Top Air Force General Issues Order on Religious Neutrality

General Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, has apparently issued a memorandum to his commanders entitled “Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion.” It makes what is probably the most significant official change to the religious environment in the Air Force in some years (reference the “Religious Guidelines” of 2006).

First, it notes that “leaders at all levels”

must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.

which is substantially similar to previous military positions. Of course, the complexity of the environment prevents a detailed explanation as to what constitutes “apparent use” or what may be “apparent…preferential treatment” vice the expected (and required) accommodation of religion. This has long been an understandable challenge with regard to religion and the government, not just the military.

The memorandum then raises new content: First, it acknowledges the value of “religious studies.”

Chaplain Corps programs, including activities such as religious studies, faith sharing, and prayer meetings, are vital to commanders’ support of individual Airmen’s needs and provide opportunities for the free exercise of religion.

That is the most blunt statement to date from the Air Force supporting the “free exercise” of its troops to participate in such programs. However, the next statement in General Schwartz’s letter is the most significant:

Although commanders are responsible for these programs, they must refrain from appearing to officially endorse religion generally or any particular religion. Therefore, I expect chaplains, not commanders, to notify Airmen of Chaplain Corps programs.

The memorandum accurately notes Department of Defense instructions put the responsibility for these programs on commanders, not Chaplains. (Note the prior quote said “religious studies” are “vital to commander’s support,” not Chaplain’s support.) However, there is little, if any, lower level guidance on how the commanders should execute those programs. General Schwartz has now given direction that only Chaplains can “notify” people about religious programs like “religious studies.”

Given recent history, this would seem to be a response to “scandals” over commanders walking headlong into this prior lack of clear guidance. Most publicly, officers at Creech AFB and Kirtland AFB have been chastised for distributing emails announcing Bible studies within their units. As noted at the time, the wording of current policies seemed to support the commanders. In both cases, one of the “corrective actions” was the movement of the announcement to the Chaplains’ purview. General Schwartz appears to have acted to remove any ambiguity in the Air Force’s institutional application of those policies.

This policy will likely be heavily scrutinized in the coming weeks, both by those who don’t want to run afoul of it and those who wish to accuse people of doing precisely that. Indeed, the memorandum itself opens up some interesting questions. (Is a commander at a mass inprocessing prohibited from mentioning Chapel services? Can a religious program leader — who is neither a Chaplain nor a commander — “notify” Airmen?). It is also possible one unintended effect will be an increase in email distributions from Chaplains, which will undoubtedly raise someone’s ire.

The US military has a long history and relationship with religion, beginning with George Washington centuries ago, and “balance” is certainly necessary. On one extreme, the military has a legitimate call to prevent officers telling their subordinates from their official positions “You need to be Christian” (or any other religion). On another extreme, it appears some critics (like Rick Baker and Chris Rodda, both of Michael Weinstein’s MRFF) would like to see a military where an officer cannot even mention that he is a Christian.

Religious freedom, particularly in relation to the State, is an interesting — and complex — issue.

Subsequently noted at the Air Force Times.

Update: The Religion Clause notes this memo “appears directed” at issues such as the February 2011 USAFA National Prayer Luncheon.

26 replies to “Top Air Force General Issues Order on Religious Neutrality

  1. jl

    The piousness of BOTH sides has brought this to the point of requiring engagement by senior leaders in a secular manner. A Christian or otherwise (whatever that may be) will show their true colors without having to trumpet it.

  2. Richard

    At last. Someone with the determination, courage and concern for the armed forces has spoken. Religion, more specifically Christian Dominionism, has become a serious problem not only in the military but in every facet of civilian life as well.

    Christian Dominionism is the stuff of crusades, inquisitions, witch hunts and pogroms and is fostered by such notable slime bags as Pat Robertson, Rod Parsley, James Dobson, Gary North, David Chilton, John Hagee and other Super Evangelical Fundamentalist Christian leaders.

    There is no place in the armed forces for Christian Dominionism but it has made serious inroads in the military due to it’s militant nature, it fits right in with the thoughts of many militray personnel, esppecially in the officer corps which, itself, has conjured up an organization of dominionists known as the Officers Christian Fellowship.

    Gen. Schwartz’s brave letter to subordinates in his command will likely be met with hostile reactions from the many who have made a comfortable nest for Dominionism in their commands. Look for some serious backlash to this letter all screaming about the free practice clause. Of course, thinking Americans know that NO religion may be freely practiced under the First Amendment that violates it’s own charter and that of the US Constitution.

