President Obama’s Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has been doing interviews to hawk his book, Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon, and spoke with the Military Times in September. In the interview he explained away the complexities, morality, and responsibility of some of the key DoD decisions with the simple “we had no choice.”
On the continuing presence of US troops in Afghanistan [emphasis added]:
I really do believe we’ve been on the best course, and the only course available to us.
On integrating women in combat arms within the US military [emphasis added]: Read more
Sometimes lost in the “scandals” regarding religion in the US military is the fact that religion is still practiced frequently, and freely, by US troops around the world.
For example, in a variety of locations the US military supported Christmas celebrations, operations, and events. Notably, the camera often pointed away from some of the more direct Christmas iconography — but it was there.
Such discretion apparently wasn’t necessary for the worldwide celebration of Hanukkah, in which US troops were photographed celebrating the Jewish holiday from Japan to Afghanistan. Yes, even though Read more
A member of the US military wrote an article published online noting he was an Army Captain and Christian — and yet he opposed the existence of the Bladensburg Peace Cross:
My name is CPT Justin M. Lienhard…I am absolutely opposed to any public funds being used to support any religious institutions or beliefs. The Bladensburg cross at the heart of the ongoing Supreme Court battle is an example of exactly that, and it doesn’t represent my service, nor the service of the many people I worked alongside…
I am an avowed Christian. I know that Jesus is my lord savior.
Lienhard’s article is not compelling — and it’s also not entirely forthright.
First, he gives a passionate critique of several strawmen. The Bladensburg Peace Cross has nothing to do with “public funds [supporting] religious institutions or beliefs” — despite his categorical claim it was “exactly that.” He writes about not “march[ing] as a Christian army,” which has nothing to do with the Peace Cross — or just about anything else. Further, contrary to his passionate claim, the Bladensburg Peace Cross wasn’t erected to represent his service, nor honor all veterans. It was erected with the use of private funds to honor the families of 49 local citizens who were killed in World War I. That he would somehow personalize their memorial changes its meaning not one whit.
It is interesting that a US Army Captain would Read more
CBN News recently published a list of “5 Must-See Christian Movies Coming Out This Fall,” and three of those five share a military theme.
Two have already been discussed: Unbroken: Path to Redemption (Sep 14) picks up the story of Louis Zamperini where Unbroken left off. Indivisible (Oct 26) will chronicle the true story of US Army Chaplain Darren Turner.
The third is God Bless the Broken Road (Sep 7), which follows Read more
US Air Force MSgt Maria Breceda is a member of the 161st Air Refueling Wing, which flies the venerable KC-135. Her son was recently deployed to Afghanistan as an airborne infantryman with the 25th Infantry Division. An Air Force article documents how her prayerful concern affected her son’s deployment:
“Even though we have a family legacy of serving in the military, I said a prayer every day to keep a watchful eye over my son Michael and the members of his unit.”
Over the next few weeks she learned just how her prayers had been answered: Read more
At Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, US Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Dariusz Barna prayed with the ground and flight crews of South Dakota Air National Guard F-16s — and then sprinkled Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein bristles at accusations his organization is “anti-Christian”, despite a deep well of examples to bolster that characterization. To defend himself, Weinstein frequently touts the unsupported — and irrelevant — claim that “96% of his clients” and many of his friends and family are Christians. He and his research assistant, Chris Rodda, are also quick to tout instances in which the MRFF (says it) has defended Christians to rebut the accusation it spends all of its time attacking Christians, and Christians alone.
To that point, the MRFF recently said it had “assist[ed] [a] senior Christian military chaplain” with regard to a complaint that arose as a result of his chapel sermon. As published by the MRFF [emphasis added]:
A senior active duty Christian Military Chaplain [sic] contacted MRFF President/Founder Mikey Weinstein for assistance in responding to an investigation initiated after a sermon he preached during a worship service at his military base chapel. This investigation resulted from…complaints levied by a congregation member alleging Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Contempt for the President of the United States based on the content of this MRFF client’s sermon.
Briefly, the Navy chaplain declined Read more
Former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen (Ret) Norton Schwartz was on a book tour recently, having recently completed his “Journey: Memoirs of an Air Force Chief of Staff.” In an interview supporting the tour and a local book signing, the writing journalist focused on two things.
First, the state of the military as it relates to Iraq, Afghanistan, and future conflict: Read more