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Tariqka Sheffey: Servicewoman hides in car to evade salute, military criticism

Female soldier Tariqka Sheffey avoids salute
Female soldier Tariqka Sheffey avoids salute
Twitter Photo File, The CS Monitor

Tariqka Sheffey is the U.S. servicewoman who took to Instagram after hiding in her car to evade having to salute during a flag ceremony. She is now facing fierce criticism this week from the public as well as a full military investigation into the controversial situation. The CS Monitor reports this Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, that the social media post has since been taken down, but nonetheless elicited a backlash of both confused and negative comments from readers.

Although she may not have known it, Colorado servicewoman Tariqka Sheffey sparked a firestorm of debate this week when she deliberately remained in her car to not have to participate in a traditional flag ceremony, then proceeded to broadcast the news on Instagram. Base officials have since confirmed they are aware of the social media posting of the female soldier choosing not to salute the flag, and have since launched a military investigation into the matter.

Authorities released a formal statement yesterday announcing that they have been informed of Private Tariqka Sheffey’s decision to evade the flag ceremony. Sheffey is currently assigned to the 59th Quartermaster Company and 43rd Sustainment Brigade; the servicewoman’s duty is said to include providing a number of supplies to troops and forms of support to active soldiers.

The original Instagram post shows a “selfie” of the female soldier, clearly in full uniform, sitting in her car and writing the comment:

"This is me laying back in my car hiding so I don't have to salute the (5 p.m. flag ceremony)."

She also specifically requested that people do not offer her any criticism or keep their angry comments to themselves about the situation because she “doesn’t give a f*** (idgaf).” Although the controversial post by U.S. Private Tariqka Sheffey was quickly removed, it had already become viral by that time and sparked a fierce backlash of public criticism. A spokeswoman said that Sheffey is not available for a statement at this moment, given her choice to evade the time-honored salute the flag ceremony.

Pending the military investigation, reprimand may be in order. The Department of Defense Uniform Code of Military Justice notes that any and all social media posts by servicemen or servicewomen published on the Internet must not include comments or photos that disparage the U.S. armed forces, and must request formal consent before offering sensitive information. Every incident is handled on a case-by-case basis, while punishments for violators on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook could include a reprimanding letter to a mention to the court-martial.

"It is important that all soldiers know that once they log on to a social media platform, they still represent the Army. The best way to think about it is, if you wouldn't say it in formation or to your leader's face, don't say it online." the manual warns. "Soldiers using social media need to know that the enemy is watching,"