Official releases documented the trip of US Air Force Chief of Chaplains (MajGen) Dondi Costin to South Korea last month:
Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Dondi Costin, the U.S. Air Force Chief of Chaplains, and more than a dozen Air Force chaplains and chaplain assistants from U.S. Pacific Air Forces spent time with U.S. Airmen and their South Korean counterparts in a weeklong long visit to Daegu Korea.
The chaplains and their assistants worked Read more
Chaplain (Maj) Kenneth DeVoie is the Wing Chaplain of the 104th Fighter Wing, which flies F-15s out of Massachusetts. He recently spent a year in Korea as the Command Chaplain for Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR) in Seoul. While his story is interesting, this paragraph stands out:
This Spiritual Guide credits some of his ability to succeed in that environment back to his experience working with the F-15 Fighter Jet pilots here at the 104th Fighter Wing.
“I think Read more
MajGen Tammy Smith, 8th Army deputy commander for sustainment, is often lauded as the “first openly gay general” in the US military. She recently spoke at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea, on the topic of sexuality:
The U.S. military’s first openly gay general says advances in granting rights to the military’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have increased the ability “to fight tonight” in South Korea.
Gen Smith’s reasoning essentially says there are so few potential service members in American society that everybody has to be allowed to serve — even if they’re homosexual. She does not appear to address the many other exclusions that prevent “talent” from entering the military, like criminal records, drug use, etc.
Interestingly, the article referenced since-deleted “negative comments” on the Garrison’s Facebook page in response to her speaking in favor of homosexuality: Read more
An interesting panel was recently held in Korea that commemorated — and attempted to correct the history on — Operation Kiddy Car, the US military’s evacuation of thousands of Korean orphans during the Korean War.
The operation and the autobiography by Dean Hess have been previously discussed, again when Hess died in 2015. The recent panel was held to try to re-emphasize the role of Chaplain (Col) Russell Blaisdell, whose role some feel has been unfairly ignored:
Blaisdell, his assistant Staff Sgt. Merle (Mike) Strang and South Korean social workers collected children from the streets and “saved many orphans from near-certain death,” according to an Air Force account of the operation…
Blaisdell…persuaded Col. T.C. Rogers — the unit’s director of operations and Read more
At Osan Air Base, Korea, SSgt Mario Tomasello stands in front of the 36th Fighter Squadron “Flying Fiends” patch board, where fighter pilots leave their nametags as they move on to other assignments.
In the background, note a nametag is inverted: Read more
The US Navy posted a fascinating story about Commander Fleet Activities Chinhae, the only US Naval installation on Asia’s mainland, as its chapel program began live-streaming services to help serve Sailors, Marines, and their families posted to Korea:
“I think it is great,” said Johnna Johnson, ombudsman for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. “Chinhae is one-hour away from Busan, and it is challenging for families to drive there, so this is a fantastic service. Nothing beats the fellowship of being there in person, but this is an amazing next best thing.”
In an era in which streaming church services is Read more
Despite a complaint by the perpetually-offended anti-Christian Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, the US Army has said there was nothing wrong with a Bible being displayed on a POW/MIA table during an Army ball, because it was a private event:
“The individuals that participated in the ball have the right to express themselves as U.S. citizens under the First Amendment,” Lt. Col. Catina Barnes-Ricks, an 8th Army spokesman, said Monday in an email.
The statement went on to say they reminded Soldiers not to endorse religion: Read more
Update: The US Army later vaguely said it was “looking into” the complaint, though no complaint had been filed.
A US Army Soldier was “completely flabbergasted” that the POW/MIA ceremony at the Adjutant General’s Corps Regimental Association ball in South Korea included a Bible:
During the toast portion of the event, soldiers stationed throughout the crowd brought forward items used to construct the missing man table…
As the soldiers came forward, they briefly spoke about their item’s significance, the anonymous soldier said. The last of the items brought forward was a Bible.
The soldier who brought it forward talked about “strength through faith, and reminding us that we were founded as one nation under God,” the attendee said.
According to the article, the anonymous Soldier said Read more