CNN Befuddled by Lack of Glass Ceiling in the US Air Force

In an era in which the media and some parts of society continue to specifically highlight the accomplishments of women — even if those accomplishments are not unique — CNN wrote an interesting article that coincided with the graduation of five women from the US Air Force Test Pilot School last month.

To be fair, it might seem interesting that in a class of 24 students — which included non-US and non-military members — more than 20% were women. Women make up about 20% of the US Air Force as a whole, but historically women have been underrepresented at Test Pilot School — and in aviation as a whole.

In the modern interpretation, the reason for fewer women in aviation or at TPS is external barriers holding them back or down, a point CNN seems Read more

Military Religious Freedom in a new Era

With the airwaves and mainstream media clogged with politics and other drama, issues of religious freedom in the US military largely fell to the wayside these past few months. The reason is that most (not all, but certainly most) military religious freedom issues begin as attacks from outside the military. With an inattentive public, those who would attack the religious liberty of US troops for their personal benefit haven’t been able to gain public traction – or have simply chosen not to, given the low monetary return they would see for their efforts.

Thus, organizations like Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation have been either silent or largely ignored these past few months. (Mikey Weinstein’s Facebook page has been entertaining, as he’s been paying to promote otherwise ignored posts only to have the comments filled with “Who is this guy?” and “Why is this #$%$ on my feed!?!”)

With a new administration, there will certainly be changes that Read more

Soul Survivor Outdoor Quietly Reaches Troops for Christ

What began as a powerful and effective ministry to US troops in southern California (highlighted here last year) has now begun to spread. Soul Survivor Outdoor, which seeks to minister to US troops by providing “soul care,” has expanded to Texas, where it recently served the troops at Fort Hood following a redeployment. As reported in an official Army release:

Chaplain Karen Moore, battalion chaplain for 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment…organized for members of her battalion to participate and interact with SSO. She also helped assist sister battalion, 1st battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, become involved with the program as well.

In the end, 55 US troops participated in Read more

In the Background: The Space Force Hymn

Most people know by now that the US now has a “Space Force” along with its Navy, Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Much ado has been made about many very serious issues in that force, like what to call the Servicemembers in that force (Space men? Space cadets?) and whether their new seal looks too much like Star Trek and not enough like Battlestar Gallactica.

Another issue in the background has been the Space Force hymn. The Force doesn’t have one yet, but officials have noted that a song is a Service tradition, much like its uniform and rank structure.

Apparently, one song has already been offered – and it immediately stirred controversy with the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The song was written by a former Air Force officer named James Linzey, who was an Air Force and Army chaplain. (Linzey has an interesting history as well, as he was Read more

Air Force Celebrates Officers Career without Mentioning Race

In a rare event for an Air Force press release, an article celebrated the long and storied career of Col Patrick “Phantom” Campbell, without once mentioning the color of his skin.

Campbell had an interesting career – rejected by the US Air Force Academy initially, he went to the Prep school and then to USAFA. He washed out of pilot training, but then excelled at Navigator training. He was an F-4 EWO in the early 1980s; after a break in service, he eventually returned and would become the Ops Group Commander and finally the 22nd Air Force Director of Operations at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia. He now retires and plans to continue to live a full life, as well as spend more time with Kimberly, his wife of 38 years.

In an era in which status and physical traits seem Read more

US Military Publishes Major Revision to Religious Liberty Rules

The US military has just updated its regulations with the intent of improving the protection of military religious freedom.

Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 1300.17 was previously known as “Accommodation of Religious Practices Within the Military Services,” but is now re-titled simply “Religious Liberty in the Military Services” (PDF). The new DoDI title sets the tone for a policy that presupposes religious liberty, rather than treats it as an outlier that may sometimes be “accommodated.”

That change in tone mimics the tone change in religious liberty policies in the Air Force – which may not be a coincidence. The new DoDI was approved by Undersecretary of Defense Matthew Donovan – a former Air Force fighter pilot who has been both an Undersecretary of the Air Force and even the Acting Secretary of the Air Force in the past few years, during which the tenor (if not always the actions) of Air Force policy leaned toward religious freedom.

It seems President Trump’s selection of Undersecretary Donovan may have set the stage for improving religious liberty in the US military.

As to the DoDI itself, it notably Read more

Mikey Weinstein Admits to Hiring Himself, and Gets a Pay Raise

There’s nothing “charitable” about Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s “charity” — the awkwardly named Military Religious Freedom Foundation. But, since it is categorized as 501(c)3, Weinstein must publicly file his organization’s tax form each year — though he manages to be almost two years behind. Weinstein has finally released the report for 2018 indicating his MRFF brought in about $720,000 that year, which is about the same as the previous year.

As in prior years, Weinstein’s largest expense was his own paycheck, though this year was a bit unique. Up front, he paid himself $296,393, but he also reported $72,000 in “other Read more

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