Naval reservist investigated for national anthem protest
Pacific Fleet officials investigated an active-duty naval reservist from San Diego who failed to stand and salute during the playing of the national anthem on Sept. 19 at Pearl Harbor.
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Pacific Fleet officials investigated a naval reservist on active duty from San Diego who failed to stand and salute during the playing of the national anthem on Sept. 19 at Pearl Harbor.
It’s unclear what the investigation found or what penalties, if any, that Petty Officer 2nd Class Janaye Ervin, an intelligence specialist, may face for her actions while fulfilling her required two weeks of training, said Pacific Fleet spokesman Senior Chief Petty Officer Joel Cesar.
The Pacific Fleet concluded its investigation of Ervin, but Cesar did not know the results.
“I don’t believe anything was done on our part,” Cesar said. “It was more trying to understand where she’s coming from.”
Cesar did not believe that Ervin was in formation when she chose not to acknowledge the playing of the national anthem.
Her actions follow a growing movement by athletes led by San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who in August began refusing to stand during the playing of the national anthem, citing racial divides that include the police shootings of sometimes unarmed African-Americans.
In a Facebook post, Ervin wrote, “On September 19, 2016, while in uniform, I made the conscious decision to not stand for the Star Spangled Banner because I feel like a hypocrite, singing about ‘land of the free’ when, I know that only applies to some Americans. I will gladly stand again, when ALL AMERICANS are afforded the same freedom. The Navy has decided to punish me for defending the Constitution and has taken away my equipment I need to do my Naval job. It was my pleasure serving my country, I love it dearly, that is why I must do this for you. I will keep you all posted on what happens next!”
Ervin, who did not respond to a Facebook message from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser seeking comment, ended her post with the hashtags #HOOYAH, #USNAVYVET, #PUTINTO ACTIONWHATYOUSING ABOUT and #DONT TREADONME.
The post and others were taken down from Ervin’s Facebook page later Monday, leaving little information other than a profile picture of the lead characters from the cartoon action-comedy television show “Archer,” which features an African-American female secret agent.
Ervin returned to San Diego on Friday, Cesar said.
Military.com reported that Ervin’s actions came two weeks after an unidentified sailor attached to Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Fla., filmed herself refusing to stand while the national anthem was played.
Navy regulations require uniformed personnel to stand and salute during the playing of the national anthem, Cesar said. Military members in civilian attire are required to stand and hold their hand over their heart, he said.
But commanders have leeway in dealing with those who don’t follow the guidelines, Cesar said.
“It’s kind of loose,” Cesar said. “Obviously there are circumstances where that doesn’t make sense (to stand and salute) if you’re doing serious work. But if you’re outdoors, under normal circumstances, we will stop and observe” the anthem.