Our Military Finest, 13,000, Provide Protection at President-Elect Trump’s Inauguration

Old Guard Soldiers prepare for 58th Presidential Inauguration (Photo: Public Domain)

Old Guard Soldiers prepare for 58th Presidential Inauguration (Photo: Public Domain)

December 20, 2016

Written by Lorra B.

The day is fast approaching, Jan. 20, 2017, when President-elect Donald Trump will assume the helm becoming President of The United States. When he does he will be protected by 13,000 of the world’s finest in uniform.

At the inauguration Trump will be surrounded by 8,000 National Guard members and 5,000 active-duty troops from around this great nation.

Commander of the District of Columbia National Guard, Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, stated, “If something goes bad, it’s up to the law-enforcement agency to make the first move. We look forward to having a peaceful transition of power on the 20th of January. And we will continue to work with our state and interagency partners to make sure that we have a peaceful transition of power.”

According to a report from Army News Service, the tradition of troops providing protection at presidential inaugurations began in 1789 and have continued to this day.

Schwartz, The Daily Caller reported, stated, “…guardsmen will be there to help ensure there’s a smooth transition of power, but it’ll be up to local law enforcement to make the first move in the event of a crisis. That local law enforcement includes the Metropolitan Police Department, the Capitol Police and the U.S. Park Service Police.”

Questionable whether this should be public knowledge or not, it is reportedthat none of the protective duty personnel will be armed. Arresting people for various offenses, however, will be among their duties.

Professor and faculty chair at the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, Stephen Fuller, stated, “Security is basically crowd management.” That being said, one of the service members main duties will be to protect Trump from angry protesters. It seems there will be no shortage of protesters with dozens of marches planned for the week of the inauguration that include hundreds of thousands of citizens, per a Facebook event page.

According to the Facebook event page there are 150,000 citizens marked as ‘attending’ with an additional 240,000 marked as ‘interested’ in joining the march on January 21.

Army Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, the commanding general of the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, stated, Clearly, the biggest concern at this point is the number of potential protesters.”

Perhaps the biggest concern for security on Inauguration Day is, according to Fuller, “the one oddball with a gun.” Securing president-elect Trump will be of the utmost importance.

Assuming all goes well and Trump makes it safely to Jan. 21, the troops will then have their work cut out for them protecting the protesters from each other.

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Written by Lorra B.

US Military Members on 65 Bases in 17 Countries Were Delivered 18,000 Christmas Trees by FedEx

National Guard troops lend a hand in loading Trees for Troops. (Photo: Public Domain)

National Guard troops lend a hand in loading Trees for Troops. (Photo: Public Domain)

December 19, 2016

Written by Lorra B.

Since it’s launch in 2005, the Trees for Troops program has delivered over 176,000 Christmas trees to military service members and their families. This year Fedex have once again joined with the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and they have added 18,000 more trees to that impressive list.

Christmas trees have been delivered to families located on 65 bases in 17 differed countries, according to Fox News.

A report by NBC 12 stated that in total FedEx drivers have driven over 350,000 miles delivering trees since the program started.

The Executive Director of Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, Ann O’Connor, stated, “We have had an amazing year with Trees for Troops! This program is a huge highlight each year with the Christmas tree growers who are able to donate Christmas trees from their farms.”

Trees for Troops is in its 12th year of bringing holiday cheer to our troops and their families. But they can’t do this on their own and need your help.

“Imagine a smiling group of U.S. troops gathered around a Christmas Tree that was grown on an American farm and shipped to arrive fresh and green somewhere on the other side of the world, just in time for Christmas. Or, imagine a spouse and children sharing joyous memories of Christmas through the gift of free, real Christmas Tree while their family member is away serving our country. Trees for Troops® makes this vision a reality!

Trees for Troops counts on donations from the public to make this program succeed year after year. You can support Trees for Troops through your tax-deductible donation or by becoming a sponsor. The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Your tax-deductible charitable contribution will help those in service to their country and their families receive a Real Christmas Tree and keep the spirit of a traditional Christmas celebration alive. Since 2005, Trees for Troops has provided more than 176,096 Christmas Trees to military families and troops in the United States and overseas.”

If you are interested in helping, Please visit treesfortroops.org.

