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Instagram Scandal: Fort Carson soldier accused of avoiding flag salute


FORT CARSON, COLO. -- A soldier from Fort Carson is now accused of posting photos on Instagram that show herself deliberately avoiding a flag salute.

Officials from the Mountain Post confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that they are investigating the photo.

Fort Carson's leadership is aware of the social media post PFC Sheffey made, is looking into the situation, and reviewing potential next steps, the statement read. Fort Carson leaders will continue to educate Soldiers on standards and discipline and appropriate professional conduct on social media consistent with Army Values -- both on and off duty.

In the photo, which has now gone viral, it shows Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey lying in the back of her car. According to the caption, she says, This is me laying in my car hiding so I dont have to salute the 1700 flag

Another photo posted later shows her again lying in her car. This time the caption reads, Your tax dollars allow me to sit in my car and do this all day

A flag salute happens everyday at 17:00. All soldiers who are outside must stop and salute the flag as it is lowered. The entire process takes less than a minute.

Since the uproar about the photos, her Instagram account has been deleted.

At a Wednesday morning press conference, Col. Heidi Hoyle, Special Assistant to the Commanding General, said they are going to give Pfc. Sheffey the chance to tell her side of the story.

"The command is looking at all of the range of options that we have concerning this soldier and the incident that happened," Col. Hoyle said. "Right now, we are going to allow the soldier the opportunity and command the opportunity to present all matters and investigate this fully before we make any judgement on this case."

As far as social media in the Army, Col. Hoyle said there are several rules. One of those rules includes that a soldier must maintain their moral character.

"Concerning social media, there's a wide range of articles in the uniform code of military justice that apply. What we try to do is teach our soldiers that 1.) they must maintain the moral character that we expect of a soldier on a day to day basis, but then also help them to balance the freedoms that they have as a United States citizen."