USAF Airman Takes Knee During Formation, But Something Else Was Happening Instead Of Protest

Posted On : 11/20/2017

ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, UNITED KINGDOM — A United States airman is being attacked on social media for appearing to take a knee in protest during a Remembrance Day service. But, his “protest” was a bit different.

Unfortunately, this airman is catching hell after briefly kneeling during the aforementioned ceremony.

Interestingly enough, he stood and saluted during both the U.S. and British national anthems, according to

USAF Airman Takes Knee During Formation, But Something Else Was Happening Instead Of Protest III
Here’s a photo of the airman saluting during both countries’ national anthems. Photo Credit: @StarsAndStripes / Twitter

However, his friend might be partially to blame for the unintended backlash.

***We’ll come back to that.***

The source reports that, during reveille, the airman stepped backward out of the formation and collapsed to a knee.

The base responded in order to clarify what happened with the airman. Basically, his “protest” was against passing out.

He was feeling faint due to locking his knees, an ongoing tendency which happens to servicemen at times without them realizing.

“Feeling faint after locking the knees during formation ‘can be a common occurrence for airmen participating in these types of events and at no time did this airman display or intend any disrespect to either the U.S. or U.K. servicemembers the event was honoring’.”

According to, the airman’s name is being withheld because of threats he’s received. The base is concerned about his safety.


A British civilian by the name of Joy Bush got a little closer to the situation. The source notes that she was confused about what was going on.

“I waited till the music had finished and went around to the area. His friend was standing behind him and at this point he was sitting on a small wall. I asked if he was ill or if he took a knee in protest and his friend clearly said he took a knee in protest.”

The source notes that the friend was possibly trying to be funny regarding the kneeling airman. However, the woman — along with countless others — don’t feel it was humorous at all.

If his friend was joking, then he has opened a can of worms for the guy that took a knee,” says Bush.

According to Stars and Stripes, after the event, a photo of the airman taking a knee was shared in a Facebook group called “Facebook Traditional British Group.”

This group’s political ideologies are basically approximate to those of a pro-Trump group.

Twenty-four hours later, there were hundreds of shares and comments regarding the airman’s action during the ceremony. The source says some called for punishment against the airman.

Even worse, some have threatened his safety, which is why the sources refuse to release his name.

However, several airmen and officers have come to the serviceman’s defense.

Many people who know him personally state that he was about to pass out, and that’s why he decided to take a knee.

Note: As a former USAF member, myself, this is something that happens regularly. Prior to national anthem protests, servicemembers could take a knee if they were feeling fatigue, exhaustion, or faint while standing.

However, these “super patriots” are too “patriotic” for their own good. While they’re calling for respect, if they knew anything about military protocol, they would know this wasn’t something out of the ordinary.

Their context is different from the airman’s purpose and intent. Their “outrage” is yet another example of the buffoonery of the public ignorance.

All in all, tell us what you think about this situation. If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.

[Featured Photo via @RAFMildenhall / @StarsAndStripes / Twitter]

Share It!

Let Your Friends Know!