    Military members, under Supreme Court ruling, may not advance, prefer, reccommend or proselytize one religion over another or religion over non-religion. (Lemon Vs. Kurzman 1971) and many senior and junior officers have been violating that ruling for some time.

  3. Daniel Sparks

    This policy could be interpreted to mean that commanders will not attend any religious service because doing so would be an endorsement of that religion. (“Although commanders are responsible for these programs, they must refrain from appearing to officially endorse religion generally or any particular religion.”)

    This is a dangerous step further down the road toward absolute religious intolerance.

    Commanders are required by federal statute to provide religious support for their subordinates. To forbid commanders to announce religious activities prohibits them from exercising their legal obligation. On this basis, I believe this policy by General Schwarz is both illegal and repugnant to the Constitutional protection of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

  4. Richard

    @Daniel Sparks
    Hi. What don’t you understand about endorsement of religion? If a chaplain arranges a Christian concert on a military reservation and it may be attended freely or not, it is providing religious support and complying with SOP.

    If a commander orders such an event and it is entitled “The General’s Christian Spiritual Fitness Show, then it is an endorsement of a particular religion and implied order to attend
    which is prohibited by the US Constitution.

    Whether you are aware of it or not, the Dominion Christian Movement is a real presence in the military and various Dominion Christian organizations work tirelessly to convert non-Christians and to “upgrade” existing Christians to a higher level of obedience and participation.

    You can read about the role of Dominion Christianity in Pat Robertson’s book “The Secret Kingdom,” in which he lays out the blueprints for the take over of American government and replacement of the US Constitution with Mosaic Law and the conversion of world populations to Christianity by an “All Christian Fighting Force.”

    I’m afraid the only danger here is from the Dominionist movement and not from those who would protect and uphold the Constitution and First Amendment.

  5. Chris Rodda

    That’s ridiculous, Daniel. Nobody would interpret this to mean that a commander can’t attend a religious service of whatever religion they are. That’s obviously just them exercising their personal religious freedom to attend whatever religious services they want to attend, and nobody would see it as anything other than that.

  6. Sean

    @Richard

    Richard and Chris,

    I’m sorry but Daniel is right when he shows concern about commanders attending worship services coming into question. General Schwartz used the word “endorse,” which means to declare ones approval or support something, whether its a thing, an idea, or in this case, Jesus Christ. And your foolish for thinking that Christians are out to replace the Constitution with Mosaic law. Its always Christians that are “offending” others because they would like to share their FAITH with someone else. Well, let me tell you that it is our goal to see everyone come to love Christ, whether they’re an Airman or not. So if your “legally” offended because I endorse believe in ‘something,’ then I am even more offended that you call yourself “legally” believing in NOTHING! And you call us unfair…

  7. Richard

    @Sean
    Hi,

    There is a difference between wanting to “share” your faith and coercing someone into sharing your faith. Evangelicals have become somewhat pushy of late both in the civilian and military sectors.

    There are a growing number of complaints to MRFF relative to superiors “suggesting” that subordinates attend Christian services or lately to “Bible Study” Classes, some of which are being held at commandesr private homes.

    Your goal to have everyone come to love Christ seems to have advanced even beyond the “Great Commission” stage and seems to now encompass command centered proselytizing and a chilling set of coercive scenarios in which the targets find themselves without defense or alternative.

    Your brand of Christianity is of the stuff of Crusades, Pogroms and Genocides and reeks of Dominionism. Ours is a Democracy and not a Theocracy. Christians must obey constitutional provisions and civil law. Free exercise of religion does not include breaking the law. Irrespective of the intensity with which you practice your faith, it must always remain subordinate to the parameters in which it may constitutionally function. Otherwise we have an infraction of immense detriment.

    To assume that everyone must come to love and accept your god in order to attain heaven and life after death is a doctine which, like others, is naroow and uncompromising.

    As there are many roads that lead to Rome, so are there many roads that lead to Heaven. It’s OK if you don’t believe that, but you may not legally contradict that by force.

    To me, it is best to heed the warnings of Christians such as yourself who have attempted to be demigods. Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite, David Koresh, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and the dozens of other misguided Christian leaders who have led their flocks to the slaughter of religion run amok.

    Christians in the military who exceed legal limitations in their efforts to proselytize their faith are criminals and should be treated as such.

