The US Navy celebrated its birthday at its service academy in Annapolis with a worship service in the US Naval Academy chapel:
The worship service reflected several religious traditions from those participating in the service and included remarks from Vice Adm. Walter E. Carter, Jr., Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, and Chief of Navy Chaplains Rear Adm. Margaret Grun Kibben. Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens also attended and participated in the scripture reading.
Chaplain Kibben called for courage: Read more
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 Read more
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will deliver the commencement address at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Read more
President Obama will deliver the commencement address at the US Military Academy this year.
More than 1,000 cadets are expected to graduate and be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army after completing their 47-month leadership experience, and the president looks forward to addressing these outstanding graduates,” [White House] spokesman Keith Maley said.
Vice President Biden will give the address at the US Air Force Academy.
Traditionally, the President and several other key military leaders rotate among the service academies. He spoke at USAFA in 2012 and Annapolis in 2013.
Former Army Captain and current atheist Jason Torpy is keeping busy. While currently claiming to act as the endorsing agent for a proposed humanist chaplain, he’s also trying to act as an officiant for a humanist wedding at the US Naval Academy. The only problem for the “Reverend” Torpy: Annapolis reserves its Christian chapel for Christian ceremonies.
Jennifer Erickson, an academy spokeswoman, said in an email that the Naval Academy Chapel is a religious venue that has been used for Protestant and Catholic services since its dedication in 1908.
“The chapel contains permanent Christian architectural features that make it inappropriate for non-Christian or non-religious wedding ceremonies,” Erickson wrote in response to questions about the request. “For requests involving non-Christian and non-religious wedding ceremonies, the Naval Academy offers alternative venues, such as the non-denominational chapel and the Naval Academy Club.”
Because the Christian chapel has unmatched “grandeur” — including the crypt of famed seaman John Paul Jones — the humanists complain that nothing else will do. The non-theists apparently admire theistic architecture.
To be clear, there are several chapels at Annapolis, including a Jewish Read more
The US military academies ranked high on the Forbes list of America’s Top Colleges:
Ranked at No. 7, the U.S. Military Academy beat out all the other service academies — as well as Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology…
The U.S. Naval Academy was ranked No. 28, followed closely by the U.S. Air Force Academy at No. 31. Forbes slotted the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at No. 94 and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at No. 165.
As noted in prior years, the academies routinely rank near the top of Princeton, Forbes, and US News annual lists of top universities (except when it comes to rankings for ‘best party school’).
Update: As reflected in official Air Force news releases.
Pentagon spokesman Nate Christensen stressed that the Defense Department celebrates religious diversity and that military personnel have the full right to exercise their religious beliefs, as long as doing so does not negatively affect the military’s mission or other individuals’ rights.
Tom Carpenter is a co-chair of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy — a group that advocated for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — a 1970 US Naval Academy graduate, and a former US Marine A-4 pilot. He recently came out against religious freedom legislation now supported by the endorsing bodies of the vast majority of US military chaplains. (Carpenter recently repeated near-verbatim atheist talking points rebutting some of the most recent claims of hostility toward religious freedom in the military.)
In apparent shock, Carpenter said, for example: Read more
The Chief of Navy Chaplains, Chaplain (RAdm) Mark L. Tidd, recently visited the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. With regard to the current environment, he made a point of saying chaplains can help in the fight against sexual assault.
Tidd’s training and conversations with Nimitz’ chaplains and leaders included sexual assault prevention and awareness guidance. According to Tidd, a chaplain’s confidential counseling can play a crucial part in the lives of sexual assault victims.
“A chaplain can confidentially help a victim determine how to proceed [and decide] whether to make a restricted report or an unrestricted report that can lead to an opportunity to bring people to justice,” said Tidd.
The article makes a side comment that would likely register with few:
Tidd also conducted the ship’s evening prayer Read more