In 2012, then-US Army Major Ray Bradley complained that he was a humanist but was unable to put “humanist” in his military records as his “religion” in his military records (and reflected on his dog tags).
In 2014, the US Army added “humanist” to the list of faith codes.
In a new memo dated 27 March 2017 (PDF), the DoD Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs published a change that established standardized DoD-wide faith codes across the force — including “Humanist.”
For his part, Bradley had originally envisioned the recognition as the first step to achieving “lay leader” status as a humanist (with humanist “chaplain” to follow). That’s the same conclusion for which Jason Torpy pined when his MAAF reported on this new memo.
Kimberly Winston of the Religion News Service — sitting Read more
Stephen Boyd, the ecclesiastical endorser for the United Church of Christ (UCC), recently revealed that the US Air Force is actively seeking chaplains that are more friendly to homosexuals. Referring to Chaplain Robert Ward, an Air Force chaplain recruiter, Boyd said:
Chaplain Ward shared that the Air Force has come to realize that the Air Force Chaplain Corps cannot minister to all the men and women who wear the uniform. In the post-Don’t Ask Don’t Tell world and in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, chaplains who can openly serve the LGB community are scarce…
The Air Force has decided to intentionally recruit men and women from more progressive denominations to serve in the Air Force Chaplain Corps.
To that end, Boyd — who also supports the idea of atheist chaplains — said Ward had sent messages seeking recruiting opportunities to only 12 (of the “more than 200”) military chaplain endorsers: Those 12 had the correct “ecumenical/pluralistic spirit” and Read more
The Huffington Post had a photo collection “celebrat[ing] the religious diversity of the military” on Veteran’s Day. Their list:
The issue of US military chaplains being Messianic Jews boiled over several years ago. Ultimately, the Navy decided that a Messianic-Jewish chaplain-candidate had to wear the Christian cross as a religious symbol, rather than the Jewish tablets he wanted. He chose to resign instead, and no one else has stepped forward to continue the controversy.
Still, there are Messianic Jews within the military, and Chaplain David Frommer wrote about his experiences while deployed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, when he discovered that one of the half-dozen Jews in his congregation was Messianic.
one of the Jewish civilian contractors arrived with a personal box of Havdalah supplies, prepared to conduct the service on his own in the room across the hall. He was one of my favorite congregants and had enthusiastically participated in all the services and classes I had offered…“It’s so Read more
Senior Airman John Harris is a Messianic Jew who was deployed to the Middle East, but he still wanted to celebrate Sukkot. With the help of the deployed chaplains, including a Rabbi at a completely different base, he was able to get the support he needed.
“I spoke with the Chapel staff here and they put me in contact with a rabbi at (Joint Base Balad),” said Harris…
“It has been an unexpected joy for me to be able to Read more