Army Chief of Staff Speaks Out Against Racism and Extremism

People gather for a vigil in response to the death of a counter-demonstrator at the

Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - high-ranking military officials who advise the president - appeared to distance themselves from President Trump by publicly condemning racism in the aftermath of Trump's comments about the attack in Charlottesville. "Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act", he tweeted. "I thought what happened was a disgusting moment for our country, but there are two sides to every story", he said, triggering a national storm.

He was joined yesterday by Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Mark A. Milley, Air Force Gen. Dave Goldfein and Chief of the National Guard Bureau Joseph Lengyel.

Adm. John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, started the trend on Saturday when he posted a statement on Twitter and Facebook that called the events in Charlottesville "shameful" and "unacceptable".

The military usually stays out of the political fray, but it has been keen to distance itself from the weekend's neo-Nazi demonstrations because some demonstrators were sporting U.S. military clothes or insignia.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford also said Thursday that "absolutely and unambiguously. there is no place - no place - for racism and bigotry in the US military or in the United States as a whole".

A group of senior U.S. military officials have made a rare break with President Trump to unequivocally denounce racism. "It's against our Values and everything we've stood for since 1775", Milley tweeted.

On Wednesday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley wrote, "The Army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks".

"The Navy will forever stand against intolerance and hatred".

Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, tweeted that there's "no place for racial hatred or extremism". "The Army will not tolerate any form of radical behavior". "That is the furthest thing from my mind".

Lawmakers and civil rights groups have criticized President Trump for defiantly insisting that "both sides" were to blame for the weekend's violence and that there were "very fine people" among those protesting the statue's removal. "I want good order and discipline in my ranks".

James Alex Fields, the Nazi sympathizer who is accused of killing a woman and wounding more than a dozen others by driving his auto into a crowd of counter-protesters, spent four months in the Army in 2015 but failed out of basic training.

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