U.S. Military’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’ – It Is Being Called Sextortion

Military Sees Increase in ‘Sextortion’ Cases (Photo: Public Domain)

Military Sees Increase in ‘Sextortion’ Cases (Photo: Public Domain)

December 6, 2016

Written by Lorra B.

Lonely and away from home you scroll online through social media to pass the time and the next thing you know you have exchanged pictures with someone. Not a problem, unless those pictures have left you exposed, literally.

Now you are being blackmailed for hundreds of dollars and if you don’t pay up your life is threatened to be turned upside down as you are told your photo (or video) will be shared with everyone you know.

Sextortion is described by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) as a “cybercrime perpetrated against unwitting victims who are approached in casual conversation via social media and then seduced into engaging in online sexual activities. After fulfilling the sexual requests, which are recorded without the victim’s knowledge or consent, the victim is threatened with public exposure and embarrassment if he does not pay a specified sum of money to the perpetrator, usually through a wire transfer.”

Military service members are being urged not to engage in explicit sexual activities online as the number of sextortion cases grow, reportsMilitary.com. Since August of 2012 more than 180 marines and sailors have fallen victim to this scam with a request for payment usually between $500 to $1,500.

Megan Bolduc, NCIS Division Chief, stated, “We’ve had service members individually pay as much as $11,000. It only stops because credit cards were maxed out.”

The concern isn’t just about a military member’s indiscretions it is also about National Security. According to Katherine McDonald with NCIS, “The concern really is twofold: the concern of harm to themselves and, on a national security level, a lot of these service members do have [security] clearances.”

The concern is that criminals will try to obtain ‘sensitive’ information from service members.

According to a spokesperson for NCIS, Ed Buice, “Screen captures or printouts of the conversations or anything like that is always very helpful. We have cyber agents who try to follow the electronic trail to get any information that’s available.”

Regardless of efforts to warn, educate and discourage military service members from falling victim to these predators, the sextortion reports continue to climb.

Bolduc stated, “Part of that, too, is that we have gotten the word out in so many different ways and encouraged reporting. I think people are more willing to come forward, but incidents are also increasing.”

The Philippines receive most of the wire transfers from the victims because complaints of wrongdoing must be filed in person.

McDonald stated that a ring of 50 were busted in the Philippines earlier this year. According to MilitaryTimes, “The organization was somewhat sophisticated. It had a payroll and offered bonuses to employees who swindled the most money. But on the whole, sextortion is difficult to prosecute. In the Philippines, for instance, the government requires that a victim come in person to file a report.”

Even though a victim pays does not insure that the photo or video in question will not be exposed. Often the media finds its way to Facebook or Youtube anyway, according to Bolduc. You can, however, inform the sites and request they be taken down.

“If you call and report the issue, they will take the videos down.”

All of the efforts to prosecute the scammers has so far proven impossible and not one has been prosecuted.

If you have fallen victim, law enforcement officials encourage you to NOT send money, stop all communication and save all correspondence.


Written by Lorra B.

More Veterans Will Be Filling Congressional Seats on Capitol Hill Next Year as Trump Takes the Helm

Former Navy Seal, Eric Greitens, with the machine gun, grins his way through the campaign. (Photo: Public Domain)

Former Navy Seal, Eric Greitens, with the machine gun, grins his way through the campaign.
(Photo: Public Domain)

November 9, 2016

Written by Lorra B.

Last night, in an epic upset, Donald Trump took out his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and will become the next president of the United States.

On Jan. 20, Trump will take the helm of this country and our military. Joining Trump on this new page in history are at least 27 veterans who won their congressional races last night and more presumably to come as the votes continue to be counted.

The majority are veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according toMilitaryTimes. There are 26 veterans from those same wars currently with seats in Congress.

Democrat Tammy Duckworth, who served in the Army, was successful in bid for a Senate seat as well as decorated former Navy SEAL, Eric Grietens “who served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, [who] won his election for governor of Missouri as a Republican against Democrat Chris Koster, the former State attorney general,” reports Military.com.

Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, a reservist in Afghanistan, was the only incumbent veteran to lose his Senate seat. Duckworth, who lost both of her legs in 2004, won the seat over Kirk. Duckworth’s helicopter was shot down over Iraq.

A Florida Republican, Brian Mast, who also lost both of his legs to war, will be seated in Congress come January. In 2010 Mast unsuccessfully tried to defuse a bomb.

