The Joint Chiefs of Staff—the most senior uniformed commanding officers in each of the US armed services—issued a joint memorandum to all active-duty military personnel today, denouncing the violent insurrectionist attack on the US Capitol.
The letter stated, in part:
The violent riot in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process. We mourn the deaths of the two Capitol policemen and others connected to these unprecedented events.
We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.
The extraordinary letter made clear the military would “obey lawful orders from civilian leadership” and “remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
The Joint Chiefs emphasized in the letter that President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, becoming the 46th Commander in Chief, and any acts to disrupt the constitutional process not only violate military values, but the law.