Secretary Austin’s Unauthorized Absence

Secretary Austin’s Unauthorized Absence
In this image from video, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin provides opening remarks at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on Jan. 23, 2024. (Department of Defense via AP)
Adam Schwarze

I lost my military career after being unreachable for five hours, Lloyd Austin was unreachable for five days while his aides lied about where he was. There’s a two-tiered justice system in the military and no accountability in the Biden administration.

On April 10th, 2020, I was stationed in Hawaii on the island of Oahu and got approval to fly to neighboring island Kauai. It was the first month of COVID and I was arrested for buying groceries. The Hawaiian government mistook me as a white tourist, which led to me being apprehended and later charged with violating local COVID laws. Months later, the state dismissed the case with prejudice, clearing me of all charges.

Little did I know, I had a larger problem due to my wrongful apprehension. Before my civilian case was even adjudicated, I was “relieved” of my position at work which ended my career. What was never published or released by the mainstream media was at the time of my apprehension I was on assignment serving in the Military as a Navy SEAL. I had been stationed in Hawaii for the past four years and was on-call as Mission Commander for a “No-Fail” tasking, which the government jeopardized by detaining me.

After being a top performer for 18 years in the military, as an enlisted United States Marine Infantry Unit Leader and as a Navy SEAL Officer, my career and lifelong call to serve was ended. The military alleged that I was unreachable for action during my short incarceration in Hawaii. While my career was ended for a mere five hours of being away, the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently accounted for an absence of five days. One can see the glaring disparities in responsibilities and the continuous lack of accountability in Biden’s administration.

My role within the U.S. military apparatus was quite small; I was responsible for only around a dozen SEAL operators and support personnel, whereas Secretary Austin is the Principal Advisor to the National Security Advisor, and ultimately the President of the United States on all matters of military affairs. The Secretary of Defense is responsible for all personnel and equipment within the U.S. arsenal, including nuclear weapons. Simply put, he is one of the most powerful and influential members of the United States. The fact that neither the President nor the National Security Advisor were able to reach him should be both unconscionable and appalling to anyone. There are currently two open wars happening around the world, as well as a myriad of other military threats reaching their boiling point.

What makes this even more egregious is the atmospherics surrounding this incident were completely avoidable. Secretary Austin went in for an elective procedure for a known medical condition, before conducting any turn-over of his responsibilities or notifications to his superiors or deputies, who were unprepared and put in charge unknowingly. Every service member in the U.S. military knows this violates the basic General Order, “to quit my post only when properly relieved.” To make matters even worse Secretary Austin had to be further treated for another five days, some in the ICU, due to complications from his procedure, and yet the President and the Chain of Command were still not informed.

The U.S. Military is the largest and most powerful fighting force in the history of humankind, but for five days there was nobody in charge or immediately ready to answer the call to action. Why were the President, National Security Advisor, the Senate, and Congressional Armed Services Committees not informed of either gap in a critical role in our government? The American public deserves better from its leaders in Government and the Biden administration owes it to the American people to hold its cabinet members to the same standards that every other service member adheres to while serving in the Armed Forces.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Adam Schwarze is a 21-year veteran and Navy Seal who has served nine deployments in over 90 countries.
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