Interestingly, the organizers have pointed out that they probably could have gotten a flyover if they’d minimized religion within their event. Still, they note the military is supporting the event with other means, including administering the oath of enlistment, and the theme of this year’s event is “honoring our nation’s WWII veterans,” a decidedly patriotic purpose.
Chaplain (MajGen) Douglas Carver, the Army’s chief of chaplains, recently attended the Southern Baptist Convention chaplain’s luncheon in Florida. He noted the difficulties of the military life as a whole — with high deployments, challenges to marriage, rising suicide rates, etc — and also the challenges to the Chaplaincy:
“We chaplains must persevere,” he said. “Our faith is being tested and tried. These are the days when spiritual leaders — like our chaplains — must stand the test, press on, be reliable, be authentic, be men and women of integrity and maintain spiritual stamina.”
It’s been said that being a fighter pilot is like being in a motorcycle gang — except your mother is still proud of you. In a vaguely related story, the Chapel community at Fort Rucker took an opportunity to integrate their faith with a “gang” of motorcycle riders in a local “fellowship ride.” One of the mentors, Dave Peterson, explained why faith meshes so neatly with the motorcycle “gang:”
Because we share so much in common, it bonds us. We live out our faith. We enjoy motorcycle riding and we enjoy being together and building those bonds of friendship and sharing the things that mean the most to us.
Peterson may not know it, but that is an appropriate description of the community of believers in the military, as well.
Interestingly, Latitude 43′s #26 already has several other sponsors, including Sacred Power, a Native American spirituality-themed energy company. Sacred Power’s logo — which appears to be derived from the Thunderbird, from Native American spiritual belief — is just below the ANG’s pitch on the side of the car:
It is unclear when Miller will complain or Michael Weinstein will file a lawsuit over the US military’s “unConstitutional support” of Native American spiritualism, as Continue reading →
Following the first installment of pictures documenting religion and its place in the US military, the second is now posted on the Resources page. These photos largely show uniformed military members in prayer, practicing their right to free exercise of religion, even while in the US military.
Men and women of faith can be – and express their faith — in the US military. These pictures and those to come – all of which are publicly available – show that faith has a fitting and integral role in many lives in the military.
In a seemingly unusual move, US Army General David Petraeus appears poised to give up his leadership at Central Command to take over the job of one of his former “subordinates.” While the situation is not quite that simple, from a military leadership perspective, the ISAF leadership position is certainly inferior to CENTCOM.
That aside, one of the more interesting aspects of this firing/hiring of US military General officers has been the attempt by the media to characterize the enemy’s response. Newsweek had an entire article on “what the Taliban think…” about Continue reading →
An Air Force Times article highlights the progress in standing up the multi-service training units for the F-35 Lightning II at Eglin AFB, which is scheduled to begin this fall with the arrival of the first F-35 in November.
For the record, the F-35 variants have taken their first flights in only the past few months. The 200 “instructors” cited in the article (which may include maintainers) haven’t logged a single hour in an actual aircraft.
No worries, though; according to the wing vice commander, Marine Col Arthur Tomassetti, the training shouldn’t be too difficult: Continue reading →
It’s been said many times before that being a fighter pilot is a lot like being in a college fraternity. Yes, its true, “pranks,” to use an equivalent word, are still prevalent among the elite fighter pilot crowd.
If you lose something in a fighter squadron, check the freezer. If you’re lucky, it will just be wet. If you’ve been gone awhile, there’s a distinct possiblity your lost item, most famously, your hat, is now in a solid block of ice, or your car keys will now need to be thawed before you can drive home. (Another technique is to put just the head of the key in the block of ice, so the driver can still enter and drive his car, albeit with a 5 pound block of ice hanging off of it.)
While this is a longstanding fighter pilot tradition, the modern Air Force has Continue reading →
Faisal Shahzad, the man accused of leaving a failed car bomb in New York Times Square, admitted his role in the plot — and did so defiantly. He said it was an act of vengeance for the actions of Americans:
[Faisal] Shahzad told US District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum he was “a Muslim soldier” avenging the deaths of Muslims killed by Americans overseas, and that he didn’t care that his bomb could have killed children.
Interestingly, Shahzad did not say it was America’s Christianity, or the religiosity of its military, that brought about about his act of violence, as some might have claimed. It was he who viewed it as a religious conflict, even if his adversaries did not.