Yesha Callahan

Soldier’s Selfie Goes Viral & Sparks Outrage

Tariqka Sheffey

Private First Class Tariqka Sheffey is getting a lesson in social media and how it can wreck havoc in a person’s professional life.  Sheffey is in hot water over a selfie she posted on her Instagram account, which shows her hiding out in her car to avoid saluting the flag.

“This is me laying back in my car hiding so I don’t have to salute the 1700 flag,” she captioned the picture.

“KEEP ALL YOUR ‘THATS SO DISRESPECTFUL/HOWRUDE/ETC.’ COMMENTS TO YOURSELF cuz, right now, IDGAFFFF,” she added, under her handle sheffeynation.

Then her photo went viral.  Sheffey — a member of the 59th Quartermaster Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade at Fort Carson, Colo. — is now facing possible removal or court marshal for insubordination.

Post spokesman Dee McNutt did not give any information in regards to the investigation.  “The chain of command is aware and looking into the situation. That’s really all I can say at this point.”

The photo, which was also posted on the Army Times’ Facebook page, was met with disgust, as well as racial and abusive comments. As one Facebook commenter stated, according to Army Times:

“Any soldier who refuses to salute the flag is in the military for the wrong reason, and should be removed by dishonorable discharge with loss of all benefits,” one Facebook commenter said. “If they won’t salute it, they damn sure won’t fight for it.”

Sheffey responded with a video on Instagram on Tuesday and expressed her regrets. But didn’t exactly apologize:

“I seriously just want to say thank you to everybody who stood up to me today, like seriously. That s— to me was not that serious. I am not a disrespectful soldier and I really appreciate you all.”

Sheffey’s Instagram account has since been deleted.

  1. February 28, 2014 - Reply

    That was silly

  2. February 28, 2014 - Reply

    When will these people learn to be smart about what you post on social media? Just two weeks ago I saw a story where some soldiers were playfully posing around a casket and it had a caption that they put the “fun” in funeral. These people need to be smart and stop oversharing because most of your “friends” are not really your friends and will sell you out in a minute.

    • February 28, 2014 - Reply


      Just a few minutes ago, I had finished reading a Yahoo! article about how a teenaged girl caused her father $80,000 (which he won in a lawsuit) by bragging about his settlement money on her Facebook page.
      Her father had signed a confidentiality agreement,in regards to the case.

    • February 28, 2014 - Reply


      Yes, I just seen that article a few minutes ago. I swear I would be ready to swear at my daughter if that happen to me. She just had to brag on social media.

    • February 28, 2014 - Reply


      I don’t feel bad for people adults who misuse social media. Tariqka should consider this as a teachable moment.

  3. February 28, 2014 - Reply

    How dumb is she,you take an oath of loyalty and service,she did not go in not knowing what that meant. She is now facing consequences could have far range affects in her professional life. A general court martial from the the military on a job interview,and plus they may incarcerate her in a military facility

  4. February 28, 2014 - Reply

    Really, when will young military soldiers stop putting themselves out there like this on the internet. When you signed your name on that line with Uncle Sam your actions became a reflection of the U.S Government. If you can not follow the rules you signed up to follow they will happily cut your pay or show you the door.

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  13. February 28, 2014 - Reply

    This just goes to show that NOT everybody needs to be on social media.

    You big dummy!

    • February 28, 2014 - Reply


      Dang, I indicated “in my Fred Sanford voice” , but I guess the program didn’t like the brackets I used. 🙁

    • March 1, 2014 - Reply


      You didn’t even have to indicate Fred Sanford’s voice. I heard it in my head when I the comment, lol

  14. February 28, 2014 - Reply

    I’m an Air Force retiree and I will never understand why young troops keep taking pictures of themselves doing dumb ish and posting it on social media.

  15. February 28, 2014 - Reply

    I completely agree…this is disrespectful. How can you not salute the nation you VOLUNTEERED to serve and protect.

    You can’t be a selfish soldier.

  16. February 28, 2014 - Reply

    this actually goes for any profession, don’t post everything online!!!!! i think maybe she got into the services for the educational / financial benefit. not everybody wants to go to the army, some people need to go. i hope they don’t put her in harms way for her foolish act though.

  17. February 28, 2014 - Reply

    Why say that? Smh

    • March 1, 2014 - Reply

      @Dee L Hannah

      Exactly! Why post idiotic, insensitive, and ignorant captions on these pics? (Maybe I should remove “ignorant” because if they knew it was a dumb thing to do they wouldn’t do it, but anyway…) I was just recently on Twitter and this guy was posting tweets AND PICTURES of him breaking into someones house and stealing an Xbox from inside…*crickets* what was the point?! Pictures were even taken in the backseat of the cop car and posted -_-. Clearly this woman knew there would be adverse reaction to it but decided to caption it anyway. Who are these kids trying to be “bad asses” for? Likes? RTs? (Retweets) To be internet famous?? Like seriously, this is disturbing, sad and downright irritating.

  18. February 28, 2014 - Reply

    It’s not that she didn’t salute (honestly plenty of us skip out on Retreat), but who takes a pic with that caption. I foresee much “corrective action” in her future.

    • March 2, 2014 - Reply


      Exactly. Just about everybody waits until after retreat sounds to even leave the building mostly because everybody is expected to be at work until the end of the duty day. I don’t think this soldier is playing with a full deck. If she wants out, why not just go to her commander and say she wants to separate?

  19. February 28, 2014 - Reply

    Have to agree with previous poster as many MANY people ONLY join bc of harsh financial conditions but why post online? Snap it and say chillin on base…better yet don’t caption it all that way ppl still know u serve and u get your picture

  20. February 28, 2014 - Reply

    I def agree with the first comment people join for the wrong reasons. I’ve been pushed to join to avoid unemployment. But what she did was foolish, disrespectful, and serious. She has to face the consequences (of course the racist/abusive comments aren’t necessary). I feel like people forget that consequences still exist these days when they do stuff where they are blatantly wrong AND they are in an elite group where honor/respect is huge. Yea social media is cool but I’m starting to have the opinion that not every feeling or daily experience needs to be posted especially if it’s negative.

  21. March 1, 2014 - Reply

    She most definitely will see an Article 15 in her future and a possible discharge. She most definitely earned it for her stupidity.

  22. March 2, 2014 - Reply

    I can’t help but shake my head at this…I am in no way condoning her behavior but she should’ve known better. The military does in fact brief their personnal on social media and cautions them on “over sharing” mainly because of security reasons. I honestly think she didn’t mean for this to spiral out of control the way it did…but, everything doesn’t have to be shared with everyone! Now she’s not only faceing a dishonorable discharge but court martial; her promising career brought to a halt all because of one selfie she decided to post on Instagram.

  23. March 2, 2014 - Reply

    Hahaha. This was probably a dumb move. Not going to lie. But, be honest, it seems that, not unlike most Americans, she’s not that excited about her job and doesn’t care that much if she gets fired. Considering that most military personnel are barely scrapping above the poverty line, and that a lot of them are undereducated people of color, I’m kind of proud of her for telling the flag it can go to hell. It’s a piece of fabric.

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