Here’s an update on that Chattanooga Navy hero that will make you CHEER

Naval Ops Center, Chattanooga, US Navy
Naval Ops Center, Chattanooga, US Navy

Many of you have been following the story about Lt. Cmdr. Tim White, the Navy officer who fired a sidearm in defense during the attack on Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. The blood-boiling news we broke here about the United States Navy bringing charges against White for illegally discharging a firearm on federal property — a “gun-free zone” — sparked intense outrage from so many of you. Many of you shared Lt. Col. Allen West’s sentiments that White deserved a medal for facing the enemy and returning fire against an Islamic jihadist attack rather than the punishment being considered by the U.S. Navy.

That outrage inspired many of you to take action, as we reported here:

What happened after that was like a nuclear explosion. Hundreds if not thousands of Americans apparently had blood boiling too. Some started petitions on the White House webpage in support of LCDR White and the heroic actions he took that day to try and save lives. Others had blood boiling over the fact that more than FIVE years after another scumbag terrorist claimed lives at Ft. Hood, Texas and a recruiter’ office in Arkansas ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE BY THE DOD OR THE PENTAGON OR THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF TO ARM OUR MILITARY PERSONNEL. The status quo is fine with them — they’re not the ones in the line of fire. We received hundreds of emails asking for the contact information for the Sec. of Defense and Navy. Many people left comments on the Facebook page of the Sec. of Defense and received hundreds of “like”s for those comments.

Well, folks, we’re happy to report that your action seems to have paid off, as Military.com reports:

Lt. Cmdr. Tim White, the Navy officer who fired a sidearm in defense during the attack on Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga, Tenn., will not face charges, an official familiar with the investigation told Stars and Stripes on Wednesday.

White was reported to be one of two service members carrying sidearms at the time of the attack, which could have led to charges. The Department of Defense prohibits all military personnel other than security forces from carrying arms while on base unless they are in a combat zone.

The Navy is still investigating the shooting, where a lone gunman attacked two separate military facilities. The shootings resulted in the deaths of four Marines and one sailor.

Last week, the Navy countered reports that White would be charged, which spurred a national backlash. “At this time we can confirm no service member has been charged with an offense,” the Navy said in a statement.

It also faced a backlash over why troops at “soft” military targets such as recruiting centers — which are often in easy-to-reach places like shopping malls — were not allowed to carry weapons, and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter directed a review to determine how security at these types of facilities could be improved.

Thanks to all of you for rallying in support of Lt. Cmdr. Tim White, and thank you to the U.S. Navy for making the right decision to free White from this specter looming over him.

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Michelle Jesse is Associate Editor for AllenBWest.com

Photo credit US Navy

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