Republican Scott Taylor is another veteran heading to Congress to fill the Virginia Beach seat. Taylor is also a former Navy SEAL.

“Some 14 veteran incumbents kept their seats, including defense leaders Duncan Hunter, a Republican of California, Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, and Martha McSally, Republican of Arizona,” reports Military.com.

These are just a handful of last nights winners. Here is a full list of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who ran for Congress this cycle.

Congratulations to all the veterans who won their seats in Congress. Since 2006 the number of veterans in Congress has increased each election. However, for the first time since the 1950’s “the total veterans count in the House and Senate appeared poised to drop under 100,” according to MilitaryTimes.

Photo: Public Domain

Photo: Public Domain

Written by Lorra B.


She Defended Banning Military Members From Bars. It May Be a Choice Democratic Senate Hopeful Deborah Ross Regrets

United States Marines. (Photo: Public Domain)

United States Marines. (Photo: Public Domain)

November 2, 2016

By Lorra B.

Deborah Ross, while serving as executive of the American Civil Liberties Union in North Carolina, was all in for bars wanting to ban military members from their establishments, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

North Carolina:  Deborah Ross.  (Photo: Public Domain)

North Carolina:
Deborah Ross.
(Photo: Public Domain)

“Critics of her ACLU record have pointed to cases that Ross took up and also cases that she chose to ignore.Ross, who is in a battle to defeat Republican Sen. Richard Burr for the State Senate seat, has come under fire for defense of banning military members from state bars and has been forced to answer questions about it.

“One group that never received her help was a group of active military members in North Carolina who were told they could not attend certain bars because they were part of the armed forces.”

North Carolina has a very robust military tradition but in 1996 it’s city of Wilmington began refusing entrance to anyone within the military and set about instilling a “no-military” rule.

Why you might ask? The bars cited that Marines were violent. So, the new rule went into effect and if anyone even looked as if they might be in the military they were asked to leave.

Club owner, Ian Mosely, wrote to Camp Lejeune requesting that they give notice that they would no longer be open for business to troops stating, “I truly believe in the armed forces. “But when you’ve been told kill, kill, kill seven days a week, it’s hard to calm down when you go out on a Saturday night.”

Mosely went on to say, “Having girls get blood splattered on their blouses isn’t good for business.”

Basically, Mosely was lumping all the armed forces into a stereotype with reckless abandon and throwing out the entire batch because of a few bad apples.

Marine Capt. George Josephs stated at the time, “How can they pick a certain class of people? That’d be the same as saying only people who make a certain amount of money can come in. They could just as easily say they don’t want blacks in or Jewish people in.”

Ross contended that service members of the military did not qualify “as a protected class” such as race or gender.

Besides, Ross could not be bothered with such issues because she had other pressing matters on her mind, the right to burn the American Flag.

While Ross busied herself with helping to defend the right to burn American flags, she had no time to help Vietnam War veteran, Robert McClure, who was told he could not fly the American Flag on his own property.

McClure wrote to Ross in 2001:


A spokesman for Rep. Sen. Richard Burr, Jesse Hunt, stated, “There was one common theme during Deborah Ross’ dangerous ACLU career: she’ll stand up for convicted criminals and sex offenders, but can’t be bothered to help veterans or military members in need.”

Though Ross stated that the Armed Forces cannot be a protected class, most would contend that any group being singled out and banned from entering an establishment of any kind a despicable act and disgraceful.

Perhaps bars should, under Ross’s rules, ban all politicians from their establishments?

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By Lorra B.


It Sure Is a New Military – Soldiers Pursue Formal Transgender Recognition

First Transgender Soldiers Seek Formal Recognition. (Photo: Public Domain)

First Transgender Soldiers Seek Formal Recognition. (Photo: Public Domain)

October 25, 2016

By Lorra B.

A small number of soldiers in the U.S. Army have publicly acknowledged they are transgender and have asked to be addressed and recognized as their new gender.

The 10 service members are only but a few who have gone public and does not include “soldiers who may be considering or beginning gender transition or those who don’t yet want to make an official paperwork change,” according to Associated Press.

On October 1 the new Pentagon policy regarding transgenders took effect. Army’s chief of staff, Gen. Mark Milley, insists that education is the key to the transgender transition.

