The Air Force Just Disobeyed A Direct Order From President Trump, Tells Him No

President Trump signed an executive order a few days ago that gives the Trump administration the right to recall retired military, going above and beyond a previous executive order signed shortly after 9/11 by former President George W. Bush that would only allow for the indefinite extension of people currently on active duty.

If used, the order would allow Trump to recall thousands of retired military pilots, many of whom are either taking their retirement checks or working other jobs as commercial airline pilots.

Shortly after the move, the Air Force released an unprecedented statement saying not only will they not do this, but they don’t plan on it, either.

Chief of Air Force media operations, Ann Stefanek, said they don’t “currently intend to recall retired pilots” no matter what Trump says. They then kind of belittled Trump’s executive order, saying further: “We appreciate the authorities and flexibility delegated to us.” Thanks, but no thanks.

Currently, the Air Force is needing about 1,500 more pilots, but it thinks it has better ways of accomplishing this shortfall, without forcing people into service who already spent years serving their country faithfully.

While the Air Force still has a long way to go in that regard, their employing other tactics, such as allowing retired pilots to return to fill “critical-rated staff positions.” The only difference is that this is done voluntarily on behalf of the service member.

Just a few months ago, the Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. Heather Wilson, slammed Trump for his decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military, saying in essence, “every airman who is wearing the uniform is an airman and they are worthy of dignity and respect.”

“The Chief of Staff and I have tried to make clear that we treat everyone with dignity and respect,” Wilson told PBS Newshour Anchor Judy Woodruff.

Here’s the entire executive order Trump signed:


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and in furtherance of the objectives of Proclamation 7463 of September 14, 2001 (Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks), which declared a national emergency by reason of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in New York and Pennsylvania and against the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States, and in order to provide the Secretary of Defense additional authority to manage personnel requirements in a manner consistent with the authorization provided in Executive Order 13223 of September 14, 2001 (Ordering the Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty and Delegating Certain Authorities to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Transportation), it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Amendment to Executive Order 13223. Section 1 of Executive Order 13223 is amended by adding at the end: “The authorities available for use during a national emergency under sections 688 and 690 of title 10, United States Code, are also invoked and made available, according to their terms, to the Secretary concerned, subject in the case of the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, to the direction of the Secretary of Defense.”

Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

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