The US Army has made a concerted effort to support the “whole Soldier” concept with its Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. These programs have targeted the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being of American servicemembers.
Chaplain (Cmdr) Gordon Ritchie addresses an infrequently discussed but increasingly important subject in today’s military: the moral wounds of war.
In a time in which suicides are on the rise and the military is seeking moral leadership, something that often gets left out is the “moral injury” to those who must wage war at the call of their country.
The character of man recognizes, even if unconsciously, the incongruity of the value of life and the necessity of death in war. Solace is found in knowing that one’s Read more…
An effort by local businesses and military leaders has garnered the sprawling Fort Campbell military facility the finances it requires to build a new chapel. A group of 55 local business leaders and public officials
explained to lawmakers that at that time, Fort Campbell was at only 31 percent of the military requirement for chapels. The existing chapels — aging World War II-era “temporary” structures — often had inadequate capacity for Eagle Remembrance ceremonies to honor fallen comrades.
The large facility will allow assemblies of over 1,200 and provide space for a variety of religious services. The local paper editorializes: Read more…
In 2008 the NFL did a short special on the inspiration of the military fly-by at the end of the pre-game National Anthem.
For those that sometimes don’t understand the impact a simple act might have, the video is moving.
Originally noted at FighterPilotUniversity.
Former NASA Administrator and Secretary of the Navy Sean O’Keefe survived the plane crash that killed former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. In recounting the ordeal, he noted but couldn’t explain the fact that he and his son survived while the others perished.
“The degree of separation between survival and not was a fraction of what you ever imagined. It could have been anybody,” O’Keefe said. “The randomness of this whole experience was such that any doubts you have about divine intervention go away.”
The Fort Bragg Freedom Festival, the atheist response to the evangelistic Rock the Fort, has previously been discussed. How, precisely, it will be executed appears to have gotten…complicated.
For one thing, the “Freedom Festival” Facebook page now says it is (emphatically) “no longer associated” with its own website: Read more…
A lengthy but interesting article by US Marine Lt Sam Jacobson covers his experience as a Jew in the Marine Corps, from his drill instructor asking if he needed kosher meals to the US military flying “interested Jews” to special religious services while fighting in Iraq. At points he describes a “generous mood of religious accommodation” and even the presence of a “no preference” room during a time dedicated for religious services.
Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of Jacobson’s story is the theme he reveals of how gruff military members sometimes deal with the increasingly “sensitive” subject of religion.
He gets ‘scolded’ for sleeping during the time dedicated for religious exercise, but admits sleeping was a closely controlled exercise in training: Read more…
Military Archbishop Timothy Broglio has previously expressed his opposition to the repeal of the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In a recent article, however, he articulated his opposition not strictly on religious grounds, but on Constitutional ones:
The archbishop explained that while individuals may have a legal right to declare their sexual preferences, they have no comparable “right” to serve in the military at the same time.
Rather, he said, the military reserves to itself the right to deny individuals that privilege – just as soldiers may forfeit the privilege of military service in many other ways, through their speech and behavior. Read more…
Astronaut and US Army Col Doug Wheelock has become the first US Army commander of the International Space Station. Wheelock is a former Army test pilot, and he is also a Christian.
“The most important thing is to put your faith and trust in God and to keep your life in the center of His will,” Wheelock said. “When you do that, everything else tends to work out.”
He previously spoke to students at Oklahoma Christian University from space.
According to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Hugh Shelton’s new book, Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior, a member of then-President Bill Clinton’s administration floated the idea of allowing a U-2 to be shot down with the intent of starting a war. The plan?
what we really need in order to go in and take out Saddam is a precipitous event — something that would make us look good in the eyes of the world. Could you have one of our U-2s fly low enough — and slow enough — so as to guarantee that Saddam could shoot it down? Read more…
As noted by an official Air Force Academy news release, cadet members of the USAFA “Freethinkers” group invited the cadet pagan SPIRE group to meet and discuss their beliefs and experiences.
SPIRE members set aside time each week for the religiously diverse cadet population that includes Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, atheists, agnostics and others to discuss religion, spirituality and philosophy.
While the groups are for the benefit of cadets, like groups of other ideologies, they appear to be facilitated by staff or volunteers. Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier Read more…
An Associated Press article on the recent back-and-forth over the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” contained little new on the subject, save a heretofore untold observation by the Obama administration:
Officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the administration’s path is still uncertain said the administration has never fully acknowledged that while a majority of Americans may want the ban lifted, a majority of the uniformed military might not. (emphasis added)
This supposition that members of the military may oppose open homosexual service — despite how the civilian society may feel — may have been the fear Read more…
The Washington Post‘s “On Faith” column documents the story of Major Aarti Puri, a USAFA graduate and Hindu Air Force officer, entitled “A Hindu American Air Force officer: ‘Shakti’ in the trenches.”
In my four years at the Air Force Academy and more than nine years as an Air Force officer, I have learned to further embrace these aspects of both the military culture and Hindu culture. Read more…
An interesting, if somewhat prosaic, article at Army.mil discusses two Army Chaplains creating a new Sunday night service at Fort Jackson, SC (home of the new joint Chaplaincy center). Notably, the article highlights the motivations of Chaplains who are trying to serve the needs of the troops:
[Chaplain (Maj) Daniel] Middlebrooks explained that one of the goals was to add to the worship options on post by starting a Sunday evening service aimed at those who may not be able to attend service on Sunday mornings, as well as those who would like to participate in a second service that day…
“I’ve talked to my Soldiers, and overwhelmingly, there is a great majority that would prefer to come on a Sunday evening after Read more…
After the issuing judge denied a stay, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals granted the government’s plea for an emergency stay of her injunction against enforcing the current military policy/US law on homosexuals in military service. The temporary stay can be challenged by the Plaintiff Log Cabin Republicans on Monday.