  8. Richard

    Here is an ironic follow-up to the discussion on Gen. Schwartz’s directive calling for religious neutrality in the Air Force. As we are aware, the United States Air Force Academy has been a hot bed of command sponsored and coercive Christian proselytizing and a warm nest for extreme Protestant Evangelist organizations to pursue their stated goal of making Cadets “government paid missionaries for Christ.” The directive was not passed along in a timely manner to the lowers echelons or cadet corps, for weeks getting stuck at high command staff levels. I was curious as to whether other commands were as reticent to send this directive along to subordinates.

    The following is an E-Mail from a USAF Fighter Pilot to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation that I was fortunate enough to get copied on. It seems to confirm that Gen. Schwartz’s memo may have had a wider resistance to distribution. I thought “We have been exposed to the thoughts and opinions of a “Christian Fighter Pilot” on the Schwartz directive, why not post an oposing opinion from another fighter pilot who has a different take on the situation?

    I can personally vouch for the existence of this pilot who is an experienced officer and highly regarded proficient airman. I have edited this E-Mail to protect this pilot from undesirable repercussion.

    From: USAF Fighter Pilot
    Date: October 30, 2011 11:37:59 PM MDT

    To: mikey@militaryreligiousfreedom.org

    Subject: USAF Fighter Pilot’s View re: AF Chief of Staff Religious Neutrality Memo Being Blocked

    Mikey,

    Having known you for many years and closely followed and supported the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), I am keenly aware of the battle you are fighting with respect to religious intolerance and command abuse in the military. With equal interest and support, I have followed the latest fight centered on the USAF Chief of Staff’s memorandum regarding religious neutrality in the military. At the release of the memo and the ensuing weeks involving the posting of the memo on a Colorado Springs billboard, I was TDY (temporarily assigned) to (military installation withheld) AFB for training. In mid October, 2011, I returned to my home unit at (military installation withheld) and was eager to read my numerous emails and find the disseminated copy of the memo. Though I had already read the entirety of the memo through internet postings, I wanted to see what my USAF chain of command had added to the official release of the USAF Chief of Staff’s message – whether positive or negative. However, I found neither; the memo was not distributed to my squadron. Having asked around the squadron, nobody seemed to know what I was talking about. While uncertain which echelon of my chain had neglected to pass the message to their subordinates, I did not want to confront commanders directly. After a few days of asking around the squadron, I asked the Group Commander’s Executive Officer, another (USAF officer’s rank withheld) who I deal with regularly. I figured if the memo had made it to the Group level, then surely he would know about it. Again, I got the same response – he didn’t know what I was talking about or that it existed at all. My Wing leadership is geographically separated at (military installation withheld), but I happened to have a trusted friend at the Wing Staff as well. I received the same response from him, he’s never seen or heard of such a memo from the CSAF.

    Though I thought my squadron commander or the group commander may have had their disagreements with the memo and chosen not to pass the message along, I was quite surprised that the memo had not even travelled to the Wing Staff level. Of course it maybe have gone that far but stopped and gone no further. Regardless, thousands of airmen in my Wing have never seen or even realize the existence of such a message from the highest echelon of the USAF. I distinctly remember receiving messages throughout my USAF career from the highest levels about all sorts of changes to AF policy, mission statements, and culture. The USAF Chief of Staff’s recent memo about religious neutrality is clearly addressed to all airmen at all levels and must be understood as part of the intended culture of the AF. I am equally angry and disheartened to know that because certain members of my leadership do not agree with this message, they have chosen to take it upon themselves to block a directive from the USAF Chief of Staff.

    I know that this is just another page in the volumes of complaints that you at MRFF receive on a regular basis. Hopefully this letter can help to further your efforts in fighting the suffocating and oppressive members of our military’s leadership that continue to disregard the simple fact that serving in the military is a secular act. I was so very happy to see the USAF Chief of Staff make a definitive and official statement on the subject of religious neutrality, but the message just isn’t getting out! I am out of personal contacts at higher levels of my chain of command. Please help me to find where the train came off the tracks so the memo can be distributed properly. I am at your service if there’s anything else I can do. Thanks as always!

    Keep Fighting! (USAF Fighter Pilot’s name, rank, military unit and military installation withheld)

  9. JD

    @Richard
    You may need to re-check the definition of “ironic.” Is this ironic? The pilot said:

    The USAF Chief of Staff’s recent memo about religious neutrality is clearly addressed to all airmen at all levels…

    He’s apparently “smart enough to know how to fly a plane,” as the stereotype goes, but not smart enough to read the “To” line of an AF memo.

