CJCS is NOT in the chain of command

A centurion of the imperial Roman Army

“I said you’re in fucking charge!” Trump reportedly shouted.

“Well, I’m not in charge!” Milley is said to have “yelled” back.

“You can’t fucking talk to me like that!” Trump reportedly shouted.

Bender reports that Milley told advisers gathered in the situation room: “Goddamnit. There’s a room full of lawyers here. Will someone inform him of my legal responsibilities?”

William Barr, then attorney general, is said to have backed Milley up.

Trump denied the exchange, a spokesman calling it “fake news” and saying Bender, who like scores of other authors interviewed the former president for his book, “never asked me about it and it’s totally fake news”.

“If Gen Milley had yelled at me, I would have fired him,” Trump said.

It has been widely reported that Trump wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act, a historic piece of legislation to deal with domestic unrest most recently used during the Los Angeles riots in 1992. It was not invoked but the New York Times has reported that aides drafted an order. Milley reportedly opposed use of the act.

Comment: Well, pilgrims, if something like this happened there are a few points to be made:

1. If Milley actually did yell at the commander in chief of the armed forces, he SHOULD have been fired for gross insubordination.

2. Legally speaking, Milley was correct in saying that he was not in the normal course of things going to be in charge of whatever federal effort Trump decided to launch against the insurrectionists of Antifa and BLM. This was because since passage of the Goldwater/Nichols Act the chairman has been relegated to the role of an adviser to the Secretary of Defense and the president/CinC. He is not in the chain of command which now runs from POTUS to SEDEF to joint combatant commander. In this case the supported commander would be at US Northern Command. (USNORTHCOM)

3. In spite of that, IMO it is an open question as to whether or not POTUS could create a Joint Task Force (JTF) and make CJCS head of that JTF in much the same way that Biden has put the VP “in charge” of the border mess.

4. Trump, of course, had no real conception of any Executive Branch functionary as anything other that “someone he had hired” to help him run the business.

5. If Milley the Princeton undergrad did not accept Trump’s authority he should have asked to be retired.


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9 Responses to CJCS is NOT in the chain of command

  1. blue peacock says:

    “Trump, of course, had no real conception of any Executive Branch functionary as anything other that “someone he had hired” to help him run the business.”

    His hiring decisions were: Milley, Barr, Sessions, Wray, Rosenstein, Mattis, Bolton…

    Now he’s complaining he wuz stabbed in the back??? WTF!

    If he had any guts he wouldn’t have thrown Flynn under the bus. He would have checked out Wuhan virus origination following his instincts instead of allowing Fauci to talk from both sides of his mouth while hiding the football. He would have listened to Devin Nunes who uncovered the shennanigans and declassified all of Russiagate when Mueller was appointed. The argument that he would have been impeached doesn’t hold water since he was impeached anyway. Twice!!

  2. Leith says:

    Milley’s DoD Bio says he did graduate from Princeton and has a MA from Columbia. Is that not true?

  3. Deap says:

    Going into government service, with no experience after decades running a small closely held family corporation was an obvious early flaw, but there were other benefits to be gained by being mostly the right person at absolutely the right time. Some one out of the mold who could break up the mold. And Trump did in a lot of ways that are now weirdly missed.

    The fact that Democrats poisoned anyone who even considered working with the Trump administration was a burden Trump alone had to face. I think the PTSD Democrats inflicted on both Kavanaugh and Barrett is still reverberating and continues to affect their better judgement. That too I suspect will fade in time. But that is the intentionally evil work of the Democrat shock troops against anyone wanting to associate with Trump must face. A mob lynching of innocents, if there ever was one.

    Thus, I think all of this made it extremely hard to get started with the right team .My sense is after four years of bloody Democrat games and distractions, Trump would have hit the ground running in his second term. When ever that may start.

    Though Democrats and Big Tech were never going to cooperate, ever. However, after some recent hits and some misses, overall I do believe Trump’s best legacy will be his judicial appointments, making the most difference of all – for the longest period of time.

    Matters less to me he went though other administrative post appointments like tissue paper – because he was pretty much running the show top down anyway. But the federal bench appointments will shape our lives a lot longer.

    Not sure what the Neo-Puritan uproar is about Trump, exposing his gutter talk in private meetings .I thought we were inured to that after LBJ. Plus, it sounds like Biden is more than just blue in his politics, but in his private speech too. He just keeps a tighter grip on the truth.

  4. Deap says:

    Princeton motto for a long time: “In the nation’s service”.

    Motto got wokified lately – for greater humanity, or something. But at one time it was the farm club for top level government service.

  5. Jose says:

    blue peacock – you forgot the Kush..

    Leigh – plus MA in National Security Studies from the Naval War College and Seminar X from MIT (doesn’t mean anything other than being an educated AlphaHotel)

    Will this now be standard behavior throughout the ranks?

    4. Trump, of course, had no real conception of any Executive Branch functionary as anything other that “someone he had hired” to help him run the business. – Trump should not run and make way for DeSantis..

  6. Ed Lindgren says:

    COL Lang has used this image of the Roman centurion in a couple of previous posts.

    I got curious about the ‘stick’ the centurion carries in this image, so I looked it up on the wiki. It is the vine staff, the symbol of office for a centurion. Guess it was the Roman equivalent of the Brit swagger stick. Far from being an expert on the Roman military, this was news to me.

    I almost always manage to expand my knowledge base by checking in here at Turcopolier!


  7. scott s. says:

    IIRC G-N among other things was supposed to fix the problem of each service chief having a say in things. I guess prior CinCs created positions like Leahy and Maxwell had to avoid the committee aspect of the Joint Chiefs.

    If you are a principal advisor, then I guess you need to provide unvarnished advice if it is to be at all useful. But the advice-giver needs a prior relationship with the advice-receiver.

  8. Fred says:

    So just what advice did the CJCS offer, as the results were certainly not law and order?

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