Soldier Accused of Posting Photos to Social Media of Self Avoiding Flag Salute
Updated: Wednesday, February 26 2014, 02:26 PM EST
A soldier based in Fort Carson, CO is accused of posting photos on Instagram that seem to show herself purposefully avoiding a flag salute. Officials from the Mountain Post have confirmed that they are investigating the photo.
"Fort Carson's leadership is aware of the social media post PFC Sheffey made, is looking into the situation, and reviewing potential next steps," the statement reads. "Fort Carson leaders will continue to educate Soldiers on standards and discipline and appropriate professional conduct on social media consistent with Army Values -- both on and off duty."
The photo, which has gone viral, shows Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey lying in the back of her car. According to the caption, she says, "This is me laying in my car hiding so I don't have to salute the 1700 flag..."
Another photo posted later shows her again lying in her car with a caption that reads, "Your tax dollars allow me to sit in my car and do this all day..."
Her Instagram account has since been deleted.
A flag salute happens on the military base every day at 17:00 (5:00PM EST), during which time all soldiers outside must stop and salute the flag as it is lowered.
At a Wednesday morning press conference, Col. Heidi Hoyle, Special Assistant to the Commanding General, said they intend to give Pfc. Sheffey the chance to tell her side of the story.
"The command is looking at all of the range of options that we have concerning this soldier and the incident that happened," Hoyle said. "Right now, we are going to allow the soldier the opportunity and command the opportunity to present all matters and investigate this fully before we make any judgment on this case."
Col. Hoyle noted that there are several rules when it comes to members of the military and social media, including that a soldier must maintain their moral character.
"Concerning social media, there's a wide range of articles in the uniform code of military justice that apply," Hoyle said. "What we try to do is teach our soldiers that 1.) they must maintain the moral character that we expect of a soldier on a day to day basis, but then also help them to balance the freedoms that they have as a United States citizen."