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Fort Carson soldier flaunts her refusal to salute flag in selfie

Sheffey nation for story

This photo was posted to an Instagram account belonging to Fort Carson soldier Tariqka Sheffey on Feb. 25, 2014. A day later, a Fort Carson spokesperson said Army officials were looking into the matter. (Photo: Instagram / sheffeynation)

FORT CARSON, Colo. — A Fort Carson soldier posted a photo of herself reportedly going to great lengths to refuse saluting her company’s flag, and then told those who might have an opinion on the matter to keep their mouths shut.

It’s safe to say her request has fallen on deaf ears.

The soldier has since been identified as Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey by the Army Times, and stories about the photo she posted on her once-public Instagram account, “sheffeynation,” have been picked up by the New York Daily News and Washington Times. Her Instagram account has since been made private.

“This is me laying back in my car hiding so I don’t have to salute the 1700 flag,” Sheffey captioned the picture in initial the Instagram post. “KEEP ALL YOUR ‘THATS SO DISRESPECTFUL / HOWRUDE / ETC.’ COMMENTS TO YOURSELF cuz, right now, IDGAFFFF.”

The “1700 flag” is a reference to the flag lowering at U.S. military establishments that takes place daily at 5 p.m. Otherwise known as the “retreat,” it signifies the end of duty for that day.

The coverage of Sheffey’s photo has prompted responses to her actions from around the country, and from her superiors at Fort Carson.

A Fort Carson spokesperson confirmed that Sheffey is a member of the 59th Quartermaster Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade at Fort Carson, and the base issued a statement about Sheffey’s Instagram post Wednesday morning:

“Fort Carson’s leadership is aware of the social media post PFC Sheffey made, is looking into the situation, and reviewing potential next steps,” the statement read. “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.”

At a press conference later that day, Col. Heidi Hoyle, Special Assistant to the Commanding General, said Fort Carson officials were still looking into the photo.

“Right now, we are giving the soldier the opportunity and the command the opportunity to present all matters and investigate it fully before we make any judgment in this case,” Col. Hoyle said.

The Army Times reported that Sheffey responded to her initial photo post with a video post on her Instagram account later on Tuesday. She reportedly expressed regret, but stopped short of issuing a full apology.

“I seriously just want to say thank you to everybody who stood up for me today — like seriously,” Sheffey said in the video, according to the Army Times. “(The Instagram photo) to me was not that serious. I am not a disrespectful soldier and I really appreciate (everyone who stood up for me).”

However, many angry service members and their spouses have not stood up for Sheffey, and have made it clear they will not satisfied with Fort Carson’s response unless Sheffey is removed from service.

“Any soldier who refuses to salute the flag is in the military for the wrong reason, and should be removed by dishonorable discharge with loss of all benefits,” one Facebook commenter wrote. “If they won’t salute it, they damn sure won’t fight for it.”

49 comments

      • iBarber504

        Discharged for what? Too strong of a punishment, article 15, 7 days extra duty and a year worth of flag duty. Counseling statements for her squad leader and Platoon SGT for accountability issues.

  • Leokesh Lewis

    There is a big difference between the Country’s flag and the U.S Army platoon flag. If people are freaking out about this as far as demanding her to be discharged, they need to reevaluate their priorities too.

    • Steven Bacon

      What are you talking about? The “1700 flag” this soldier is referring to is the flag lowering at 1700, also known as “retreat,” which signifies the end of the duty day . This is the United States flag. It is customary (and expected of soldiers) to stand at attention, or (if driving) stop your car until the retreat ceremony is complete. What this soldier did is a disgrace. If you haven’t been in the military, you have no voice in this discussion, as you don’t understand fully what you are talking about.

      • Stephen Mullane

        you speaking as you have experience with retreat know that people would do the same thing indoors. i’ve seen people on countless times not leave a building or step back in during retreat. to say she is a disgrace is overboard, was she right, no. to say she should be discharged and this other nonsense is foolish. she’s a PFC for crying out loud! what PFC didn’t do dumb stuff?!

      • Petra A. Kydd

        I agree with Steve. Her decision was disrespectful. Furthermore, her last statement says…”IDGAF…..” This indicates she really does not care to be there and her action was acceptable in her eyes. Saluting the 1700 flag, 0600 flag or the flag period shows a sign of respect and honor to the country she has chosen to fight for as a soldier. PFC do stupid things, but this goes beyond that. If you do not want people to see the stupid things you do then do not share it on a public media site.

      • Merri Cunningham

        You ate right if you have not been in the military you would not understand, it is like this, but what she did is much worse. Part of her job is to get her butt out of the car salute the flag, she is getting paid to do this. So when you go to work tomorrow tell your boss I don’t give a F if you want me to do something and see what happens. so all of you that think it is okay with what she did, take my advice when you go to work, see how long you keep your job.

      • Steven Bacon

        @Stephen – I don’t think I ever said anything about a discharge. I’m pretty much middle of the road on this issue. I’m addressing the folks who are saying “this doesn’t mean anything at all.” It does mean something to quite a few folks, and the fact that it is a ceremonial custom means a lot to some people too. For her to willfully do this and post it is arrogant and foolish. Yes, I understand people do it, but why in the heck would you advertise it though and say you “DGAF?” That deserves *some* punishment if she is going to be dull enough to post it for the world (including her superiors) to see. If they (the superiors) didn’t impose some sort of punishment, it would be viewed as tacit approval. This would be unacceptable. To discharge her based on this would also be unacceptable IMO. To be apathetic about it for this particular situation is not Ok…

      • Larry Knight

        While I don’t think she needs discharged for it, she does need some punishment. Make her take part in the retreat detail for a few months. I’m not sure what the Army does, but the AF makes fresh airmen go through a set of classes when they first arrive on base. They are designed to reinforce duty, respect, ect. If the Army has that, make her do that as well.

