Army General: Soldiers Can Serve Their Nation and Their Church
An official Army National Guard article covers the story of Idaho Army National Guard Spc Bryce Beard, who joined the Guard so he could serve “not only his community but also his church.”
Beard, who enlisted into the Idaho Army National Guard in 2014 when he was 17, spent two years in Buenos Aires as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and returned in January.
The commander of the Idaho Army National Guard “strongly” supports Soldiers taking advantage of the Inactive National Guard for religious reasons [emphasis added]:
“We have always strongly supported those individuals in our organization who desire to serve a mission with their respective church,” said Brig. Gen. Farin Schwartz, commander, Idaho Army National Guard. “The experience and discipline gained through this commitment is conducive to military service and fits very well with our core values. Soldiers don’t have to choose between serving their nation and church, they can do both.”
A military service that “strongly” supports its troops’ ability to practice their faith, without prejudice to their military careers, is one that recognizes the virtue of faith, Soldiers of faith, and the Constitution.
And that is a good thing, both for religious liberty and the US military.