Update: The Forum on the Military Chaplaincy — a homosexual advocacy group largely friendly to Mikey Weinstein’s mission — asked for input on this story on their Facebook page. Between the normal invective and banter were two significant comments:
From Chaplain Gil Richardson, who said:
Chaplains desiring to go through SFQC or Ranger School submit a request for exception to policy to conduct training with weapons thru a Chaplain Channels in order to attend the training. If approved for either course, the Chaplain endures the same hardships and challenges. If he graduates and is awarded the tab (in the case of SF Chaplains assigned to SF units, he also is awarded the Green Beret), then they do have much more credibility in the special units…
Back in the early and mid 90s, the [Ranger Training Brigade] Chaplain had to be “tabbed” (graduate of the school). A tabbed Chaplain understood firsthand the stresses of the course and had simply more credibility with students and cadre alike…
Once the training in either course is over, the exception to policy ends. Please do not confuse or equate training in an elite, challenging course with normal practice (no weapon when serving as a Chaplain).
From Chaplain Brian Hargis, who said:
This is an old post that continues to get republished. The last guy (Pete) graduated early 2014. In Jan 2015, SWCS put a stop to all Chaplains and PAs from attending SFAS and the Q Course. It was a waste of $500,000 to train men that would never use the skills.
These comments from two knowledgeable chaplains provide significant background to undermine Mikey Weinstein’s ludicrous calls for punishment of the chaplains.
Earlier in February, the US Army posted an article entitled “Special Forces Tab, Green Beret, SFQC — A vehicle for Chaplains,” in which it discussed three chaplains who have completed Army Special Forces training. Michael “Mikey” Weinstein — a self-declared advocate for military religious freedom — took issue in a formal complaint (PDF) to the Army [underlining original]: Read more