When Traci Moran, an observant Jewish woman living at Joint Base Lewis-McChord with her enlisted husband, came to Army Chaplain Capt. Michael Harari in August 2018, she was looking for spiritual guidance, she said.
A Tacoma rabbi, Zalman Heber, had been sending her sexually explicit text and voice messages for almost a month despite Moran asking more than once that he stop, the messages showed.
Harari was her husband's unit chaplain — meaning he was responsible for the spiritual well-being of the unit's families — and the only rabbi on base. And he and Heber were part of the same Hasidic organization, Chabad, that runs synagogues and cultural centers around the world.
All of that meant, Moran said, that Harari was "in an incredibly unique position to take my report and tailor counseling to my specific religious views."
Instead, an Army investigation obtained by The Seattle Times found that Harari violated her confidence by sharing her allegations with Heber. Then, Heber and Harari worked in parallel to "harass and attempt to intimidate and ostracize the Morans from the civilian communities surrounding JBLM [Joint Base Lewis-McChord]," according to the investigation, which examined whether Harari violated the Army's Equal Opportunity policy.
A group of U.S. Air Force officers, enlisted personnel, and civilian employees are calling for an investigation into the installation commander of Edwards Air Force Base in California, accusing him of violating Defense Department policies on religious proselytizing.
Capt. Sonny Hernandez, an Air Force Reserve chaplain, believes that Christians who tolerate the practice of other religions are worshipping Satan, according to a blog post he for penned for Barbwire.com on Sept. 12.
Photo by Jovelle Tamayo courtesy of The Sikh Coalition
Sikh Army Capt. Simratpal Singh filed a lawsuit against the Defense Department on Feb. 29, seeking a waiver to wear his turban and keep his long hair and beard while in uniform, as is customary in his faith.