SSgt Abdul Rahman Gaitan has become the first US Air Force Airman to obtain a religious exemption to grow a beard in uniform:
The biggest challenge yet, was getting approval for his shaving waiver from Air Force Headquarters. This required endorsement by the unit commander, base chaplain, installation commander up to the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel Division. This process took Gaitan almost four years to accomplish.
Interestingly, the article explains Gaitan was actually Catholic, but he apparently became disenchanted with the lack of authenticity in the liturgical faith — and he was drawn to the seeming sincerity of Islam he saw in locals while stationed in Turkey.
With the beard openly displaying his religion, Gaitan says Read more
Retired US Air Force General Roger Brady made some waves in 2005 when he led an investigation of the US Air Force Academy’s religious climate. Much to some activists’ dismay, the report said there were some issues and perceptions, but there was not a systemic or institutional religious problem at USAFA. (Gen Brady also famously criticized Airmen who contacted their congressmen — an explicitly protected form of communication within the military.)
General Brady was interviewed recently by Christianity Today on faith and the military in a Veterans’ Day article that led off noting the recent “controversy” surrounding Air Force BGen John Teichert — as initiated by “former Air Force Captain and activist attorney Mikey Weinstein“.
The interview was highlighted by the Baptist Joint Committee — a liberal leaning group — as having “both some troubling and some heartening perspectives and insights.” That seems accurate, as Gen Brady says thing both sides of the religious liberty debate will support and oppose. In fact, in just two sentences he managed to hit both sides of the fence [emphasis added]: Read more
US Army Chaplain Timothy Mallard…gives the benediction at Suresnes American Cemetery to honor the centennial of Armistice Day, Paris, France, Nov. 11, 2018.
More from the USS Wasp, as US Marines participate in a “renewal of faith and baptism” ceremony while afloat.
Because faith and religious liberty don’t Read more
The Naming Ceremony — long a fighter pilot tradition — has apparently wound its way into the earliest stages of a pilot’s career. A Naming Ceremony for student pilots at Laughlin AFB, Texas, ultimately contributed to a squadron commander, group commander, and wing commander getting fired:
In a rare action, the Air Force said Wednesday it had relieved three commanders at Laughlin AFB in Del Rio.
The move came in the wake of incidents in the past year that included a female pilot being given a vulgar name during a drinking ritual and another Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s veritable public relations officer, Pam Zubeck of the CSIndy, published an article late yesterday claiming a cadet at the US Air Force Academy said something and another cadet didn’t like it.
And that’s about it.
The incident isn’t explained fully in any one paragraph within the article, but putting the pieces together it appears upperclass cadets at a lunch meal are alleged to have said:
The 11 Jews murdered [in Pittsburgh] would now be burning in hell forever because none of them had accepted Jesus as their savior prior to being shot and killed.
A first year (Fourth Class) cadet who is Jewish apparently Read more
Liberty University, one of the largest private schools in the country and the “world’s premier Christian university”, was named “best for vets” in Military.com’s 2019 rankings for online and nontraditional schools: Read more
Yesterday the Duffel Blog — a military-themed site in the flavor of the satirical Onion — announced that the US Air Force had removed baptism as a requirement for graduation from basic training:
The Air Force announced today that it would no longer require recruits to become baptized Christians in order to graduate basic training following yet another bout of criticism over bias from Air Force leaders who identify as evangelicals…
“The Air Force Academy…has outsourced all science and engineering classes to Focus on the Family,” said MRFF President Mikey Weinstein…“We’ve got a generation of aviators and potential astronauts who think that gravity is the devil trying to suck them down into hell and that Elijah’s magic chariot dust is what propels them into the air.”
Now, it’s clear to everyone else that the Duffel Blog is mocking Mikey’s continuous — and vastly overblown — accusations that the Air Force is secretly turning into an evangelical church. But it is unlikely Weinstein Read more