Milley stated, “Is the army ready? Well, we are educating ourselves, and we are trying to get ready. We’re well-past the issue of debating and arguing about transgender. We are now into execution, to make sure the program is carried out with diligence, dignity, respect.”

Arron Belkin from the independent research institute, Palm Center, states, “We’re monitoring implementation closely, and everything we’ve seen so far points to a military organization fully committed to treating everyone equally and providing medically necessary care to all troops, not just some. “My conclusion, so far, is that implementation has proceeded smoothly and successfully.”

Next year all military services will allow individuals who are transgender to enlist. They will be able to receive all medical care needed to begin their gender reassignment if they have been in their chosen gender role for the last 18 months and have done so in a stable manner.

Not everyone is on board with this new decision and many believe that the military is moving ahead far too swiftly which could lead to all kinds of problems.

Milley stated, “The issue to do it or not to do it, to me is not an issue…The question of how to do it so that it is deliberate, well thought out, executed with professionalism — that’s a horse of a different color. Frankly I asked for more time.”

“It’s going to take a little bit of time, but there are some things I don’t think you need to necessarily be trained on,” Milley went on to say. “Rule One is treat your soldiers, your subordinates, your peers and your superiors as you want to be treated. Treat everybody with dignity and respect. Period. Flat out. Full stop.”

Bathrooms, uniforms, housing and fitness standards will be adapted to the transgender’s new identity after their legal transformation though each case will be evaluated on an individual basis and “on the needs of the military mission and whether the service members can perform their duties.”

It’s a new day and a new military and of which, according to Milley, “We may not know the full scope yet.”

By Lorra B.

After a Decade Pentagon Demands Soldiers Who Went to War Return Reenlistment Bonuses

California National Guard Chinooks airlift Marines training in mountain warfare tactics to high elevation landing zones.  (Photo: Public Domain)

California National Guard Chinooks airlift Marines training in mountain warfare tactics to high elevation landing zones.
(Photo: Public Domain)

October 25, 2016

By Lorra B.

Thousands of California Army National Guard Soldiers who were given reenlistment bonuses over 10 years ago are being asked by the Pentagon to give the money back.

Feeling the mounting pressure to enlist soldiers during peak war time, California Guard officials overpaid reenlistees. The Los Angeles Times said that many to the 10,000 soldiers ordered to repay the bonuses served and risked their lives during several combat tours.

“Investigations have determined that lack of oversight allowed for widespread fraud and mismanagement by California Guard officials under pressure to meet enlistment targets,” writes The Los Angeles Times.

Soldiers, however, insist that they reenlisted in good faith and served their times, that now the military wants to renege on their agreements.

The financial burden this would place on these soldiers would be severe.

Christopher Van Meter, a former Army captain, stated, “These bonuses were used to keep people in.” The 42-year-old Van Meter stated that he had to refinanced his home mortgage to repay the “$25,000 in reenlistment bonuses and $21,000 in student loan repayments that the Army says he should not have received.”

“People like me just got screwed,” says the angry Van Meter.

Army Sergeant Robert Richmond said he is not going to pay back his $15,000 bonus, per The Times.

“I signed a contract that I literally risked my life to fulfill,” Richmond said. While in Iraq, Richmond sustained permanent injuries due to a roadside bomb attack.

The Army, however, states that Richmond wasn’t eligible to receive the bonus at the time because he had already served in the Army for 20 years.

Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, deputy commander of the California Guard, said that they would be happy to relieve these soldiers of their debts but to do so would be breaking the law.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarther released a statement that the repayments should be waved and that the matter would be thoroughly investigated so that the soldiers involved “are fully honored for their service.”

“It is disgraceful that the men and women who answered their country’s call to duty following September 11 are now facing forced repayments of bonuses offered to them. Our military heroes should not shoulder the burden of military recruiters’ faults from over a decade ago,” he stated. “They should not owe for what was promised during a difficult time in our country. Rather, we are the ones who owe a debt for the great sacrifices our heroes have made – some of whom unfortunately paid the ultimate sacrifice..”

Of the 14,000 California Guard soldiers who received incentive bonuses, 9,700 retired and current soldiers have been informed they are to repay their bonuses. So far the California Guard has recovered $22 million dollars.

It will likely be many years before this issues is put to rest as many soldiers refuse to comply and protests and appeals continue.

