Retired and Former U.S. Military Personnel Urge Drone Operators to Refuse to Fly Missions

June 05, 2015

As retired and former members of the United States military, we urge United States drone pilots, sensor operators and support teams to refuse to play any role in drone surveillance/ assassination missions.  These missions profoundly violate domestic and international laws intended to protect individuals’ rights to life, privacy and due process.

At least 6,000 peoples’ lives have been unjustly taken by United States drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, the Philippines, Libya and Syria.  These attacks are also undermining principles of international law and human rights, such as those enumerated in the United Nations International Declaration of Human Rights, written in 1948 under the guidance of Eleanor Roosevelt with the blood of the atrocities of World War II freshly in mind.  The United States is a signatory to this declaration.


Those involved in United States drone operations who refuse to participate in drone missions will be acting in accordance within accordance of Principle IV of the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Judgment of the Tribunal, The United Nations 1950:
“The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him of responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”
So, yes, you do have a choice -- and liability under the law.

Choose the moral, choose the legal one.


Kelly Dougherty   Sgt. – E-5  US Army National Guard    1996 – 2004
Jonathan Engle    SFC (E-7) US Army  2004 – 2013
Matthew Hoh   CPT US Marine Corps  1998 – 2008
Matt Howard   CPL US Marine Corps  2001 – 2006
Aaron Hughes   SGT (E-5)  Illinois National Guard   2000 – 2006
Barry Ladendorf  _______US Navy __________We
Maggie Martin   SGT E-5 US Army  2001 - 2006
Ray McGovern  CPT  US Army   1962 - 1964  
Nick Mottern     LTJG US Navy  1960 - 1963
Jovanni L. Reyes   SSG US Army  1994 – 2005 Active Duty.  2005 – 2007 Reserves
Hannah Roberts   LT (03) US Navy  2009 – 2014
Benjamin Schrader   E-4 US Army 2001 – 2005
Zachary Wigham   SSgt. Massachusetts Air National Guard  2006 -2012
Ann Wright      Colonel, US Army (Retired)