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BEYA Stars and Stripes Chairman Emeritus Johnnie Wilson is one of seven retired four-star generals and admirals who wrote a New York Times (NYT) op-ed saying the actions of former President Trump during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection constituted a “dereliction of duty” that endangered American democracy.

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The NYT Opinion Guest Essay was published Thursday, July 21, and is signed by Steve Abbot, Peter Chiarelli, John Jumper, James Loy, John Nathman, William Owens, and Johnnie Wilson.

Admirals Abbot, Loy, Nathman, and Owens and Generals Chiarelli, Jumper, and Wilson are retired four-star generals and admirals in the U.S. armed forces. Gen. Wilson is a founding father of BEYA Stars and Stripes, an integral part of the annual BEYA STEM Conference

“The Jan. 6 committee has produced many startling findings, but none more alarming than the fact that Donald Trump abdicated his duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, say seven retired generals and admirals,” tweeted New York Times Opinion.

During active duty, the top brass held various positions in the Air Force, Department of Homeland Security, Army Materiel Command,  the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

“The president and commander in chief, Donald Trump, abdicated his duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” the group of seven wrote. And in doing so, he “tested the integrity” of civilian control of the military “as never before, endangering American lives and our democracy.”

The group called on military leaders to enhance training on the chain of command and civilian-military leadership balance. It implored civilian leaders, “including, most importantly, the commander in chief,” to be committed to those principles.

“The lesson of that day is clear. Our democracy is not a given. To preserve it, Americans must demand nothing less from their leaders than an unassailable commitment to the country over party — and to their oaths above all.”

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