        She shouldn’t just be left alone, but I don’t think a full on discharge is in order either.

        SSgt (Ret) USAF

    • DeanandPatricia Graham

      You OBVIOUSLY are not nor have been a soldier..if you had/were..you wouldn’t make SUCH IDIOTIC COMMENTS!!!!! YOU IDIOT! Go fight for this GREAT country and see if you feel the same..YOU WONT! She didn’t just make a mistake….SHE FLAUNTED HER TOTAL DISRESPECT FOR THE UNIFORM AND THIS GREAT COUNTRY!!!!! Climb back under your rock you IDIOT!

  • D.R. Commish

    How can this be a big deal?….. Despite the fact that the, “Company Flag”,( also known as the United States Flag, unless you’re a Liberal) is a great source of pride for her unit, the military, and most citizens of the United States… and any sort of disgrace is considered a dishonor…. She just decided that she couldn’t be bothered today.

    All those, that served and died, so that she could voluntarily join our nations military, would have no problem with this…. It is her freedom and right to act in this disgraceful and reprehensible manner.

    Warning to Miss Sheffey… You might think twice about taking this tact if you ever want to “dis” the Muslim Flag… Just sayin.

  • Stephen Mullane

    folks are going crazy with this. if you have been in the service, there have been MANY times when folks would stay indoors or duck back inside when retreat was happening. is it wrong what she did, yeah according to an AR it is but should she be discharged (which she can’t for this type of action), no! she is a PFC….and what PFC doesn’t screw up?!

    • Idan Camenforte

      Did they post it on social media? She had the time to tweet about it, rather than spend the time saluting. Total lack of discipline and disrespect to the uniform. I didn’t see soldiers ducking for cover when the reveille was happening. As a matter of fact when we see soldiers standing still and saluting, we knew to stop whatever it was we were doing, quiet down and stand at attention. In most combat arms unit, discipline is paramount. Whoever her squad sgt. needs to be her detail NCOIC as well when that article 15 kicks in.

  • Phillip Schmidt

    She don’t deserve to be called a SOLDIER. When you are in the military you wear that uniform with PRIDE. HONOR. You don’t like the flag then you shouldn’t have enlisted. People have lost family to this country and family’s have family fighting for this country. SO SHOW ALITTLE MORE RESPECT FOR THE FLAG OR GET OUT OF THE MILITARY

  • Petra A. Kydd

    I believe in two sides to every story.
    I first thought someone took this picture and uploaded it to her Instagram account as a mean trick. Then I read the article and realized she DID do this and she truly feels she did nothing wrong.
    Who is supporting her decision???
    I am sadden that this soldier felt it was not important enough to salute the flag of the country she has chosen to stand up for or ….has she?
    What is her real reason for joining the Army? Benefits?…To say she served in the Army?….Or to fight for your country?, because it is not for the glamour. I feel her decision is disrespectful, dishonorable and selfish and to post it on public media was childish. The Army should give her a dishonorable discharge with no benefits. Allowing this to go as far as a meeting for days to determine the action the Army should take against her is ridiculous and a waste of money and time. Let me help you out..dishonorable discharge and show her to the gate.
    Army needs to set the example by setting the bar!!

    • Jose Soto

      she will probably be one of those soldiers that serve 2 -3 years and come out the military running to to v.a. for benefits. and try to receive a disability check taking away from the ones that truly deserve it .

  • Billie Jo Lewis Simmons

    I agree “If she won’t salute it she won’t fight for it” and I feel there should be consequences for her behavior. If she actually feels that way why is she in the military? AND BY THE WAY OUR FLAG IS NOT STUPID !! Mr. Rubble.

  • Miguel Jefferson

    okay she did not have to salute she was in her vehicle. if you are in your vehicle you do not have to get out and salute. everyone who has served this country in the military knows this.

  • Orrie Gwin

    all i can say if she did not want to be in the army n do what she need’s to do ther just get out cas the usa dose not really care about are people that sure 4 them 1 bit just as long thay put ther life ther 4 then n not ther family that cares 4 them.

  • Scottie Mcgough

    she should be ridiculed heavily, beaten, interigate for acts of terrorism, flag duty for 1 year, lock her up, career ruined dishonorable discharge, beaten again, kept down in life, i mean its not like what you all are doing is as bad or worst, I am sure that all of your dark secrets and bad days and insubordination of sorts stored away all nice and neat away from public eyes may draw some unwanted attention,
    so my idea is to take time out of my life and show all of your faults…
    its not like there is never a bad day to be had by all.
    what the hell is wrong with all of you…SHAME

  • Penny L McCarthy

    Unless she has a religious restriction, such as Jehovah’s Witness, she should be disciplined, not discharged. If she refuses to follow protocol after she has been made fully aware of her duties and the consequences of being irresponsible, then she might be headed for more serious charges. Not all young people make stupid mistakes like this one but a lot of us did. Remember the old rule of “three strikes and you’re out?”

  • Art Smith

    Well first of all, with a name like Tariqka, what do you expect to get. Disrespectful POS should be bounced out in the street where she came form. But then old Barry S would probably force her back in at an E-8 rank or something. Liberalism truly is a disorder

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