The military takes a dim view of soldiers who decide for themselves what orders are lawful and what are not. Ask Michael New, Ehren Watada, Mathis Chiroux, Suzanne Swift, and all the other's who have tried. The best results in all these cases were less than honorable discharges. Worst results were court martials.
As an officer of the US Army, I took an oath that no where mentioned obeying any orders; rather only to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign AND domestic. Enemies of what? The constitution. Not my feelings, not my government, not my beliefs, rather the US CONSTITUTION.
While I was enlisted, my oath required me to obey orders of the president and officers appointed over according to regulations and the UCMJ, as well as and primarily to the constitution.
The wordings of the current oath of enlistment and oath for commissioned officers are as follows:
“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).
“I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.” (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)
Now that I am retired (an AD regular Army guy) I still am bound by my oath-which I took freely and with no reservations-still, no mention of the government-only the constitution....
If these active/reserve serving officers have reservations, based on information they believe to require an answer, they would be derelict by not asking the question-they can only ask the question by court action; there is no provision for the UCMJ to ask the question-as the president is NOT subject to it.
Stephan Cook has asked the question, legally-he did not miss movement, nor did he have anything to gain-rather his conscience required him to risk much-which is what we expect our military and naval officers to do....
You may feel that this is some BS stunt to avoid duty-you apparently have not looked into (at least) Cook's service to date. He has been deployed in GWOT theaters more than once.
As far as the military taking a dim view of those who ask about lawfulness of orders-the military is one of the few institutions where conscience is protected, albeit at risk of liberty if found wrong and prosecuted. Have to ask to find out.
The folks you mentioned refused orders, they did not ask the question in legitimate venues-they had a purpose of evasion for which they were dealt with. If Cook had missed movement/failed to report, then he would have been in the same boat so to speak. The government/military punted, removing his standing by revoking the orders before the bewitching hour. “Birthers” were hoping for a day in court-federal or military (would have allowed “discovery” etc.). Says much to those are seeking.
Thanks for your service as well.