As he has occasionally done before, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has complained about the upcoming National Day of Prayer to be held at the Capitol, equating the National Day of Prayer Task Force, which is helping to organize the event, with al Qaeda. Weinstein “respectfully demands” not only that any DoD participation be prohibited, but that the DoD
aggressively investigate and appropriately punish any of the individuals and/or organizations that would have allowed for uniformed personnel to participate in this sectarian spectacle
The University of Arkansas Army Reserve Officer Training Corps is planning a lecture on April 24th specifically on the issue of religious freedom in the US military.
The lecture and discussion will provide a platform for students to learn more about religious freedoms in the military and discuss experiences with other veteran students. The event will give students and future service members the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the lecture topics and the speakers’ life experiences.
Update: Congressman Lamborn’s potential political rivals reacted, with Republican Bentley Rayburn, a retired Major General and 1975 USAFA graduate, saying Lamborn hasn’t done enough to support religious freedom at USAFA, while Democrat Irv Halter, also a retired Major General and 1977 USAFA graduate, says Lamborn has gone too far.
Now, Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado (home to the US Air Force Academy) has written a letter signed by 22 other congressmen asking Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James to revise the policy at issue:
The August 2012 Air Force regulations which govern religious freedom and expression (AFI 1-1) are inconsistent with Congressional intent and current law…
The first issue Lamborn cites is the “undefinable” standard the Air Force uses [emphasis added]: Continue reading →
In these Holy Days, we recall all that Jesus endured for us — the scorn of the crowds and the pain of the crucifixion, in our Christian religious tradition we celebrate the glory of the Resurrection — all so that we might be forgiven of our sins and granted everlasting life…
None of us are free from sin, but we look to His life and strive, knowing that “if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love is perfected in us.
Graham and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., suggested the Air Force has more work ahead to convince Congress that retiring the A-10 is a smart move.
“So for about $3.5 billion over the next five years, if [Congress] could find the money, could you afford to keep the A-10 on board?” Graham said.
Welsh said money wasn’t the only problem…
In an interesting twist, the US Army — which has traditionally been “accused” of wanting the A-10 and criticizing the Air Force for wanting to get rid of it — actually seems to be supportive of the decision: Continue reading →
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh, and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody recently took to YouTube to explain the Air Force core values “matter.”
When you voluntarily raised your right hand and took the oath of enlistment to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against enemies foreign and domestic — you purposely gave up a piece of yourself. You were remolded and given a new set of core values, which are integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.
That statement seems to presuppose that men and women enter the Air Force without values of integrity, service, or excellence. While that is absolutely Continue reading →
Buzzfeed obtained a video of Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp speaking to US Coast Guard Academy cadets on January 8th. In it, he recounts a meeting with President Obama in 2010, in which the President told the “5 service chiefs” to support his plan for repeal of the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — or get out:
Papp revealed that Obama was unwilling to compromise with service leaders over DADT during a meeting in 2010. “We were called into the Oval Office and President Obama looked all five service chiefs in the eye and said, ‘This is what I want to do.’ I cannot divulge everything he said to us, that’s private communications within the Oval Office, but if we didn’t agree with it — if any of us didn’t agree with it — we all had the opportunity to resign our commissions and go do other things,” he said.
“Eat everything they give you, no matter how disgusting; it’ll keep you alive. You’ve just been tortured, and that’s not the end of it; resist to the limits of your sanity, or to permanent physical damage. You’ll know when you get there.” And he concluded: “And pray; if you haven’t been, start. We’re going to get through this, and I’ll see you when it’s over.”
General Robbie Risner, prisoner of war and the Senior Ranking Officer in the Hanoi Hilton, to newly arrived POW Gen Charles G. Boyd, 1963.
Kind of makes you wonder what those POWs would think of the Air Force removing a Bible from their POW/MIA table.
A strikingly broad-swath of religious liberty groups has written a letter (PDF) the office of the Secretary of Defense contending the military’s recent religious accommodation policy “change” doesn’t go far enough. In one point they make:
Even if an original accommodation request is approved, religiously observant service members would be required to submit a new request for the same accommodation every time they receive a new assignment…
In other words, a Soldier allowed to have a beard for religious reasons would have to re-apply with every assignment change for a continuing accommodation — and could conceivably have to shave in the interim.
The letter was signed by groups as diverse as the ACLU, ADL, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the Becket Fund, Chaplain Alliance for Continue reading →
In the days following the last Fort Hood shooting, several stories emerged about those who were there. Once again, a “female officer” confronted the gunman and ended the spree. As with many shootings, the assailant stopped when confronted with equally deadly force — renewing calls for the military to lift the “gun free zone” status of military bases.
Update: General Welsh announced the Mustache March winners. Retired Naval officer Sara Zak published her own commentary in the Air Force Times, calling it all a “setback for AF’s strong women.” US Air Force Major Deirdre Gurry begged to differ in her Air Force Times column, saying she’s “proud to say that since World War II women have been invited to join” the military “boys’ club.”
Retired Navy Commander Sara Zak [sent] a complaint to the Air Force inspector general’s office, she asked that Welsh step down and rescind the challenge, saying the activity was “contrary to his Chief of Staff of the Air Force message to airmen he issued in January, [that] it perpetuated an environment conducive to sexual harassment, and that the Air Force should acknowledge [that] traditions that denigrate or fail to show proper respect to all airmen will not be accepted as part of the Air Force culture.”
Zak — whose retired Navy status makes her interest unclear — was pretty much told to pound sand, so she tried every other avenue she could think of: Continue reading →