By Lorra B


U.S. Military Heated Over Clinton’s Disclosure of Extremely Classified Nuke Launch Time Info

Pentagon Officials Furious After Clinton Announces US Nuclear Secrets During Debate (Photo: Snapshot Youtube)

Pentagon Officials Furious After Clinton Announces US Nuclear Secrets During Debate
(Photo: Snapshot Youtube)

October 21, 2016

By Lorra B.

During the presidential debate on Wednesday Hillary Clinton, once again, revealed very classified information to the world.

Barbara Starr, a CNN Pentagon Correspondent, stated Thursday “that the U.S. military is unhappy with Hillary Clinton discussing nuclear weapon launch times during Wednesday night’s presidential debate, calling such information “extremely classified.”

Starr went on to say that even if the information is public knowledge, “if you know information to be classified, and you’re a government official, even if it’s in the open source, even if it’s on the Internet, you are not supposed to disclose it.”

“The bottom line is,” Star states, is “the US military [is] not especially thrilled to be discussing in precise detail what it takes to launch nuclear weapons.”

“But here is the bottom line: The U.S. military does not discuss the precise specifics of the time frames of launching nuclear weapons that, by all accounts, is extremely classified.”

Former Secretary of State Clinton should know better but clearly she does not. The information Clinton disclosed is Top Secret intelligence and is governed under the “U.S. Special Access Program (SAP) which dictates safeguards and protocols for accessing and discussing highly classified and Top Secret intelligence,” according to the Pentagon.

Because it took place during a political campaign the Pentagon refused to give any formal comment on the issue. It was clear to Starr, however, that the Pentagon was less than thrilled with Clinton. The Pentagon stated, off camera, that they were not happy at all “due to the secure nature of what she was discussing,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.

Starr stated, “We went to the military this morning and asked them. A military spokesman told us that they do not discuss operational timelines for launching nuclear weapons. “This is some of the most classified information. I asked Defense Secretary Ash Carter at a press conference earlier today. He declined to answer the question because it involved politics.”

Hillary has a past filled with negligence concerning the handling classified materials. American’s should be wondering just how capable she is of keeping classified information actually classified.

By Lorra B

The Air Force Transgender Can Now Seek Gender-Specific Exemptions

United States Air Force (Photo: Public Domain)

United States Air Force (Photo: Public Domain)

October 18, 2016

By Lorra B.

The Air Force has provided temporary ‘gender-specific’ exclusions for airmen seeking to change gender, according to Military.com.

When it comes to bathrooms, uniform requirements and tests of physical fitness, the transgender airmen will be given a different set of rules.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James stated, “This is another step in allowing transgender airmen to serve openly, receive medical care relating to gender transition and allow transgender individuals to join the Air Force. Our strengths as a military are the quality and character of our people, and those things that make us unique are the same things that make us strong.”

The question on many minds is whether this move indeed makes the military strong or does it cause confusion, a separate set of rules for specific individuals and a division among the troops?

Regardless of your view of this issue, military modifications are here and the changes are detailed in a 17-page Air Force memo that was released last week.

The memo states that transgender airmen will be allowed to serve as long as they meet the outlined requirements.

“It is Air Force policy that service in the United States Air Force should be open to all who can meet the rigorous standards for military service and readiness. Consistent with the policies set forth in this memorandum, transgender individuals shall be allowed to serve in the Air Force,”

The memo reads, “Transgender airmen will be subject to the same standards as any other service member of the same gender; they may be separated, discharged, or denied reenlistment or continuation of service under existing processes and bases, but not due solely to their gender identity or an expressed intent to transition genders.”

Any airman going through hormonal therapy, though having to maintain a fitness regime, may be exempt from physical fitness tests.

“Transgender airmen undergoing cross-sex hormone treatment may request an exemption from taking the Fitness Assessment (FA) during their period of transition, prior to a gender marker change in MilPDS.”

Until the transgender airmen’s ETP request has been approved, they must maintain dress and appearance codes of their current gender.

As for the bathroom scenario, waivers may be requested to use bathrooms that they identify with, which is outlined in the memo.

“In executing any accommodation, the unit commander will take into account the physical construction of the facilities as well as the privacy of other members using the facilities in question. The unit commander should consider and balance the needs of the transgender individual and the needs of the command.”

