Letter from Chief, National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON DC 20301-1636

JUN 03 2020

 We Must Do Better

I am sickened by the death of George Floyd. I am horrified his six-year-old daughter will grow up without a father. And I am enraged that this story of George Floyd, of Philando Castile, of Trayvon Martin, and too many others keeps happening in our country, where unarmed men and women of color are the victims of police brutality and extrajudicial violence.

Our country has seen peaceful protests descend into unspeakable brutality at lunch counters in Montgomery and on bridges in Selma. Right now, anger and outrage are spilling out into the streets all across America. We all bear the scars of history, of oppressors and the oppressed. We cannot erase this legacy, but we can listen, we can learn, and we can be better. We must be better.

Everyone who wears the uniform of our country takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and everything for which it stands. If we are to fulfill our obligation as service members, as Americans, and as decent human beings, we have to take our oath seriously. We cannot tolerate racism, discrimination, or casual violence. We cannot abide divisiveness and hate. We cannot stand by and watch. We ask for the intercession of what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.” Join me.


Joseph L. Lengyel
General, U.S Air Force
Chief, National Guard Bureau