USAFA Survival Meal
Every summer US Air Force Academy and select ROTC cadets trudge through the forests west of USAFA conducting Combat Survival Training (CST). They’re taught basic survival skills as well as navigation and night travel, as might occur if they were on the ground in hostile territory.
As part of this training, cadets are expected to kill and eat — or “thump and muck,” as the trainers sometimes say — rabbits, which are provided by the school for that purpose [emphasis added]:
The academy program has been around since the 1960s and trains cadets how to live in the wilderness and evade enemy forces. It stems from an older Air Force Survival, Escape, Resistance and Evasion program that’s has been used to train flight crews since World War II.
As part of the program, cadets are trained to kill and cook their own food under primitive conditions.
It turns out PETA doesn’t like that [emphasis added]: Read more
For the past few years, a few US Air Force Academy cadets have been attending annual wiccan festivals and the “Denver Witches Ball” (shown above) — trips that were paid for by the USAFA Chapel Tithes and Offerings Fund.
In itself, that wouldn’t be too unusual. For several years there has been an “earth centered” pagan/witch group as part of the USAFA chapel community. It is not unusual for the chapel to fund retreats or similar trips for religious events through the congregants’ tithes. The CTOF is supposed to be funded by the donations of the participants of those religious services, which would mean the pagans were essentially paying their own way to the cauldron.
The unusual thing about these witch trips, though, is that the USAFA pagan chapel doesn’t appear to have any congregant “tithes.”
Documents obtained by Judicial Watch (PDF) show Read more
As noted at Military.com, the Air Force Equal Opportunity office at Joint Base Andrews dismissed the EO complaint from contractor Deborah Schoenfeld, the self-described Hindu-interested-in-Wicca (whose complaint was previously discussed):
The office on Oct. 27 dismissed her complaint, saying she filed too late and also because the individuals she claimed discriminated against her “are not Air Force employees.”
Schoenfeld disputes the filing deadline issue, but it appears to be moot if the subjects of the complaint weren’t even in the Air Force. Schoenfeld disputes that, too, saying Read more
Update: In a letter to the MRFF, Deborah Schoenfeld publicly confirmed she was a government contractor, which means the US military was not responsible for her hiring or firing, despite Mikey Weinstein’s implications to the contrary. Weinstein’s public excoriation of the military — as opposed to her actual former employer — appears to have been little more than a publicity stunt, using “witch” references for shock value and attention.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has come to the defense of Deborah Schoenfeld, a civilian dental technician at Fort Meade who claims she was fired after filing an Equal Opportunity complaint claiming religious discrimination:
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is representing a former Air Force contractor who says she was fired from a dental clinic at Fort Meade, Maryland, after complaining that her co-workers discriminated against her because she was Hindu. She claims they then accused her of being a witch.
In his public complaint, Weinstein says Read more
In an article on the recent changes in DoD policy regarding religious accommodation, USA Today made this observation:
The wide variety of worship or lack thereof is reflected in the ranks of the 1.3 million active-duty force. Troops aren’t compelled to report but many do. The most popular affiliations: Christian, no denomination chosen, 346,752; no religious preference, 277,563; Roman Catholic, 262,248.
Elsewhere in the ranks, there are 301 Quakers and 1,561 troops who practice witchcraft. But you won’t an agnostic in the Army. There are 3,126 atheists but not one agnostic.
To be fair, the same demographics note there are more than 6,000 agnostics in the other three services. Apparently everyone in the Army is certain — one way or the other.
Repeated at the Air Force Times.
The Los Angeles Times is fast becoming a frequent commenter on all things military and religion, with the US Air Force Academy high on that list. In an unusual twist from the norm, its articles are biased toward the positive.
(For example, it published the original story about the baptism of US Marines to which Michael Weinstein objected, and most recently gave favorable coverage to the Camp Pendleton cross, now a controversy in its own right.)
In its most recent article on the topic, it notes the “Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans:”
“We’re here to accommodate all religions, period,” [USAFA Chaplain (Maj) Darren] Duncan says. The building of the Cadet Chapel Falcon Circle on the hilltop, he says, is no different from the past conversion of chapel rooms into worship spaces that serve this year’s 11 Muslim, 16 Buddhist and 10 Hindu cadets. There are also 43 self-identified atheist cadets whose beliefs, or lack of them, Duncan says are also to be respected.
Never one to let good will go unspoilt, the article quotes Michael Weinstein as saying he Read more