It’s in their interest to honor a civic ritual, whatever their personal feelings may be.

People in our nation’s armed forces do not always love the person who occupies the Oval Office. There have been rare instances of outright insubordination — think of George B. McClellan’s disdain for Abraham Lincoln as a strategist or Douglas MacArthur’s contempt for Harry Truman over his origins in Missouri machine politics. More recently, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal was disciplined for going on record with contemptuous comments about Joe Biden.

For the most part it is well understood in the U.S. military that when you swear to uphold the Constitution, whatever your feelings toward the chief executive, you…