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Air Force: Investigators Reviewing Statements By Outspoken Chaplain Hernandez
After initially denying an investigation, the Air Force said Friday that its inspector general’s office is reviewing complaints against reserve chaplain Capt. Sonny Hernandez, who proclaimed that Christian servicemembers are wrong to support the rights of other faiths to practice their religion, actions that he said will lead them to hell.
“I can confirm that the Air Force is reviewing IG complaints made against Chaplain Hernandez that were referred to the Air Force Inspector General’s office,” Air Force spokesman Col. Patrick Ryder said Friday. “At this time it would be inappropriate to comment on the nature of those complaints or speculate on potential outcomes.”
An Air Force Reserve spokesman said earlier this week that the service was not investigating Hernandez.
Hernandez, with the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is strongly outspoken on his Christian beliefs. On the Christian blog Barbwire.com, Hernandez wrote last week that Christians in the Armed Forces who support the constitutional rights of people from other religions to practice their faith are wrong. As a chaplain, he said he believes he cannot subvert his religion beneath Constitutional law. He wrote that if a Christian supports a person’s Constitutional right to an abortion, they are serving Satan.
“It is imperative the Bible-believing military chaplains align themselves with the right endorser that has sincerely held beliefs that appeal to Scripture alone and will not support or accommodate evil,” he wrote.
In the wake of the post, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation filed a complaint against Hernandez with the Department of Defense Inspector General. The organization’s president and founder, Mikey Weinstein, said the complaint was in addition to others MRFF filed against Hernandez in April. He said he was surprised that the complaints were being reviewed by the Air Force, not Pentagon investigators.
(Left to right), Staff Sgt. Sonny Hernandez, of the 445th Security Forces Squadron, located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Tech. Sgt. Sam A. Ruiz, of the 119th Wing Security Forces Squadron, North Dakota Air National Guard and Kavuma Richard with KBR Service Contracting from Uganda, Africa take a moment to pose for a picture after competing in a 5K race in Iraq. The three individuals are planning to compete in the Fargo Marathon on May 9 from Iraq.DoD photo
Ryder did not say whether the complaints from April were still under review or why spokespeople the Air Force and the Air Force Reserves did not know about the inspector general’s review.
The controversy raises questions over the role of chaplains and where the boundaries lie between spiritual leadership and innate freedoms of religion and speech guaranteed under the Constitution that all servicemembers swear to “support and defend.”
All chaplains must be certified as “willing to function in a pluralistic environment ... and to support directly and indirectly the free exercise of religion by all members of the Military Services, their family members and other persons authorized to be served by the military chaplaincies,” according to the Department of Defense.
It also is further complicated by the fact that Hernandez is a reserve chaplain, meaning most days, he is a civilian. He told Stars and Stripes this week that he sees his role as that of missionary and said he was espousing purely theological arguments.
©2017 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Army study recommends more sleep for recruits at basic, which drill sergeants will absolutely not disregard or anything
(Reuters Health) - Soldiers who experience sleep problems during basic combat training may be more likely to struggle with psychological distress, attention difficulties, and anger issues during their entry into the military, a recent study suggests.
"These results show that it would probably be useful to check in with new soldiers over time because sleep problems can be a signal that a soldier is encountering difficulties," said Amanda Adrian, lead author of the study and a research psychologist at the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.
"Addressing sleep problems early on should help set soldiers up for success as they transition into their next unit of assignment," she said by email.
Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."
The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.
There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
It all began with a medical check.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
The US military now has to ask the Iraqis for permission before giving close air support to troops in combat
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.