Tag Archives: Religion

Military Chaplains in High Demand

There has long been a shortage in Chaplains in the Guard and reserve, as previously noted.  The Stars and Stripes notes that reservists are currently in high demand, as they are activated to fill posts of Chaplains who are deployed downrange.

Said one such Chaplain, who had been activated multiple times over the past decades:

“[The soldiers] sought reassurance that they were there for the right purposes. A lot of them had religious questions about God — ‘What does God think about this?’ People wanted to be baptized. There are no atheists or agnostics in foxholes.”

Chaplains in Battle

The Baptist Press notes the story of Chaplain (Col) James White of the 10th Mountain Division,  

Fine sand and blinding dust swirled across the Iraqi desert, providing cover for U.S. Army soldiers to advance deeper into enemy terrain. The lead Humvee inched cautiously forward. The soldiers on point radioed to a support group behind them — and asked for a chaplain…

“We’re scared,” the soldiers told Chaplain White when he joined them. “Could you take a few minutes to pray with us?”  “We all knelt there in the sand and prayed,” said White…

Heading back to the support unit, White awaited the impending battle…[The soldiers] drove slowly forward — and suddenly met a Russian-built T-72 tank. The battle was on.

Chaplains serve a vital–and unique–role in our nation’s armed forces.

Colonel Cleared in Email Controversy

As noted at the Stars and Stripes, Col Kimberly Toney was cleared in the 3rd Air Force investigation of her email that linked to a video with religious content (hosted on a website with content allegedly hostile to the President) (previous discussion).

From the article:

“After a thorough consideration of the facts, the Third Air Force has concluded Colonel Toney acted inadvertently and unintentionally and did not willfully violate Air Force policy or (Equal Employment Opportunity) guidelines,” said Lt. Col. Dave Honchul, 3rd Air Force’s director of public affairs.

Notably, the article also notes that the Air Force received no complaints from servicemembers or civilians over the email.

Military Religious Freedom: The Torah in Iraq

The Air Force news published articles and pictures (see below the fold) of a Torah dedication ceremony in Balad, Iraq, on March 23rd, as well as the accompanying adult Bar Mitzvah of an enlisted Airmen.

Contrary to some assertions, such public displays of faith do not demonstrate an institutional favoritism of a religion (in this case, Judaism) by the military or by the government.  Such expressions–even in a region of the world that has elements hostile to both Judaism and America–are not only permitted but also encouraged, just as the free exercise of other faiths is also supported.

Such displays are also wholly permissible in uniform, as these Airmen were.  The Airmen wore yarmulkes Read more

Chief Chaplain Calls for Day of Prayer & Fasting

As noted in his monthly “From the Chief,” Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas L. Carver, Chief of Army Chaplains, called (pdf) on his Chaplaincy corps to join him in a day of prayer and fasting on 8 April 2009, consistent with the tenets of their faith, for

the protection, preservation, and peace for our Soldiers and Families.

Chaplain Carver noted that the intent is to support the Army’s continuing focus on the trend of suicides in the US Army (as previously discussed).

US Army Guantánamo Guard Converted to Islam

In an era where the most vocal concern about religion in the military is “illegal Christian proselytizing,” Newsweek carries the opposite side of the story: a US Army soldier who was “proselytized” by the Islamic prisoners he oversaw.

Army specialist Terry Holdbrooks [of the 463rd Military Police Company] had been a guard at Guantánamo for about six months the night he had his life-altering conversation with detainee 590, a Moroccan also known as “the General” [in] early 2004… Read more

Living out Faith in the Military

On February 27th, Chap. (Maj.) Randy Griffin of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) sponsored a Cappadocian Martyrs Run at Red Rock Canyon, Colorado Springs.  More than 25 soldiers participated in the three-mile run, which was used to commemorate the memory of 40 Roman soldiers who died rather than recant their faith when ordered to do so by their governor in 313 AD.

The Chaplain noted that the story served as a challenge, noting

We can publicly live out our faith without being afraid for what we believe as Christians.

MAF Receives Built-for-Purpose Plane

The Missionary Aviation Fellowship has received the first delivery of a new Kodiak 100, built by Quest Aircraft.  The aircraft was built to specifications with input from a variety of missionary aviation organizations, including JAARS and Moody Bible Institute.  Among other features, the Kodiak is designed for austere, short fields and the ability to operate on jet fuel, which is more common and cost-effective than avgas in remote locations.  Quest Aircraft’s mission is to

design and manufacture a bush/utility aircraft specifically suited to the needs of missionary and humanitarian aviation organizations

For every 10 aircraft Quest sells commercially, it will deliver a subsidized aircraft to a participating aviation organization.

The MAF’s Kodiak will be ferried to Indonesia to begin service there.

Also noted at Christian Post.

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