Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a Freedom of Information Act request over recent concerts at Fort Bragg. (More accurately, they skipped the FOIA office everybody else has to use and sent a letter directly to the Secretary of the Army.)
Interestingly, the letter presents a schizophrenic perspective. On one hand, they say Fort Bragg’s interaction with Rock the Fort was “unconstitutional.”
we believe that the actions of [Chaplain (Col) David] Hillis and the Department of the Army, in coordinating, planning and supporting last year’s Rock the Fort concert, violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
On the other, they demand to know if Rock Beyond Belief is truly being Read more
The practice of “fob-hopping,” or Chaplains bouncing from one forward outpost to another to minister to the needs of the troops, has previously been discussed.
Navy Chaplain (Lt) John Kelly adds another dimension to the extreme means by which the US military protects the religious freedom of its members. Chaplain Kelly is a Roman Catholic priest, one of the most underrepresented faiths in the Chaplaincy by percentage.
Because not all Navy craft have access to a Catholic Chaplain, Read more
Chaplain (Capt) Jerry Johnson, a US Army Chaplain deployed to Afghanistan, demonstrates the varied roles military Chaplains can play in theatre. He protects the free religious freedom of the men and women he serves. He advises the commander on issues of religion.
And he teaches world religions. Seven different ones, to be precise.
“It’s an extension of the chaplain ministry to educate Soldiers Read more
A Chaplain assistant has an interesting story of his eventual enlistment in the US Army: God led him to it. From the Army article entitled “God Made a Path to the Army, It Made a Path to Peace:”
After Hurricane Ike, [Spc. Kendall] Jackson was laid off and out of work yet again. Desperate, Jackson said he started reading his Bible, looking for answers, but everything he read talked about fighting in the Army.
While he was out looking for work “with everyone else,” a stranger approached him, touched his shoulder, and said, “Do what God has told you to do.” Jackson shook off this odd encounter. Then, after a Read more
Chaplain (Capt.) Tony Cech came up with an innovative way to introduce himself to the men and women he serves. He has led trips to the local Mount Mauna Kea observatories, which are the highest peaks in the area at nearly 14,000 feet. These “Duty Day with God” trips serve several purposes:
The Army has developed innovative ways to help improve and maintain a soldier’s mental health throughout the years. One way is to help strengthen the spiritual health of a soldier with the help of Army chaplains…
[Cech’s] ‘Duty Day with God’ helps reduce stress and serves another purpose for Cech.
“I wanted to be able to take soldiers on a trip to help them relax and for me to try and build a relationship with them,” said Cech. “I wanted the soldiers to see an approachable chaplain for anything that is bothering them. I also wanted them to see that the chaplain goes everywhere the soldiers are.”
Read the full story.
After Col Stephen Sicinski’s letter approving the atheist “Rock Beyond Belief” event was publicized, the Fort Bragg Garrison Commander reportedly responded directly to both RBB and the Secular Coalition for America, which has been publicly critical of his decision. His message has not been made public by those organizations, despite the fact multiple groups continue to inaccurately portray Fort Bragg’s decision. (Col Sicinski previously lamented the fact Fort Bragg was being “misrepresented.”)
Col Sicinski’s message, which reaffirms some points and contains some interesting details not previously made public, is below in its entirety (unedited):
Message from Col. Stephen Sicinski, Fort Bragg Read more
Enter any military unit (but especially an aviation one) and you’re likely to find the bathroom stalls stuffed with reading materials. In some cases you might find laminated copies of aircraft emergency procedures; in others, it might just be generic left over magazines ranging from Guns and Ammo to Newseek; in almost all cases you’ll find copies of the most recent safety publications. (In years past, various levels of adult magazines could be found in most fighter units. That practice has largely, though not entirely, faded away).
A US Army Chaplain’s team composed of Chaplain (Capt) Jason Hohnberger and his assistant Sgt David Cavazos recently took advantage of the traditional practice:
Holy Crap: Chaplain’s Thought of the Week, where Read more