US Army General Vincent Brooks was recently nominated by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to command US Forces-Korea:
U.S. Forces Korea “is part of U.S. Pacific Command, but is a major political military command, a place where we need our very best, and Vince is that, and also an officer with tremendous operational and managerial experience,” Carter said.
Carter said the Asia-Pacific is “the single most consequential region of the world for America’s future.”
More notable to most people was the simultaneous nomination of Gen Lori Robinson to lead NORTHCOM, which would make her the first woman to command a combatant command.
Gen Brooks’ nomination is notable mostly because Michael “Mikey” Weinstein previously demanded the General’s court-martial — not just once, but twice.
In 2007, Gen Brooks Read more
One of the oldest and most well-known non-traditional religious groups in the US military is the pagan group on the US Army post at Fort Hood, Texas. In 1999, George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and soon to be US President, famously criticized the US military’s openness toward wiccan practices at Fort Hood.
The “Fort Hood Open Circle” entered the news again recently when Michele Morris, the group’s self-described clergy and Designated Faith Group Leader (DFGL), posted an “open letter” on Facebook decrying their mistreatment in the face of “privilege” (which she clarified as “Christian privilege” in another interview) [emphasis added]:
My congregation was locked out of their church last night. It wasn’t the first time, or the second, in fact – I’ve lost count of how many times this has happened over the last six years…Last night was three hours outside, an entire congregation milling around, angry, scared, frustrated, defeated, and discouraged…
The last six years…have been a dizzying roller coaster of harassment and neglect relieved by brief moments of support and underpinned by the soul killer that we proudly call “tolerance”.
Morris went on to list a veritable bevy of grievances. It was unclear at Read more
Chaplain (Capt) Emil Kapaun was memorialized with a monument at Camp Walker, South Korea, in December.
After decades of efforts, President Obama presented Read more
SrA Kayla Dale talks with other participants in the gay pride parade, June 7, 2014, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. (USAF photo, SSgt Jake Barreiro)
The 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs ran an interesting human interest story on Senior Airman Kayla Dale, describing how she escaped the “dark realities of inner-city Chicago” to become an Air Force Airman.
Perhaps as a result of the June celebration of “LGBT pride” in the DoD, the article highlights sexuality, noting she is a “double minority” as an “African-American lesbian.” The article even quotes her Aunt — and takes the time to point out that she, too, is a lesbian.
More interesting, however, is that Dale notes her personal conflict between religious belief and sexuality: Read more
Chaplains (Cmdr) John Owen shows the contents of a chaplain field kit to Republic of Korea Marine Corps chaplains…(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Matthew Manning)
A group of US military chaplains exchanged ideas with their Korean counterparts during MEFEX 14 in South Korea. The article notes that the Koreans have chaplains, too, but apparently are most comfortable in the chapel setting. They were interested in learning how the US chaplains performed ministry in the field: Read more
An official Army article highlights the story of Sgt Peter Adams, an ordained minister working on his Masters in Divinity, recently accepted as a chaplain’s candidate:
Prior to enlisting in the Army, Adams was ordained as a minister at the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in Springfield, Mo. Once he enlisted, he received orders to South Korea…
Read more about Sgt Adams’ story. Read more
Sung Joon Jang is a faculty member at Baylor University and was the featured speaker at the Austin, TX, Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. He grew up in his native Korea, where he fulfilled his mandatory military service:
“My dad was an atheist…and since I was young, I heard, ‘There is no God,’ and that religion was for feeble-minded people – at best,” Jang told the audience.
But his conversion to Christianity came while serving his country.
“My conversion happened in the military,” Jang said of his mandatory service in the Korean Army. A fellow military member approached him and asked him whether he had read the Bible.
He said he had responded, “I will read the Bible and tell you what’s wrong with the Bible…”
Jang said he read the New Testament and Read more
The Stars and Stripes highlights the issues with open homosexuals trying to obtain official status while serving with US forces in Korea:
Romel Ballesteros can drive on post, drop his sons off at school, sign in guests and use the bank. But he can’t put gas in the family car or shop for groceries.
The stay-at-home father of two won’t even be allowed to watch his sons visit Santa Claus at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan’s post exchange during the Christmas season.
Ballesteros is married to a man…
The article seems to imply the US military is to blame: Read more