Citadel Cadet Who Leaked Hijab Controversy Punished

Citadel Cadet Who Leaked Hijab Controversy Punished

Citadel Cadet Who Leaked Hijab Controversy Punished

Citadel Cadet Nick Pinelli, the cadet who leaked the story of the school’s consideration of a Muslim student’s request to wear a hijab, was reportedly punished with 33 hours of marching according to a post on Jihad Watch. Two weeks ago, my colleague Toni Williams wrote about this exact controversy. You see both of us have a dog in this fight. Her son graduated from the Military College of South Carolina in 2010. My father graduated from the Citadel in 1963 and therefore both of us are passionate about this special school.

The Citadel, the Military College Of South Carolina

Why? Because the Citadel is where gentlemen (and ladies too) go to become not just men, but warriors. They learn and live the history of the institution and of the traditions that have been a part of every knob’s life since the inception of that school.

The Citadel has been in existence since 1842 and every alumnus can tell you the history not only of their school, but of the uniform that they wore proudly during their time there. Many aspects of the dress have not changed since the school was founded. Their uniform handbook tells you not only how to wear the uniform, but the expected decorum that you shall display while you are wearing it.

Students March In Formation

But back to Cadet Pinelli and his current circumstances. According to an article in the Post and Courier The Citadel spokesman, Col. Brett Ashworth, declined to confirm whether or not Cadet Pinelli was being punished over leaking the story citing FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).

Cadet Nick Pinelli with Governor Nikki Haley

Cadet Pinelli has stated that the school’s administration first sought to charge him with “conduct unbecoming a cadet” which is a Class 1 offense that could lead to dismissal according to the school’s discipline code. Instead the school charged him with “gross poor judgement” which is punishable by a maximum of 40 “tours”. Each tour is 50 minutes of silent marching with a rifle in a barracks quadrangle which Pinelli must complete prior to graduating on May 7th.

Why is this cadet being punished? He spoke out about the controversy on his Facebook page and sparked quite the discussion. I honestly think that he should not be punished. After all these young men and women are preparing to fight for the First Amendment rights of all Americans. Why should they not have the same rights as the rest of us? They are not active duty soldiers and therefore not held to the same standard as active duty military. Members of our military who are currently serving are not entitled, ironically enough, to the rights that the First Amendment grants the rest of us.

Shannon Faulkner on Oprah’s Where Are They Now?

Secondly I think that it is a good thing to question the motives of the young woman seeking this exception. When Shannon Faulkner sued her way in to  become the first woman to be accepted to the school, many feminists cheered her success in court. I was furious. Why? Not because a woman made it in. But because she was not prepared to ensure that she was a success. She failed, utterly, at even trying to reach the standards that other cadets were held to. She was an embarrassment.

I venture a guess that you do not know the name of the first woman to graduate from The Citadel-unless you have a connection to the school itself. Why? Because she succeeded at becoming what Shannon Faulker never could. A proud example of a Citadel cadet.

Why have we never heard of the other Muslim students that are cadets at The Citadel? Because they chose to be a part of the Corps of Cadets as well and never sought any accommodations for the exercise of their religion.

Eventually, I predict that we will learn the identity of the woman who is seeking this accommodation from The Citadel. I also predict that we may find out that CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations), a well known Muslim Brotherhood front group, is behind this latest controversy.

Female cadets at The Citadel

I view this situation as something that need not have happened. Plenty of cadets throughout The Citadel’s history have passed through its gates and have submitted to its rules. They have become stronger for it, through grit and determination they have survived and become leaders in every walk of life both military and civilian. If this woman wants to become one of these amazing people she should submit to the lessons that she will learn within the walls of The Citadel. She just might find that she is stronger for it.

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