Mikey, This is a Great, Great win for all–and I say this from my perspective of a senior Air Force officer with over 25 years of service who’s been involved in the fight since the foundation of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). While I know there were many, many MRFF clients out there that played a role in this affair–and helped highlight the need for such a statement–I’ve got to think that the Vandenberg issue (“Jesus Loves Nukes”) must’ve gotten this ball rolling. In many ways, this is THE definitive, documented win for MRFF and you and your staff are to be congratulated on a monumental scale. I know that thousands of us out here are saying, “About Damn Time!” while we sigh and actually feel good about our Air Force on this issue for the first time in a long time. I could go on and on, but thank you, thank you, thank you for generating this kind of bedrock-shaking response from the most senior leader of our Air Force–we know it was MRFF that was the primary catalyst.
For those reading this from outside the military, to help them better understand the magnitude of this achievement, they must consider that the bureaucracy it takes to issue a letter like this is extensive–even if the Chief of Staff says he wants it “tomorrow”. Actually, it’s mind-boggling. I know because I’ve worked there (in the Pentagon) in multiple capacities during my career. Just the legal review and getting all of the staff on board is daunting. It really took ALL of the Pentagon because you know the other services had to be aware of this, as did the Secretary of Defense and all senior Dept of Defense leadership because this letter puts pressure on other DoD organizations to do the same. I’m sure every word here is polished like a diamond and very carefully chosen. It’s EXTREMELY rare for a military (or government) leader to make such a statement that is now part of the public record and able to be referenced by ALL who serve. I know Gen Schwartz hasn’t always had the ramrod backbone or responsiveness on some issues that we would’ve liked to see, but for a 4-star–the ultimate USAF corporate man–to send out a letter like this is very, very brave and important. Without heaping too much praise on the Chief of Staff, though, I’m also pragmatic enough to realize that he NEVER would have done this without MRFF’s unrelenting pressure. MRFF has helped him do the right thing and for that I’ll be forever grateful to YOU–as will your thousands of supporters and clients. Today, I am proud to be a 25+ year member of the US Air Force.
(Senior USAF Officer’s name, rank, AFSC, position and military installation withheld)