Airmen from Joint Base Charleston stirred up a fervor this week when a few of them were spotted riding handicapped scooters at a local store and dancing on the job – all in uniform.
The photos and video surfaced on Facebook on the “Air Force amn/nco/snco” page and quickly went viral.
The page posted a screenshot of the original post showing the Airmen riding the scooters along with the caption, “Welcome to the modern military!!! They thought it was funny to ride in carts instead of walk! When called out, they said “we worked 8 hours today”!!! Charleston Air Force Base at its finest.”
The video showed the same three Airmen dancing suggestively to rap music while in their place of work on the base – and in front of their squadron logo.
The online chatter caught the attention of Joint Base Charleston officials who made a statement on Monday.
“Joint Base Charleston leadership is currently addressing two posts from April 29, 2019 made on a recent Air Force meme page, Air Force amn/nco/snco. In the posts, Airmen from Joint Base Charleston were shown riding on motorized scooters in uniform and dancing in the workplace,” the statement said.
“I am disappointed in the actions of the Airmen. Their actions are not representative of the members of Joint Base Charleston,” said Col. Terrence Adams, commander of Joint Base Charleston. “The Airmen are being identified and unit leadership is addressing the situation accordingly. We expect the utmost professionalism and respect from all of our service members.”
Reactions from Facebook users were mixed. Some were outraged, while others said it depicted young women having fun.
“Let’s clarify this. They were riding on HANDICAP motorized scooters preventing people like myself, a 100% Disabled American Air Force Female Veteran, from having access to one if needed. This shows total disrespect these Airmen have for the handicapped who have enough trouble getting around and enduring pain just to sustain their lives. … Very unacceptable of US Airmen. Disgusted. This kind of stuff didn’t happen when us old folks were in the US Air Force,” Facebook user Rose Weitmann Stallings said.
“Airmen make dumb mistakes. Was it wrong…yes. I can’t say I was ever no where near perfect. Discipline them and mentor them with the expectation to make them better. No need to crucify them on social media. This is a huge chance at a learning opportunity for them and their peers,” user Donnie Sturm said.
User Allen Low said the Airmen are partly to blame for the wrongdoing, while the leadership is also to blame.
“This is a combined failure, between their squadron’s leadership, and these airmen. The airmen in the photo are not holding themselves to a higher standard of conduct in public. Their leadership also failed to ensure that the standards of conduct were clearly established, and enforced. Set the standard, be the standard, enforce the standard.,” he said.