    Even some of Weinstein’s supporters have admitted there is no requirement for the memo to be put in the hands of every Airmen. It is addressed to ALMAJCOM-FOA-DRU/CC, which is about 50 people in the entire Air Force. What they choose to do with it is up to them. They are free to distribute it below them; they are free not to.

    Just because the Air Force distribution plan doesn’t meet Weinstein’s dictates doesn’t make it wrong. Last I checked, he was promoted to “Mr.” in the 1980s, so he has no input into the Air Force’s internal command or communication process. In addition, a line officer who isn’t a MAJCOM, FOA, or DRU CC complaining he hasn’t seen it doesn’t validate your message. It just makes the officer look bad.

    “Ironically,” this MRFF release contradicts the MRFF’s Chris Rodda, who said the memo went out “everywhere” with the “notable exception” of USAFA.

  10. Richard

    @JD
    Your talking to an old Air Force guy. Those fifty recipients of the directive knew full well that Schwartz wanted it to reach every level. This was not a recipe or updated telephone list. It would be disingenuous not to admit that there were intentional blockages.

    Perhaps one might say: “He’s apparently “smart enough to know how to fly a plane,” as the stereotype goes, but not smart enough to read between the lines lines of an AF memo.”

    Also it may have been a mistake for Schwartz not to get the directive firmly to Wing level.

    Frankly the AFA has been compromised by Dominion Christian operatives, including the Superintendent and Dean of Cadets. Coercive Christian proselytizing is rampant and cultism is on the rise. This installlation is in the hands of the enemy and it’s cadet corps prisoners of religious war. The command structure is already insubordinate and operating outside the Air Force chain of command. This is a mutiny of the first order and will take a serious effort to restore good order and discipline. This once fine institute of learning and military skills has regressed to the time of the Crusades and has become a bastion of Christian extremism which must be rooted out punished under civil law. We are dealing with traitors to our Constitution and Uniform Code of MIlitary Justice.

  11. Lt. Frank

    So Richard…I’ll bite. Show me where “Schwartz wanted it to reach every level.” Very curious to see the facts on this one…so please, post something to back up your statement.

    You do realize that Schwartz has the capability, himself, to hit the send button from his computer to “All AF Personnel”, don’t you?

    You continue to lose credibility when you make statements you cannot back up.

    By the way, out of curiosity, how many cadets have been “converted”, say in the past 3 or so years? If the “coercive Christian proselytizing” is “so rampant”, it would be good to know how many have been forced to convert.

  12. Richard

    @Lt. Frank
    I’m sure that you understand that those who are committing these unconstitutonal acts do not publisize them nor make records of there efforts available to anyone outside their circle.

    The bulk of the information comes from the many complaints received b y MRFF that must remain confidential to protect the complainant. I have read litterally hundreds of horror stories from permanent station staff, faculty, cadets and even a few from fairly high ranking personel.

    Given the fact that elements of the AFA chain of caommand are, themselves, complicit in this illegal and coercive proselytiing any hint of a cadet or other personnel making a complaint to MRFF would be dealt with severely. This is also why the chain of command is not used to obtain relief. It would be tantamount to the chicken reporting to the fox.

    Irrespective of whether you believe this or not many cadets and others spend their days in fear of being discovered as uncooperative. Many actually fake their religiosity so as not to be detected.

    Another thing you should know about Christian Dominionism. The puveyors of this awful sect are extremists. Perhaps not in the sense of the Taliban or Jihadists in the streets with exploding cars and such. Actually the Taliban are more open and honest than Christian Dominonists. Dominion Christians attempt to stay below the radar and use subterfuge, camouflaged intent, outside help from Officers Christian Fellowship, Campus Crusade for Christ Military Mission, The Navigators, Focus of the Family and others to ride herd on cadets.

    Several cults have bees allowed to either practice openly on the installation or cadets allowed to attend off installation. The Warrick Paternal Shepherding cult is one such foul group. Known as “Cadets for Christ” they have programmed a number of female cadets into arranged marriages and brainwashed a number of others into accepting 2nd class citizenship by “submitting graciously to their husband in all things.” Invitation Christian Bible studies have been held at the Superintendents private home.

