Tag Archives: Navy

US Soldier Forced Out over Religion, Sues US Army

US Army Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers made waves last year when he said he faced retribution from the Army for political bumper stickers, reading conservative political books, and serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his promotion party after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Those controversies apparently boiled over into what the Army called a substandard performance evaluation (which MSgt Sommers contested). The poor evaluation triggered a review of his continued enlistment, and he was recommended for discharge — even as his other appeals were still being processed. Since he was eligible to retire, he was essentially forced to do so.

The day after he retired, he filed a lawsuit claiming he was forced out of the military due to his religious beliefs.

Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers, a 25-year veteran of the military and a decorated soloist in the U.S. Army Band Chorus, claims he was forcibly retired from the Army due to his religious and conservative political beliefs.

MSgt Sommers may have one of the stronger cases Continue reading

US Navy Gets First Female Chief of Chaplains

With the retirement of Rear Adm Mark Tidd, Rear Adm Margaret Kibben, formerly the US Navy’s Deputy Chief of Chaplains and Chief of Chaplains for the Marine Corps, was promoted to Rear Admiral (Upper Half) and assumed the position of Chief of Chaplains for the US Navy.

Both her promotion and assumption of duties marked a historic event for the Navy and its Chaplain Corps as Kibben became the first female chief of Navy chaplains and the first female Navy chaplain to hold the rank of rear admiral upper half.

As the new Chief Chaplain, RAdm Kibben, who is endorsed by the PC(USA), “pledged” to have her chaplains support service members and their families

so that they “grow spiritually, are certain of their moral and ethical foundations, and are free and able to exercise and enjoy a community of faith.”

Navy NCO Promotes “Gay pride” over “Twisted” Religious Dogma


US Navy Photo by MC3 Erik Foster

Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Tom Guest (an E-8, or senior enlisted Sailor, for those unfamiliar with Navy rank) spoke at a homosexual/transgender “pride” event on the underway USS Bataan on June 25th. His topic was “What Exactly Do We Mean by GAY PRIDE?

He provided a variety of potential answers, including

GAY PRIDE is about owning who we are, whether we are butch dykes, fem queens, or the always coveted “Straight Acting” gay.

Chief Guest also noted that the ship’s leadership had been supportive Continue reading

Klingenschmitt Wins Colorado GOP Primary

Gordon Klingenschmitt, the former Navy chaplain discharged over a controversy about “praying in Jesus’ Name,” has won the GOP primary for the US House of Representatives for the 15th District in Colorado.

Klingenschmitt expressed confidence in a November victory, as the district is heavily Republican — and also boasts a significant military population.

Klingenschmitt was also sued, unsuccessfully, by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his wife, Bonnie, over “imprecatory prayers.” Klingenschmitt sued the Weinsteins in return, claiming abuse of process and defamation. His suit survived dismissal last January, with the defamation claim being allowed to proceed.

US Navy Issues Ramadan Guidance in Bahrain

The US Navy is being accused of forcing civilians, Sailors, and their families to comply with Islam during the month of Ramadan. Pamela Geller, a well-known critic of “Islamization” and Islamic extremism, said

Our troops must adhere to the sharia during the Islamic month of Ramadan in Bahrain and other Muslim countries. Subjected to dawah (proselytizing) by a base Islamic cultural adviser at the Naval Support Activity, soldiers are forced to sit through lessons on Islam. No eating, drinking, alcohol, or smoking during the month of Ramadan…

US military are encouraged “to experience Iftar in a Ramadan tent.”

Why anyone who is not a Muslim must stop eating (except in secret) during Ramadan is another example of how Islamic supremacism. Unlike Jewish law which pertains only to Jews, and Canon law which pertains only to Christians, the Sharia asserts its totalitarian authority over non-Muslims.

While her characterization isn’t entirely accurate, it is Continue reading

Group Tries to Stoke Controversy over Atheist Chaplain

Update: Jason Torpy revived the issue enough to generate a Navy Times article, though it contained no new information.  In fact, a Navy official reiterated a point made below — even humanists can’t really put bounds on a definition of “humanism:”

“Humanism’s not a defined term across the country,” the official said. “There’s a group of Jewish Humanists. The Humanist Society was once the Humanist Society of Friends, a Quaker organization.”

The official, referring to Heap, continued: “I don’t know that he represents a religious organization by any accepted definition.”


Tom Carpenter, a former Marine pilot and one of the founders of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy — the homosexual advocacy group that lobbied for the repeal of DADT — has attacked the Navy chaplaincy for not approving the chaplaincy application of Jason Heap, a self-described non-theistic humanist. Tragically, if not predictably, Carpenter seems to base his attack on “evidence” that does not exist [emphasis added]:

…The Navy Chief of Chaplains rejected the application of Jason Heap, a highly qualified chaplain candidate who would have been the first Humanist military chaplain. All the evidence leads invariably to the conclusion this decision was based upon a Constitutionally prohibited “religious test.”

What public evidence is there the Navy rejected the application based on a “religious test?” None whatsoever.

Carpenter implies — repeatedly — the Navy Continue reading

Baptists Focus on Military Chaplaincy

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Spring 2014 “Southwestern News” contained a few fascinating articles on the military chaplaincy. The cover, almost ironically, is a uniformed Navy officer holding a cross-emblazoned Bible with the graphic “in Jesus’ Name” in the center.

