Tag Archives: naval academy

Civilian Pastor Leads Midshipmen, Faculty at Annapolis

The US Naval Academy has an interesting arrangement in which a civilian pastor is officially part of the chapel staff to minister to faculty and midshipmen. That position is now filled by Bart Physioc:

Physioc fills a unique position in a congregation that encompasses active duty and retired military, civilians and staff. Because Navy chaplains have responsibilities that limit their ability to pastor the whole church, Physioc helps cover visitations and ministers to and disciples the members.

He isn’t new to the military, however. It turns out Pastor Physioc is actually retired US Army Chaplain (Col) Physioc, with 25 years of service that ended just in 2014.

Chaplain Physioc wasn’t Read more

Does the Air Force Academy get more pilot slots?

The likelihood of getting a pilot slot is dependent upon how many pilots the Air Force needs. Several years ago the Air Force had a pilot “excess,” rather than “shortage.” As a result, they culled their applicants with requirements for 20/20 vision, and they also favored USAFA graduates, which was one of the benefits of Academy attendance. Now, though, the Air Force has had such a need for pilots in recent years that virtually anyone (Academy, ROTC, OTS) who has wanted to get a slot could, assuming they were somewhat medically qualified. That may not always be the case. Like most things in the military, it will probably be cyclical.

Statistically speaking, the US Air Force Academy has more pilot slots than the US Naval Academy.

US Naval Academy Midshipman Laments Mealtime Prayers

A US Naval Academy midshipman (cadet) recently took to the internet to complain about Annapolis’ tradition of noon mealtime prayers. (This daily tradition has been under routine attack almost annually, often from the ACLU.)  With emphasis added:

Every day the entire brigade of midshipmen congregates in our massive dining hall for lunch, and every day one of the chaplains gets up in front of everyone and says a prayer before the meal. Most of the time it’s a Christian chaplain from some denomination or another, but usually once a week there’s a Jewish chaplain.

I guess there’s really nothing wrong with it, since I don’t have to pray if I don’t want to, but it is incredibly annoying when you just want to eat your lunch and get on with the day. It doesn’t help that some of the chaplains (especially the Jewish ones, for whatever reason) are incredibly long-winded.

Something occurred to me the other day during prayer. As usual, I wasn’t bowing my head, but was instead looking around at the rest of the midshipmen, the majority of whom are religious. It occurred to me that there’s just something incredibly servile about seeing 4000-odd otherwise intelligent people all bowing their heads in unison. To me, the act of bowing your head is saying in body language that you’re not good enough on your own and you can’t do anything without the help of whatever higher power you happen to believe in. I’m generally not an angry atheist; I like to live and let live, but every time I see that, I become an incredibly angry atheist for a brief moment.

Every cadet is allowed to grouse, of course. It’s practically required to survive four years at any of the US military’s service academies.

The disturbing thing Read more

Baptists Focus on Military Chaplaincy

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Spring 2014 “Southwestern News” contained a few fascinating articles on the military chaplaincy. The cover, almost ironically, is a uniformed Navy officer holding a cross-emblazoned Bible with the graphic “in Jesus’ Name” in the center.

The subject of the cover is Commander Carey Cash who, as a Navy Lieutenant, wrote A Table in the Presence and would later serve as the chaplain for the Presidential retreat at Camp David. (His service at Camp David was criticized by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s group that attacks members of the Christian faith in the military, with Weinstein saying the President should “publicly punish” Chaplain Cash.)

Noting his service in Kuwait just prior to the Iraq war, Cash was able to capitalize on the “ministry of presence” unique to the military chaplaincy:

During those 40 days and nights, Cash conducted classes and counseled
daily with Marines as they wrestled with the claims of Christ on their lives. Just before crossing into combat, they baptized Read more

Military Academies Have Highest Paid Graduates

As reported at CNN, PayScale.com claims that the US Naval Academy and US Military Academy have the 2nd and 7th highest paid graduates, respectively.  They also had the highest starting salaries.

The highest starting salaries were claimed by graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy and West Point at $77,100 and $74,000, respectively. But those figures were typically for jobs taken after grads served five years of required military service post-graduation, said Bardaro. Also boosting pay: Military academies typically feature strong engineering programs, and grads can gain crucial work experience during their service years, she said.

Given that those salaries are greater than an O-1’s pay, the premise appears to be based on salaries after the mandatory 5-year military service commitment.

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Humanists Denied Wedding in Naval Academy Chapel

Former Army Captain and current atheist Jason Torpy is keeping busy.  While currently claiming to act as the endorsing agent for a proposed humanist chaplain, he’s also trying to act as an officiant for a humanist wedding at the US Naval Academy.  The only problem for the “Reverend” Torpy: Annapolis reserves its Christian chapel for Christian ceremonies.

Jennifer Erickson, an academy spokeswoman, said in an email that the Naval Academy Chapel is a religious venue that has been used for Protestant and Catholic services since its dedication in 1908.

“The chapel contains permanent Christian architectural features that make it inappropriate for non-Christian or non-religious wedding ceremonies,” Erickson wrote in response to questions about the request. “For requests involving non-Christian and non-religious wedding ceremonies, the Naval Academy offers alternative venues, such as the non-denominational chapel and the Naval Academy Club.”

Because the Christian chapel has unmatched “grandeur” — including the crypt of famed seaman John Paul Jones — the humanists complain that nothing else will do.  The non-theists apparently admire theistic architecture.

To be clear, there are several chapels at Annapolis, including a Jewish Read more

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