    Now for willing birds of a feather, these Dominionists can dance naked on the chapel roof for all I care. My problem is when friendly invites turn into coercive demands to attend Christian ceremonies, meetings, servcices, prayer sessions, Bible studies, etc., attended out of fear.

    Religion can be a powerful, healing, restorative force and used in the right context can be a positive motivator for our young men and women in the armed forces who choose to willingly participate. But religion can be a destructive force to those who no not wish to participate but must because of coercion. No individual should be denied a place, time, opportunity and religious counselor such as a Chaplain as a part of their standard service. Those who wish not to participate should be left strictly alone.

  13. Richard

    Hot off the press!

    From: Gould, Mike C Lt Gen USAF USAFA USAFA/CC
    Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2011 12:23 PM
    To: Dist P
    Subject: AF Leaders Speak on Diversity

    Originally sent in large, Air Force Blue type:

    Team USAFA, Please read the article below. Among the highlights are:

    WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force senior leaders released a memorandum stressing the importance of diversity in today’s force here Oct. 14.

    Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy signed the Declaration on Diversity, which stressed the importance of diversity at tactical and strategic levels as keys to mission success.

    “Diversity, as defined by the Air Force, aggregates our strengths, perspectives and capabilities in a way that transcends individual contributions,” the memorandum states.
    “It speaks to each Airman’s responsibility, as public servants, to embrace and gain a better understanding of diversity as a tool to enhance unit cohesion and the Air Force’s ability to carry out its mission globally.

    “From our perspective, diversity throughout our Air Force is a military necessity,” the senior leaders said. “We will promote an Air Force culture that embraces diversity and provides the opportunity for all Airmen to reach their full potential and provide the required supporting programs and resources.”

    http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123278071

    Thanks for what you and your families do every day to make our Air Force the best! Keep up the great work! Best Regards, Lt Gen Gould
    —————————————————————————————————————–

    Still……the General could not bring himself to use the term “religious diversity” in his message.

    The Chief of Staff’s SIGNED memo (1 Sep 2011) on RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY didn’t see wide release for weeks and until MRFF put the letter on a public billboard in Colorado Springs–and even then, the Supt didn’t send it out from his own official e-mail account. Instead, it trickled out via the Commandant and through the faculty via department heads after repeated requests.

    It seems to me that despite the clear meaning of Gen. Schwartz’s directive, Gen. Gould’s current diverstity message is immeasurably weakened by the lack of identifying religion as an important factor in the overall diversity program.

  14. Lt. Frank

    Just as I thought…you can’t provide any numbers of cadets who were converted. If it’s such a problem you and Mikey claim, certainly you can come up with numbers (not names) of how many have been converted by the Evangelicals.

    I get your points…you repeat them in nearly every post, but it doesn’t make them true.

    Lastly, you still cannot back up your statement about Gen Schwartz wanting his memo to reach every level. See, you make statements, but can’t back them up. My point is that if Gen Schwartz wanted every eye on that memo, he would have sent to AF-ALL via email.

  15. Richard

    @Lt. Frank

    Frankie, there are no conversion numbers because no one has been truly converted. Many have pretended to become “more Christian,” but it’s only for their protection.

    As for the brainwashed, there were at least six generated by the Warrick cult, Two suicides too, as I remember. And one arranged marriage.

    There are none so blind as they who will not see. If you talk like a Christian Dominionist, act like a Christian Dominionist and look like a Christian Dominionist, you are a Christian Dominionist. All the while we have young men and women in distreess and under constant pressure from Christian extremists who don’t even know they are Christian extremists.

    If Schwartz didn’t want complete penetration of his directive why would Mike Gould now scramble to esend it as a Dist P?

  16. JD

    @Richard

    why would Mike Gould now scramble to esend it as a Dist P?

    Who said he’s distributed it? You’re not thinking the news article you linked to above was it, are you? Even if he did, he’s completely within his authority to do so at his leisure. You and the MRFF have set yourselves up so that if Gen Gould ever did send it, you’d claim credit regardless.

    Go easy on the accusations of “generated…suicide.” Accusing someone of complicity in suicide(s) — which may be a crime — is not insignificant. If you have proof, provide it to the local authorities. If not, confine your baseless accusations to your conspiracy theories.

  17. Lt Frank

    @Richard, NO Conversions? NONE? And you and Mikey are scared of what again? This is becoming laughable.

