Tag Archives: protestant

US Military Updates Recognized Faith Groups, with Some Controversy

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 —┬áincluding “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

Navy Boot Camp Reinstates Some Chapel Services

The Navy Recruit Training Command has reportedly allowed some civilians to return to the base to lead religious services for recruits. Not all of the previously banned leaders were allowed to return as religious leaders because, according to the Navy, uniformed leaders were found instead — which the Navy said met the priority guidance on who was supposed to help lead services:

Following the sudden dismissal of a half-dozen religious leaders last month, commanders at the Great Lakes naval training center began the process Thursday of inviting back civilian volunteers to serve recruits who are Unitarian Universalists, Baha’is, Buddhists and Christian Scientists.

In the meantime, a spokesman said, the Navy Read more

Navy Cancels Some Boot Camp Chapel Services

In early April, the Navy commander of Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes — the basic training site for all incoming Sailors — told civilian volunteers they were no longer permitted to conduct religious services for recruits.

On the orders of Capt. Doug Pfeifle, the commanding officer of RTC, civilian volunteers for seven minority religious communities have been asked to stop conducting services.

An RTC official who spoke on background said the volunteers were asked to leave in accordance with Navy guidance, which stipulates that a uniformed chaplain or a religiously accredited military member should conduct the service before the service pursues other avenues.

Viewed optimistically, it appears to be a sincere action poorly executed or communicated. It seems the volunteer system had “gotten away from” the RTC leadership, and they found themselves unable to justify the program under Navy guidelines. It seems the RTC program was suffering from some logistical issues, including a formal way to control who could and could not conduct recruit services.

To be clear, the US military is not Read more