Saturday, June 04, 2005

The first step is admitting you have a problem 
Air Force Academy Leader Admits Religious Intolerance at School

Why is it always the Air Force academy?

My unit was blessed with a truly outstanding chaplain while deployed. A true Christian intellectual. I've seen a few real duds, too, but for the most part, the military has been exceedingly well-served by its chaplain corps (and chaplain assistants!)

BROOMFIELD, Colo., June 3 (AP) - The superintendent of the Air Force Academy acknowledged to leaders of a national Jewish group on Friday that religious intolerance permeated the military school.

"As a commander, I know I have problems in my cadet wing," the superintendent, Lt. Gen. John Rosa Jr., said at a meeting of the executive committee of the group, the Anti-Defamation League. "I have issues in my staff, and I have issues in my faculty - and that's my whole organization."

LTG Rosa's attitude toward the problem was exactly correct. He took personal ownership of the problem. And when a good commander takes personal ownership of a command climate problem, you can bet your ass it's going to get fixed.

For some reason I cannot begin to fathom, the article does not discuss the underlying facts of the case which caused the General to make his statement.

Here they are:

* Faculty members encouraging cadets to engage in outright proselytization.

* When some cadets declined to attend a service, they were formed into a "heathen flight" and marched back to their dormitories.

These are clearly inappropriate and probably unlawful. Remember, a commander in the U.S. military is a commander to Christians, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, and atheists alike. Everyone should be treated with respect. It's amazing to me that the Air Force promoted someone to the number 2 slot at the Academy who couldn't figure that out. That's a new-lieutenant/captain mistake.

Mandatory formations and events have been opened with prayers, which push things into a grey area. This document discusses the legal background behind it all.

All this sort of points to the trivial nature of the alleged incidents involving the Koran. Obviously, we have flag-ranked officers who can't even handle Jews and Catholics in the military. Wouldn't you expect a certain number of baseline problems when you throw E-3s and E-4s in to guard a bunch of Al Qaeda types?

The wonder isn't that there have been problems. The wonder is that our soldiers at Gitmo have done as well as they have.

Splash, out


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