By Paresh Dave and Stacey Leasca, Los Angeles Times
An Army private who wrote on Instagram that she was “hiding” in her car to avoid an end-of-day flag salute is the latest soldier to face possible punishment over what the military has called distasteful social media posts.
Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey of Fort Carson in Colorado posted a selfie, with a caption that read:
“This is me laying back in my car hiding so I don’t have to salute the 1700 flag, keep all your ‘thats so disrespectful/howrude/etc.’ comments to yourself cuz, right now, IDGAFFFF,” the last string of letters referring to “I don’t give a (expletive).”
Fort Carson officials said Wednesday that they are aware of the photo and investigating after the image began circulating on Tuesday and was first reported by the Army Times.
Last week, a National Guard funeral honors team member in Wisconsin was suspended after Instagram posts of her making light of military funerals started spreading.
In Washington, an Air Force staff sergeant became the subject of investigation after she saw one of her Facebook photos go viral online. The photo shows her sticking her tongue into the mouth of the soldier silhouette on the prisoner-of-war/missing-in-action logo.
In all three cases this month, the main soldier in question has been a black female, prompting some commenters to wonder whether such soldiers are being targeted.
The soldiers have been bombarded with comments of disgust, though some have come to Sheffey’s defense and said ditching flag salutes is common.
Military officials have said they would make clear to soldiers that they must watch what they post online.
“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,” a statement said.
Photo: Donkey Hotey via Flickr