A hospital commander at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington has been relieved of command. At least in part, this was due to advocating religion in ways making his airmen uncomfortable.
Several airmen were bothered by how the commander brought his Christian faith into the workplace, discussing religion in commander’s calls and making what some saw as disparaging comments about non-believers, such as “there are no atheists in foxholes.” There were at least three atheists under his command.
The commander also apparently distributed birthday cards with Bible verses to his subordinates. One major received a text containing a passage from Proverbs and admonishing her to maintain “military bearing.”
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PARRIS ISLAND DRILL INSTRUCTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO MISCONDUCT. Marine Corps Times reports that a former drill instructor at Parris Island has been sentenced to 45 days’ restriction and reduction to corporal. He is one of seven Marines referred to a court-martial for the Parris Island hazing scandal, which blew up in March 2016 when Muslim recruit Raheel Siddiqui jumped to his death.
For this death, Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Felix was found guilty of physically abusing recruits. One time, he ordered Siddiqui to run to one end of the squad bay and back after Siddiqui was unable to give the greeting of the day due to his sore throat. When Siddiqui collapsed to the floor, Felix slapped him, after which Siddiqui jumped up, ran to a nearby stairwell and leapt over the railing, falling nearly 40 feet.
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RECRUITING DREAMERS. If Congress passes the Dream Act, Army recruiters see a tremendous opportunity to acquire high-quality recruits, says one analyst. The legislation would provide temporary work permits and protection from deportation.
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FAT BOYS AND GIRLS? Obesity in young people in 10 states is hindering recruiting, says the Army. Potential soldiers from the South are not as fit as others, according to researchers at The Citadel in South Carolina.
Obesity and lack of physical fitness are a threat to “military readiness and national security,” researchers said in the study, which was published in the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice.
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GOLDEN OLDIES. Years ago, recruits at the Army’s Fort Sheridan in Illinois and the Navy’s Great Lakes Recruiting Center got a lesson in geography from the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Recruits had learned their geography all wrong, insisted the Tribune. The state should properly be divided into two great sectors – “greater Chicagoland” and “downstate Illinois.”