Our service succeeds only because of the integrity of our Airmen…
- Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne
Ethical challenges are a virtual certainty in the military. While some instances are “obvious,” like temptations to steal or cheat, some situations are unique in the military environment. For example, a variety of Air Force members—including one general officer—were recently punished for inappropriate influence in regard to a $50 million contract for the Thunderbirds. It is unlikely that many of those involved considered themselves to be overtly “cheating” or “stealing,” yet the actions were treated just as severely. A few years ago, two Boeing executives (one a recent Air Force retiree) were sentenced to prison for unethical conduct with respect to ongoing government negotiations. Read more…
As previously noted, the National Day of Prayer is May 1st, by virtue of Presidential declaration and in accordance with US law. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has complained that the NDP “task force” (associated with Focus on the Family) has coordinated with military bases and Chaplains for the observance. Using his oft-repeated hyperbolic and alliterative talking points, Weinstein promised
that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation fully [intended] to include this despicable collusion in [their] current Federal litigation against the Department of Defense as yet another stunning example of a pernicious and pervasive pattern and practice of unconstitutional rape [of] religious liberties…
Jason Leopold, a former journalist and frequent voice for the MRFF, took issue with the fact that coordinators for the task force were required to sign a statement that ‘confirmed their commitment to Christ.’ Read more…
From the Presidential Proclamation,
Americans of many different faiths share the profound conviction that God listens to the voice of His children and pours His grace upon those who seek Him in prayer…I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God’s continued guidance, comfort, and protection.
A background on the tradition can be seen here.
Some have complained that the National Day of Prayer has been “hijacked” by the “religious right.” This perception is probably due to the fact that Christians have been the most enthusiastic about supporting the observance. As explicitly stated by the National Day of Prayer “task force,” each American is free to observe the NDP as they desire, or not at all. Though they are expressing this “tolerant” view, some participants of the alternative “inclusive” NDP plan to picket the observances coordinated by the NDP task force.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Air Force Deputy Chief of Chaplains Brigadier General Cecil R. Richardson will speak to a Dallas-area observance of the NDP on “Prayer as Our Tradition.” As with all military associated events, “persons of all faiths, cultures and generations are encouraged to attend.” General Richardson has been selected to become the next Air Force Chief of Chaplains.
As previously noted, US Army soldier Jeremy Hall, represented by the MRFF, has sued the Army. The Associated Press picked up on the story, and it is now on CNN and Fox.
As noted on the Charlotte Observer, Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) has called for a
government investigation of all US military chaplains who were approved by Abdurahman Alamoudi.
All military Chaplains are required to have an endorsement by an ecclesiastical body. Alamoudi formed the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council, which provided such an endorsement for Muslim Chaplain candidates.
Alamoudi is now serving 23 years in jail on terrorism related charges, after having been involved financially with Libya and with an assassination plot on Saudi Prince Abdullah.
Though Myrick has been criticized for her statement, it is noteworthy that Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY) voiced the same concerns over 5 years ago.
Depending on the source, there appear to be approximately a dozen Muslim Chaplains in the military. Notably, one government web article in 2006 stated that there were more Muslim and Jewish Chaplains than there were Catholic per military observant.
As noted at the Religion Clause, former Navy Chaplain Klingenschmitt has lost another appeal over his dismissal from the Navy, which he claimed was for “praying in Jesus’ name.” The original court martial and lawsuits happened well over a year ago (see prior posts: 1, 2 , 3, 4, 5, 6).
Last week, a few West Point cadets got a break from the daily grind and took a drive to Jersey City, where they visited a variety of religious organizations. According to several news reports, the sights included Christian, Coptic, Hindu and Islamic religious facilities. The cadets slept on the floor of the mosque in sleeping bags for two nights.
The trip was part of a “Winning the Peace” class, whose objective is to help the cadets understand that decisive armed combat is not necessarily solely responsible for “victory.”
The US Military Academy should be lauded for exposing young officers-to-be to the cultural elements (including religion) they will experience once commissioned. The USMA cadets demonstrated mature, independent and critical thought, even when at least one of their speakers Read more…
If ever Michael Weinstein needed proof that cadets could not be brainwashed by religious propaganda, it was his own presence at the Air Force Academy Wednesday afternoon that provided it.
Weinstein was invited to speak at the Academy after he complained about the speakers at February’s Academy Assembly, the topic of which was “Dismantling Terrorism.”
Unlike any of the previous speakers, however, Weinstein made no claim to have any authority on the ongoing war on terrorism. Instead, Weinstein has made a name for himself, and the “foundation” he created, by repeatedly suing the US military for its alleged support of Christianity. Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), formed just a few years ago, has sued the Air Force Academy for Christian favoritism (the suit was dismissed), more recently sued the Secretary of Defense on behalf of a Kansas soldier (notably, after running ads seeking plaintiffs), and even threatened to add the Academy Assembly incident to his current lawsuit.
Weinstein did not even suggest he would offer a “balancing” perspective on Islam or global terrorism, which is what other advocacy groups had called for. Instead, he said he wanted to “deprogram” the cadets from the content they heard in February. While the point of the Academy Assembly was terrorism, Weinstein very evidently made Christianity the topic of his MRFF symposium. Read more…
As announced on AF.mil, Columbus AFB formally retired the final T-37 Tweet that was still supporting Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT). Still, the Tweet will continue to fly at Sheppard AFB in support of Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT), primarily because the foreign pilots there have not received support from their home countries to transition to the T-6.
A list and short description of aircraft flown during a pilot’s career can be seen here.