Marine One, the Sikorsky SH3 Sea King helicopter that transports US Presidents, is actually one of a group of helicopters used to transport the President, Vice-President, cabinet members and dignitaries. The fleet has been in operation since Eisenhower and is considered preferable to motorcades for safety and traffic reasons. The group of up to five that carry the President himself are transported everywhere he goes and can also be used for rescue missions should the President be compromised.
To fly Marine One, which becomes the call sign of whichever chopper the President is on, or any of the helicopters in the fleet is considered an honor and a post coveted by marine pilots. That’s how we know that the crew of four Marines who abandoned their post and walked away from the aircraft while President Obama awaited a ride home from Andrews weren’t just making a statement.
The three men and one woman will be court marshalled and if convicted will spend up to ten years in prison. They will also be dishonorably discharged. None of the Marines has spoken yet but a lawyer from the JAG corps made a brief statement on their behalf:
These soldiers have served their country proudly but could no longer sit back and do nothing as the man they transported around the world continued to deny his stand down order to troops who wanted to go help the brave men and women left behind in Benghazi.
Looks like Obama’s skeletons won’t stay in the closet. These Marines made their choice and hopefully President Trump will pardon them. Military law is extremely important, especially for those who pass the Yankee White background check necessary to have direct contact with a sitting president. Hopefully, like most rules and regulations, it won’t matter to president Trump and he can welcome these patriots back into their squadron and give them a medal.