US Army Teaches Evangelical Yoga

The Army Times notes the US Army’s “Soldier 360°” program aimed at “dealing with trauma and rebuilding relationships.”  The article clearly connects the program with Eastern “spirituality”:

An Army program has adopted some old Eastern practices to help allay modern post-combat stress…using holistic tactics, including yoga, acupuncture and meditation.

The program ushers noncommissioned officers and spouses through a six-phase, behavior-modifying process called “learn, do, practice, model, teach, and change,”

Interestingly, the program based on Eastern religions, taught by the Army, also has an ‘evangelical’ aspect, as the program expects leaders will return to their units and “pass on” what they’ve learned:

Back at their units, graduates of the program are expected to pass on coping techniques to subordinates and peers struggling with stress or anxiety, or guide them to get help.

Despite the fact the program teaches clearly “spiritual” precepts, it is entirely permissible — and, in fact, admirable — that the Army would offer such voluntary programs for the welfare of its troops and their families.

The same logic applies if the military were to offer a clearly Christian program with a similar intent.  The goal in any case is not to convert the military members to a particular ideology (though the members certainly have the freedom to do so if they choose).  The objective is to provide them with the options and resources they may need.

Regardless of a person’s beliefs, and despite critics’ assertions, the US military most often does an admirable job of offering resources for dealing with the unique stresses of serving in the armed forces.