    Brainwashed? Really? You can’t come up with something better than that? These are cadets who are adults and can make choices for themselves. Sorry, but that’s a lame excuse. Arranged marriage? Hmmmm, so did the bride or groom complain about the “arranged” marriage? Or was it someone else? Me thinks the bride and groom are doing quite well these days. Since you brought it up, how do you think they’re doing? Oh, and how are the brainwashed “six” doing these days?

    Suicides? You really went there? It’s really sad and disrespectful to the families for you to make a statement like that. Since you went there, I’ll have to ask you to back up your statement, yet once again. What proof do you have that there were “two generated suicides?”

  18. Richard

    @Lt Frank
    I can only tell you what we have learned through a rather closeted network of personnel willing to risk theior careers and education by supplying us with information.

    The number of Dominionist conversions is irrelevant. It’s the coercive attempts at achieving that goal that are the subject of discussion. Failure to convert is not a statistic, attempting to is.

  19. Richard

    @JD

    Those things which I have posted are public record. The e-mails from the girls families are
    self explanatory.

    May I recommend that you take a day or two off from scriptural rote learning and read the newspaper? There are also some excellent informational sites available to to. May I suggest militaryreligiousfreedom.org ?

  20. JD

    @Richard
    The only readily available “public records” that associate the Warricks with suicide were written by one person: you. Even the MRFF website makes no such assertion.

    Making things up for dramatic effect does little for whatever credibility you may think you have.

  21. Richard

    @JD
    JD

    You could have read the letters from the Baas family whose daughter was maliciously taken from them and brainwashed into marrying a young man selected for her by the Warricks. Among those e-mails are details about the Warricks that identify them on the same level as David Koresh, Marshall Apllewhite, Jim Jones. These are people who promote male dominated relationships, second class citizenship for women and an existence controlled by twisted and archaic Christian doctrines.

    The fact that “Cadets for Christ,” given the information relative to their often unconstitutional activities supplied to AFA command, are still allowed to function and host cadets at their den of female submission.

    Based on the Warrick’s set of retrograde beliefs, you are not required to take orders from a female superior officer and may not attend classes taught by females. Pretty neat deal.

  22. Richard

    Glad to see the Academy admit the mistake and apologize over the Christmas Shoe Box proselytizing. By the way, I think the shoe box idea is great and have purchased a few bucks worth of non-perishable candy, mittens, and other stuff. I will be sending through the Samaritan’s Purse Organization, which is the proper means of delivery. As a private Christian organization, they can include whatever religious message they choose and may proselytize their little hearts out. Of course messages that are offensive to certain other religious groups will not achieve the desireed good will effect.

    Also I’d like to mention to JD and Frankie that this proof you keep asking for as to the horrible proselytizing conditions at the AFA are mainly contained in the confidential correspondence MRFF has received. Their confidentiality cannot be violated because of the obvious repercussions. Thier content is, however, enough to turn my stomach. I can testify to their existence and content. So you may either believe me or not.

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  26. No Kool Aid Zone

    You can read some of my replies to other postings to figure out what my personal belief structure entails, but in a nutshell, Humanist and Secular. Having stated that, I have to wonder if the Air Force is like the Army in that once a Commander has put his signature on the approval line, it is therefore available to all in his/her chain of command and that as such, unless specific guidance is given to all subordinate commanders to make known that each and every service member that falls under their command authority is to be briefed in depth then why is anyone really concerned that it is not made publicly available by email or posting to the available service members? I mean, really, what is the point if once a General has signed a document with his guidance upon it, it is available under the Commanders policy letters which are an inspectable item under every service Inspector General audits. It is there and available.

    What I find truly atrocious however, is the fact that these alleged warriors, professional service members are so willing to involve civilian organizations in their own cowardice. They do not have the intestinal fortitude to use the system in which they serve, they send emails to organizations who have absolutely no authority or UCMJ power. It is a disgusting display of selfish service when Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers instantly send email outside the system when they have not exhausted the avenues available to them. Their is a reason why “Dominionist Christians” are so pervasive throughout the military as is alleged, it is because they use the system that is in place when the side who wishes to check it could just as easily use that same system to do so. I shudder to think where our armed forces will be when we no longer have leaders who are versed in our codes and honors and instead seek inconsequential organizations who are dedicated not to our well being but generating the negative publicity that counters the good works of my fellow non-believers, those who do the right thing, their duty and insure that the needs of ALL those they are sworn to lead are met.

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