Policy states those seeking to join the service who have ‘gender dysphoria’ or in the process of any gender transition, genital reconstruction or sex reassignment will be unable to join unless having been cleared by medical provider that they are indeed able to serve and function in the military and are stable in every way.

It’s a brand new day, and it’s a brand new military.

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By Lorra B.

Court’s-Martialed. Do The Armed Forces Have a Constitutional Right to Religious Freedoms?

A Combat Soldiers Prayer (Photo: Public Domain)

A Combat Soldiers Prayer (Photo: Public Domain)

August 12, 2016

By Lorra B.

A U.S. Marine’s appeal has been denied by a federal court.

Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling received several charges of disobeying orders in 2014 and was court’s-martialed. Having received a bad-conduct discharge and demoted to Private, she left the Marine Corps. Sterling received her discharge orders, in part, for refusing to remove a bible verse from her workstation.

In three areas of her workspace, Sterling posted the verse from Isaiah 54-17 “No weapons formed against me shall prosper.”

Sterling’s supervisor stated, “I don’t like the tone” and Sterling was ordered to take the verses down. According to WND, “When Sterling declined, her supervisor took them down at the end of the duty day. Sterling reprinted and re-posted the messages, but she found them in the trash the next morning. She was then court-martialed.”

The court of Appeals for the military seems to have determined what religious practice is and is not ‘important’ enough to be protected and president of First Liberty Institute, Kelly Shackelford, is not happy.

“This is absolutely outrageous. A few judges decided they could strip a Marine of her constitutional rights just because they didn’t think her beliefs were important enough to be protected,” he said. “If they can court-martial a Marine over a Bible verse, what’s to stop them from punishing service members for reading the Bible, [talking] about their faith, or praying?”

Although Shackelford believes the punishment Sterling received to be unconstitutional the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces determined otherwise.

“Appellant has failed to establish that the orders to remove the signs substantially burdened her religious beliefs. While Appellant seeks to cast the substantial burden as caused by the choice between obeying the orders to remove the signs and potentially facing a court-martial, this logic is flawed, as it presumes that taking down the signs constitutes a substantial burden—a burden imposing both secular and religious costs. This is the very legal question to be decided. We reject the argument that every interference with a religiously motivated act constitutes a substantial burden on the exercise of religion.

In this case, Appellant did not present any testimony that the signs were important to her exercise of religion, or that removing the signs would either prevent her from engaging in conduct [her] religion requires, or cause her to “abandon one of the precepts of her religion. While Appellant testified that posting the signs was religiously motivated in part, she did not testify that she believed it is any tenet or practice of her faith to display signs at work. Nor does Appellant’s testimony indicate how complying with the order to remove the signs pressured her to either change or abandon her beliefs or forced her to act contrary to her religious beliefs. Although Appellant did not have to provide evidence that posting signs in her shared workspace was central to her belief system, she did have to provide evidence indicating an honest belief that “the practice [was] important to [her] free exercise of religion.” Contrary to Appellant’s assertions before this Court, the trial evidence does not even begin to establish how the orders to take down the signs interfered with any precept of her religion let alone forced her to choose between a practice or principle important to her faith and disciplinary action.”

A former Air Force JAG officer, Daniel Briggs, stated, “No one in our military who goes to work every day to defend our freedoms should then be court-martialed for exercising those very freedoms.”

Briggs went on to say, ““This case is about Monifa, but it is also about every American who puts on the uniform in service to this country. The question is whether they will be allowed to exercise their faith in the military, or whether they will be denied the same constitutionally protected freedoms they have volunteered to defend and are willing to die for.”

This is an issue of just what extent religious freedom protections will be allowed members of the Armed Forces. It begs the question of whether or not military members, who are considered to be government property, have a constitutional right to religious freedom.

In 1993 the Religious Freedom Restoration Act became law. The act requires the government to seek the “least burdensome” means when dealing with religious beliefs.

The court, however, ruled, “In this case, the record does not clearly address whether [Sterling’s] conduct was based on a ‘sincerely held religious belief’ or motivated by animosity toward her chain of command.”

Judge Kevin Ohlson stated, “while the military’s asserted interest in good order and discipline surely deserves great deference, it does not demand reflexive devotion.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces denied Sterling’s case in a 4-1 opinion.

With the Armed Forces religious freedoms at risk, Sterling and First Liberty Institute plan on appealing this decision to the Supreme Court.

By Lorra B