Air National Guardsman's Dinosaur Puppet Re-Enlistment Sparks Outrage

A screenshot from a video of an Air National Guard master sergeant using a dinosaur hand puppet while reciting the oath of re-enlistment. (Screenshot from Facebook)
Stars and Stripes | By Tyler Hlavac

The Tennessee Air National Guard is investigating a video that shows one of its members using a dinosaur hand puppet during a re-enlistment ceremony.

The video posted Saturday to the Facebook group Air Force amn/nco/snco shows Master Sgt. Robin Brown and an unidentified officer participating in the ceremony. Brown recites the enlistment oath while manipulating the puppet to mouth along with the words as she speaks them.

The video had more than 2 million views as of early Tuesday.

Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice responded Monday on his official Facebook page, saying he was "shocked and dismayed" by the video.

"Many of you have seen and commented to me about the recent Facebook post of an Airman in our beloved Air National Guard, taking the re-enlistment oath while using a dinosaur hand puppet," he wrote. "I understand your outrage and frustration. I'm equally shocked and dismayed by this event that mocks such a cherished and honorable occasion. The oath of office or enlistment not only signifies our commitment to our nation, but pays respect to our fellow service members and to those who came before us."

Rice added that Tennessee National Guard leadership is investigating the footage.

Air Force regulations covering ceremonies state that "unit commanders will honor all re-enlistees through a dignified reenlistment ceremony."

Along with blasting the inclusion of the puppet, commenters online criticized the officer administering the oath for not having it memorized and for not raising his right hand.

Brown's profile on the military's Defense Visual Information Distribution Service shows she worked in public affairs. The Air National Guard's 118th Wing website said she served in community relations for the Tennessee Joint Force Headquarters.