To the Editor:

The picture of two combat Marines holding umbrellas over President Obama and the Turkish prime minister in the Rose Garden is the height of arrogance and disrespect to all service members, active and retired.

Apparently, President Obama does not understand that loyalty and respect is a two-way street. This is no way to use and abuse a military man or woman.

First, it violates the Army and Marine code forbidding the carrying and use of umbrellas by service members in uniform. Second, it is just bad form to embarrass our fighting forces by reducing them to man servants to do a politico’s bidding.

Just because Obama is the commander in chief does not make it all right.

I have yet to hear any outrage from the commandant of the Marine Corps. Surely, he must be embarrassed beyond belief. Hopefully, he understands loyalty outranks politics and will find the “brass” to speak out.

George Van Riper

Harker Heights

(6) comments


When President Reagan was interred, as Mrs. Reagan was being escorted from the church by an Army officer, a Soldier from the Honor Guard was a pace behind, holding a large umbrella over Mrs. Reagan to shield her from the rain. These are the normal courtesies extended to dignitaries by the Honor Guard. As this is a normal part of their duties, no violations of any service regulations has occurred on any of these occasions. Those huffing and puffing about it need to get over it and themselves.


Perhaps Mr. Van Riper should have shared his advice with Presidents Bush, Clinton and Reagan as they too had Marines hold umbrella's over their heads. I wonder why he is only upset with President Obama and not the others?


The right-leaning Daily Caller under the headline, "Obama breaches Marine umbrella protocol," writes: "The commander in chief of the American armed forces today forced a violation of Marine Corps regulations, so he wouldn't get wet."
The website cited the Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations chapter 3, which says:
3035. UMBRELLAS (Female Marines). Female Marines may carry an all-black, plain standard or collapsible umbrella at their option during inclement weather with the service and dress uniforms. It will be carried in the left hand so that the hand salute can be properly rendered. Umbrellas may not be used/carried in formation nor will they be carried with the utility uniform.
The website continues: "There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella... The Marine Corps Manual, the guidebook that defines protocol for officers and enlisted Marines, in section 2806 paragraph 2, specifically states: '... No officer or official shall issue instructions which conflict with, alter, or amend any provision without the approval of the Commandant of the Marine Corps.'"
The Blaze, however, points out that there is caveat. The website notes that the manual allows that a commander "may interpret the provisions of this Manual to address specific concerns whenever necessary."
The Blaze points out that the manual defines a commander as Marine officers titled as "Commanding General, Commanding Officer, Director, Officer in Charge or Inspector-Instructor."
TheBlaze reports that it contacted a Marines spokesperson and posed the question: "Given that the president is defined as the Commander in Chief 'of the Army and Navy of the United States...' by the Constitution and the fact that the Marines’ dress code protocol says 'the Commandant or higher authority' can authorize 'articles that are not authorized for wear as a part of a regulation uniform,' is the president considered a commander with this ability?"
According to The Blaze, the Marines spokesperson said "certainly."


An old saying from my mother ---
Don't you know enough to come in out of the rain ? [smile]

I usually didn't, but then I wasn't the President of the United States who knew he was to have a meet, with a high ranking dignitary from a foreign country with added guest.

If I had of been in that position, and with the number of persons who the tax payers pay to look out for my welfare and run my day. I would have hoped at least one of them, would have had the good sense to know it was going to rain that day and moved my meeting inside. It would ,I' would think, make for good sense and good manners.

The using of the 2 Marines for my personal comfort, But over looking theirs, when it could have been avoided, would have been a selfish move on my part.
I agree with the letter writer in that I do not want any military person to be made to look like those two Marines were made to look, like Man Servants while forcing them to violate a military code.

Dr Strangelove

I did not vote for President Obama but give the guy a break! Do you think the President of the United States ordered these Marines to do this? Some Marine (Officer/NCO) knucklehead ordered these Marines to do this that’s the person we should be mad at.

Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er

"Hopefully, he understands loyalty outranks politics."

Yes, the two Marines understand their their Commander in Chief.
I believe what the young men did was out of respect for the President of the United States.

I believe you are making this an unnecessary issue. Lighten up...there are more important issues at hand for this country. Why don't you try tackling them.

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