On Monday morning November 16, 2015, MRFF President/Founder Mikey Weinstein sent a demand letter to Major General Edward Dorman, Commander of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command (8 TSC). MRFF’s demand, sent on behalf of several dozen active duty U.S. Army officer, NCO, Army civilian, Army contractor and veteran clients at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, sought immediate removal of Christian Crusader imagery used to represent the U.S. Army’s 8th Special Troops Battalion Warrior Training Center which was prominently posted in a news article on the 8th Theater Sustainment Command (8 TSC) website on the afternoon of Friday, November 13, 2015. In addition to what should have been the obvious unconstitutional use of this religious warrior image, MRFF’s demand letter also pointed out the enormous detriment caused to national security and America’s War on Terror when this type of image is used within the U.S. military:
(1) Use of the Crusader imagery enrages our Islamic allies.
(2) Use of the Crusader imagery emboldens our Islamic enemies and provides a propaganda bonanza bounty of boundless proportions.
(3) Use of the Crusader imagery eviscerates our own U.S. military troops’ good order, morale, discipline, unit cohesion, military readiness, mission accomplishment, health and safety.
In an article by Bryant Jordan posted on the Military.com website on November 16, 2015, MRFF’s position is clearly supported by Mr. Jordan’s reporting:
In numerous statements over social media, including Twitter, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has referenced the U.S. and western allies engaged in operations across the Middle East as “Crusaders.” Following the attacks on several civilian venues in Paris on Friday night, which killed nearly 130 and left more than 300 wounded or injured, ISIS released a video threatening attacks on other Western cities, including Washington, D.C. “We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day, God willing, like France’s and by God, as we struck France in the centre of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its centre in Washington,” an ISIS spokesman said in the video, according to various media reports.
Within 8 hours, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Deputy Commander Colonel Phillip Mead responded to MRFF’s demand to remove the image of a Crusader warrior with the large red crucifix/cross emblazoned on his uniform to represent the U.S. Army’s 8th Special Troops Battalion Warrior Training Center:
I am responding to your email on behalf of MG Dorman who is currently off-island. In light of the concerns that you brought to our attention, the sign was removed from the building, and the image of the sign was also removed from the article on our unit webpage. Should you have any further concerns about this issue, please contact our public affairs office directly.
On behalf of MRFF’s clients at Ft. Shafter, who are made up of a majority of Christians but some of whom are practitioners of the Muslim faith as well as other faiths and no faith, MRFF also demands an aggressive investigation along with visible and appropriate punishment for any and all individuals who are either directly or indirectly responsible for this highly unconstitutional and damaging national security incident.