable" reenlistment ceremony

WASHINGTON – The United States Air National Guard has fired an officer for wearing a dinosaur hand puppet while taking a military oath during her re-enlistment ceremony last week.

Sgt. Robin Brown, a senior noncommissioned officer (NCO), was removed from her full-time position with the Tennessee Joint Public Affairs Office, according to a statement from Army Maj. Gen. Terry Haston, the adjutant general for the Tennessee National Guard.

The statement, posted on Facebook, said that “other administrative actions are underway.”

The unidentified colonel who administered the oath was demoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and “immediately retired,” Hatson said.

The senior noncommissioned officer who made the recording was removed from his position as first sergeant and was officially reprimanded, but remains at the Tennessee Air National Guard, according to Hatson.

The video of the re-enlistment ceremony went viral with more than 2.7 million views after an unofficial Air Force forum posted it on Facebook on Saturday, saying, “Remember when the Profession of Arms was taken seriously??”

The video showed Brown using the dinosaur hand puppet to recite the Oath of Enlistment while the colonel conducting the ceremony read it to her from a piece of paper.

“I am absolutely embarrassed that a senior officer and a senior NCO took such liberties with a time-honored military tradition,” Hatson said in his statement. “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. 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.”

In a Facebook post, Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Anderson, the command chief master sergeant of the Air National Guard, said the act “in no way represents who we are as a force.”

“It does not negate the professionalism and dedication exemplified everyday by the Airmen who have sacrificed and dedicated themselves to our Air National Guard, our community, state and nation,” he said.

Air National Guard units are organized and federally recognized federal military reserve forces in each of the fifty U.S. states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia of the United States.