Petty Officer 3rd Class Eduardo Otero is a US Navy Sailor and an atheist, as he describes in a uniquely toned article entitled “Not Applicable: The Story of an Atheist, a Navy Chaplain and a Search for Hope.” Otero, a Navy “mass communication specialist” (essentially a public affairs officer), wrote the article in a staccato future perfect tense — making it seem at times like an odd trip down a future memory lane that is unsure of its own footing.
Ultimately, it boils down to PO3 Otero desiring counseling from a chaplain, and he met with a Catholic priest, Chaplain (LTjg) Jason Burchell.
And that’s really about it. The article eventually becomes a “chaplain 101” story in which Otero seems to have transitioned his counseling into interviews with his chaplain, both personally and professionally.
Some of what Otero cites might seem like fodder for Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s crusade against Read more
The US military has approved the awarding of a Silver Star to Father Aloysius Schmitt, a Catholic chaplain who was aboard the USS Oklahoma when it was struck and capsized during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. More than 400 Sailors perished. Chaplain (LTjg) Schmitt is reported to have helped several men through their only means of escape — a porthole — and when it appeared he might get stuck in the porthole, declined the opportunity to escape himself, allowing others to live.
The Oklahoma was righted in 1943, and Read more
A county-run animal shelter’s annual “Blessing of the Animals” is the subject of a federal lawsuit filed by American Atheists in New Jersey. As noted at the Religion Clause:
The complaint in American Atheists, Inc. v. Bergen County, objects to the use of public resources and employee time to promote and host a ritual that is performed by Franciscan clergy annually in honor of St. Francis of Assissi.
A member of the American Atheists — who knew about the blessing ceremony in advance — happened to show up in person (to adopt a pet, of course) just as the ceremony was occurring. Just in time to very conveniently be offended.
While a county pet shelter may not seem relevant to the US military, the contrived Read more
The US Air Force Academy announced that the racial slurs written on message boards at the USAFA Prep School in September were written by one of the supposedly targeted black cadets [emphasis added]:
In a written statement Tuesday, the academy said, “We can confirm that one of the cadet candidates who was allegedly targeted by racist remarks written outside of their dorm room was actually responsible for the act. The individual admitted responsibility and this was validated by the investigation.”
Even at the time a few people cautiously wondered if the incident was too “obvious” to be true, particularly in light of the other racial incidents going Read more
Over the past couple of years a group of self-described atheists and humanists has been hosting an alternative Sunday service for trainees at Air Force basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX. The effort was largely led by Victoria Gettman, a former US Army Sergeant on whose behalf Michael “Mikey” Weinstein once promised (and, predictably, failed to deliver) an “aggressive” federal lawsuit.
Gettman and her cadre have been lauding the attendance numbers at their non-theistic weekly gathering — including the fact it has now reached 1,000, the maximum capacity of the venue granted by the Air Force, meaning they have to turn trainees away. But Gettman’s explanation has an interesting caveat [emphasis added]: Read more
The website over at SOFREP claims to have access to one-of-a-kind photographs from the early days of the US Army’s Delta Team via George E. Hand IV, a SOFREP and one time Delta operator. The photograph above is from 1980 — when a then-unknown Army officer led 100 unknown Delta Force operators in prayer prior to a major operation.
From their description: Read more
After years of defending the non-governmental Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a “valuable resource,” the Department of Defense has finally scrubbed the left-wing activist organization’s resources from its training materials:
Brian J. Field, assistant U.S. attorney from the Civil Division, stated that the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity removed any and all references to the SPLC in training materials used by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), in an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation from the Department of Justice.
Controversy arose in late 2013 and early 2014 when Read more
In a widely reported incident, US Air Force Academy Superintendent LtGen Jay “Tonto”* Silveria took to the staff tower at the cadet dining hall (Mitchell Hall) to tell USAFA cadets that racial slurs had been written on message boards at the nearby Academy Preparatory School, essentially a junior college for those who will eventually join the Air Force Academy.
In a five minute speech in which he notes hundreds of staff and faculty are lining the walls, LtGen Silveria eventually boiled it down to a simple statement:
If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.
Then he walked away.
That’s a call with which anyone can agree. Treating a Read more