The subject of the cover is Commander Carey Cash who, as a Navy Lieutenant, wrote A Table in the Presence and would later serve as the chaplain for the Presidential retreat at Camp David. (His service at Camp David was criticized by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s group that attacks members of the Christian faith in the military, with Weinstein saying the President should “publicly punish” Chaplain Cash.)

Noting his service in Kuwait just prior to the Iraq war, Cash was able to capitalize on the “ministry of presence” unique to the military chaplaincy:

During those 40 days and nights, Cash conducted classes and counseled
daily with Marines as they wrestled with the claims of Christ on their lives. Just before crossing into combat, they baptized Continue reading

US Navy Conducts Blessing of the Fleet

The US Navy conducted its annual “Blessing of the Fleet” last month, hosted by the US Navy Memorial.

The blessing of the fleet is a ceremony created centuries ago in Europe and is a common practice by Sailors and navies around the world intended to guard ships and crews from the hazards of the sea.

Sailors from the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard and Coast Guard Honor Guard poured water from the Seven Seas and the Great Lakes into the surrounding fountains, “charging” them to life and ushering in the spring season.

Ironically, while the US Navy has participated for the past 23 years, at least, an elementary school mock up of the same thing was canceled last year over the “separation of church and state” last year.

Mustache March: Tradition, Camaraderie, and IG Complaints

Update: General Welsh announced the Mustache March winners.  Retired Naval officer Sara Zak published her own commentary in the Air Force Times, calling it all a “setback for AF’s strong women.”  US Air Force Major Deirdre Gurry begged to differ in her Air Force Times column, saying she’s “proud to say that since World War II women have been invited to join” the military “boys’ club.”


Besides the Air Force Times letter written by the disgruntled female officer, it seems the attempt at a little fun by Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh generated some grief as well — including a concerted effort to get him fired:

Retired Navy Commander Sara Zak [sent] a complaint to the Air Force inspector general’s office, she asked that Welsh step down and rescind the challenge, saying the activity was “contrary to his Chief of Staff of the Air Force message to airmen he issued in January, [that] it perpetuated an environment conducive to sexual harassment, and that the Air Force should acknowledge [that] traditions that denigrate or fail to show proper respect to all airmen will not be accepted as part of the Air Force culture.”

Zak — whose retired Navy status makes her interest unclear — was pretty much told to pound sand, so she tried every other avenue she could think of:  Continue reading

DoD Identifies Marine Killed in F/A-18 Crash

The US Marine Corps has identified the pilot who was killed in the crash of his F/A-18C Hornet March 1st:

Captain Reid B. Nannen, 32, of Hopedale, Ill…died March 1 from injuries resulting from an F/A-18C Hornet crash on the Fallon Range Training Complex, approximately 70 miles east of Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev.

The reports also indicate Capt Nannen — “Eeyore” — was a TopGun student at Fallon; he was assigned to Iwakuni, Japan.

Captain Nannen was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on May 25, 2004…

Nannen is survived by his wife, Sarah Nannen, and their four children, as well as his parents, Dale and Mary Nannen.

You can contribute to a fund for Capt Nannen’s children here.

Capt Nannen’s youngest child had just been born a few weeks earlier.  He never had the chance to hold her.

Also at the Marine Corps Times.

In First, Navy to Deploy Secular Chaplains

The US Navy will soon be deploying 21 “Deployed Resiliency Counselors” (DRCs):

The counseling and support services provided by the DRC are preventative in nature, aimed at addressing life challenges such as adjustment to deployments, separation from friends and family, relationship and family issues, and other challenges to military life. The DRCs are also fully trained to provide an extra layer of support to any victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, assuring that there are no gaps in support services.

In addition, the DRC will provide psycho-educational training on a variety of topics as suicide prevention, stress reduction and substance abuse prevention.

That is, of course, essentially the role of military chaplains — without the provider having an officially religious background. The press release notes Continue reading

Cross-Dressing Airmen Party at Kadena (Video)

The Stars and Stripes covered a ‘drag fundraiser’ held at Kadena Air Base, Japan:

Servicemembers here may have been the first to take to the stage and perform as drag queens on a military installation in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender troops…

Six servicemembers — gay, lesbian and straight — donned heavy makeup to dance and lip sync songs…

(The previous drag show on a military base apparently did not include military members.)  Navy Lt. Marissa Greene, who helps lead the local chapter of the homosexual advocacy OutServe-SLDN at Kadena, reported she’d hoped to sell 75 tickets — and ended up selling 400.

It is a leap to assume that all 400 people were Continue reading

F/A-18C Crashes Supporting Top Gun

Update: The Navy announced the pilot died in the crash.  The name of the pilot has been withheld until 24 hours after notification of next-of-kin.


A US Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornet crashed on Saturday while supporting the Naval Strike and Warfare Center “Top Gun” course.

The Navy has issued several releases since then on the follow-up:

Initial reports from the scene indicate the aircraft is a total loss. It took Navy personnel several hours to reach the crash site as it was located in remote, rugged, mountainous terrain…

The reports say they are “continuing to search” for the pilot. Having located the aircraft, that is not a good omen.

Also at the Marine Corps Times, CNN, Christian Science Monitor, and the Stars and Stripes.