Pence Swears in General Raymond on Space Force Bible

Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence swore in Gen John “Jay” Raymond as the first Chief of Staff of the Space Force. As covered at SpaceNews, the event was notable because the United States has never had a Space Force before; in fact, the US hasn’t had a major Service added to the force since the Air Force became an independent Service in 1947. It was a historic event.

NPR, though, noted the other highlight of the event in a parenthetical aside [emphasis added]:

With one hand placed on a Bible whose “official” blessing on Sunday sparked sharp criticism, Raymond was sworn in by Vice President Pence at the vice president’s ceremonial office.

Clearly, the government was moved by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaint about the Bible yesterday — probably because it was “full-throated” — and completely ignored him.

Contrary to Weinstein’s all-caps claim that military officers are “NOT ever ‘sworn-in’ to their positions”, the narrator of the ceremony noted the oath was required under Article VI of the Constitution (as an “executive officer” of the United States) and is prescribed in Title V of the US Code: 

An individual…appointed to an office…in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath: “I, AB, 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; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

The ceremony — which you can watch on YouTube and DVIDS — was attended by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper — to whom Weinstein said he would complain about the Bible. The ceremony was opened with an invocation by Air Force Chief of Chaplains MajGen Stephen Schaick — the same officer who had earlier received the Bible from the National Cathedral, earning Weinstein’s wrath. Gen Raymond was sworn in by Vice President Pence, who has previously defended a POW/MIA Bible from Mikey Weinstein’s attacks.

Gen Raymond called his taking of the oath “historic.”

Swearing-in a Chief of Staff on a Bible is a routine event. Swearing-in the leader of a new Service is historic. Mikey may not like it, but other than a few minutes of media coverage — and a half-sentence on NPR — no one cared about his faux outrage and frivolous complaint.

Also at, Air Force Magazine, and the Stars and Stripes.