Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley will be the graduation speaker at the 29 May graduation of the USAFA Class of 2013. President Obama is scheduled to speak at the US Naval Academy graduation on 24 May 2013. (Neither event will have the traditional fly-over or airshow.) It does not appear the West Point speaker has been announced, though the Secretary of Defense is frequently one of the speakers.
Gruenther was a pilot with the 555th Fighter Squadron in Aviano Air Base, Italy, when the Air Force lost contact with him during a training mission over the Adriatic Sea, Jan. 28. Three days later, Gruenther’s body was recovered.
As Welsh told the story of Gruenther, eyes welled with tears in the audience.
“About 1,000 folks showed up to the memorial of Gruenther,” Welsh said. “As the missing man formation passed the memorial, Gruenther’s family got to wave on, saying a final goodbye to their son, husband and wingman. I like to think that Gruenther kept pulling up on the formation and touched the face of God.”
Gruenther’s wife went on to give birth to a baby girl the very next day.
Aviano Air Base held a memorial for Maj Lucas “Gaza” Gruenther, the US Air Force fighter pilot killed when his F-16 crashed last week. Nearly 1,200 people attended, including senior Air Force leaders and Italian dignitaries.
During the memorial service, many spoke of his inspiring nature and enthusiastic spirit, recalling his selfless and admirable qualities that he exemplified in his everyday life.
Gruenther had already been selected for Major, though he had Read more…
A US Army article previously described an effort to help the Afghans by “turning swords into plowshares,” a potentially inadvertent reference to Isaiah 2:4. While the text of the Bible is not as well-known as it may have once been, it is interesting to see where the American culture makes (even unknowing) Biblical references.
From Fox News:
From the American Family Association:
“The Air Force and its Secretary, Michael B. Donley, have created the most hostile “anti-religious” environment in the history of the United States military.”
The Air Force’s decision to remove the Bible from the standard checklist for its military lodging facilities continues to get press (much to the chagrin of Michael Weinstein, who wasn’t involved in this story but has been trying to sensationalize another one).
The decision came after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation demanded in a March 27 letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz that the service stop using the document on the grounds that it violates the U.S. Constitution.
The Air Force responded to Weinstein’s complaint by saying the coursework would have been withdrawn in this summer’s scheduled curriculum review anyway, as it has already been removed from the in-residence course the correspondence version mimics.
Weinstein was quick to claim “victory” Read more…
US Representative Randy Forbes (R-Va) has written a letter (PDF) signed by 35 members of the House asking the Air Force restore a unit’s motto that was changed after an atheist’s complaint. The incident to which Rep Forbes is referring was actually first reported on ChristianFighterPilot.com, with the Religion Clause and the ADF Alliance Alert subsequently citing this site.
As noted three weeks ago, the USAF Rapid Capabilities Office responded to “needling” from former Army Captain Jason Torpy, an atheist, and changed its motto from “Doing God’s work with other people’s money” to “Doing miracles with other people’s money.”
The letter, addressed to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz, says:
It has come to our attention that the US Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) has modified the logo on its official patch to remove its reference to “God,” following a complaint from Read more…
The US military academies appear to have hammered out their graduation speakers for this year:
- President Obama will reportedly address the US Coast Guard Academy graduation.
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will take the US Naval Academy at Annapolis.
- Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley will speak at USAFA’s graduation.
- CJCS Admiral Mike Mullen will address the US Military Academy at West Point.
The top military leadership speaks at the military academy graduations on a rotating basis. For those keeping count, Obama has already spoken at Annapolis, West Point, and now the Coast Guard academy, so if tradition holds he will address USAFA next year.
Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz and Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley have reportedly called for a new bomber to be added to the fleet. The goal would be for it to work in a variety of regimes (asymmetric to conventional to nuclear) and the aircraft would be “optionally manned.”
The Air Force currently relies on a very small number of B-2s, an ever-aging number of B-52s, and the B-1.