MRFF’s INBOX – Col. Hundley’s Christian Preaching on DoD Website

From: U.S. Army Enlisted Soldier’s E-Mail Address Withheld

Subject: Col. Hundley’s Christian Preaching on DoD Website

Date: January 9, 2016 at 12:27:02 AM MST

To: Information Weinstein <[email protected]>

To Mr. Mikey Weinstein and the MRFF,

Thank you sir for hearing me and my family out. This has caused a lot of fear and panic amongst us and a lot of our fellow soldier’s and their families too. A lot of sleep lost. A lot of tension from this fear.

I am a active duty enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army. I have (number withheld) years of honorable service including having deployed (number withheld) times. I have seen combat and have earned the (military awards names withheld). I am a practicing (Protestant denomination withheld) and my wife is practicing (minority religious faith name withheld). We are raising our (number withheld) children in some of both faiths. We are very private people and our faith is also private.

We became clients of the MRFF after the 4 Jan 16 “Motivational Monday Message” was posted by Colonel Thomas Hundley on the Health.mil website of the DoD which is advertised as “The Official Website of the Military Health System and the Defense Health Agency”.

First please do not release any personal information on me and my wife and stuff. I am not too good a writer but she is better and she helped me write this to Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF. Other than what could identify us its fine to let others see this. That’s why we wrote it to you all.

All I will say is that I have been under ‘the influence’ along with many other troops of this Col. Hundley. At his old position at Womack AMC at Fort Bragg NC. The first thing you learn about him is that he is all about two things only. And you had better get with his approved Program. Getting everyone he can get to work-out for fitness and to accept Jesus and Christianity in the process. And not in that order. Your not a Christian to his satisfaction than your just stupid wrong. How jacked is that? Nobody does nothing about this and it hurts a lot of troops to see this happen. It especially hurts my wife since she is (minority religious faith name withheld). I wanted to tell him off but I don’t want to get court marshalled by doing so. No one else does either.

Col. Hundley has a long record of pushing his Christianity every which way he can and it don’t matter to him if he’s doing it with using his Army officer’s position or not. And he uses his seniority Army position all the time to do this. But it matters to those of us under him who can’t speak back. He’s a senior field grade officer and the rest of us just aren’t and will never be. And he knows that we know that. How can he not?

The Army not that long ago promoted him to full bird Colonel so they must really like what he does. But so many underneath him don’t. The system must be jacked too. What you learn when your in the Army is not to buck the system. What you learn about Col Hundley is that you better not buck him either. The best way to do that is to make damn sure he knows that you feel about Jesus the same way he does.

Just look at what he wrote on this latest “Motivational Monday Message”. How come he gets to preach his religious views on that big DoD website about Jesus all the time? About what we all under him must do to please God and to be fit soldiers? Which he says is to increase our daily prayers and give something to God (Jesus) in order to make our lives worth while? He’s always talking about his fitness book he wrote which is also about his spreading his believes in Jesus. How come he gets to do that too? No one is supposed to do that using their Army rank and job. On Army time. Why can he get away with this?

As he is a senior Army leader that is just so shady and its even more messed up that the Army won’t do anything about it. I’m a (Protestant denomination withheld) but I don’t push my faith on anyone using my enlisted Army position and I’m nowhere near being a Colonel.

My wife and I had to hide the fact that she’s (minority religious faith name withheld) because that don’t fit into what Col. Hundley wants all soldiers and their families to be. I know other soldiers and there families who do the same as us. Many are not Christians. And many others are Christians like me. It should make no difference to Col. Hundley. But he makes sure you know it does. This is unfair and wrong. Its un-American. We are not lesser troops because we are not on the same page as Christians like the way Col. Hundley wants us to be. We all bleed red in combat. No matter what religion.

Being a good soldier should not have to mean that we have to be Col. Hundley approved Christian soldiers. But he has gotten away with his on-the-job and in/uniform preaching for Jesus for a long time. Ask anyone and you will see what his ginormous rep is. His own Army leadership has to know this too but he keeps getting promoted. Nobody will stand up to his religion bullying. No one wants to be the first to face the consequences of standing up to him. And we all know there will be a price to pay.

I know that Mr. Weinstein has asked us and others that the MRFF is representing about the prosltizng which Col. Hundley does all the time to make a official IG complaint. Been there and done that IG deal before and am not going to ever do it again. People always find out who files the complaint no matter how much the IG says they won’t. And this time with a Col. and his Christian preaching it will be worse if we’re found out.

Col. Hundley has a lot of powerful friends in the Army who support his pushing of Christianity on that big DoD website. They give him props and respect that he does. And in many other ways and places. My wife and me did talk about the IG thing but the answer is no. Please try to understand. If Army leadership ever found out that me and my family and a lot of others have gone for help to the MRFF it can destroy our lives. Correction. It will destroy our lives. I have seen this happen. I won’t put my wife and kids in harms way. I’m so sorry but please try to understand. Feel awful about it but I and the others I know just can’t.

Thank you Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF so much sir. For being the only ones who will totally Represent up to the Army for us. For helping us all out to try to end anymore of this command influence of religious bullying by this Col. Hundley. And “discipiling” by Col. Hundley to the those of us who don’t have the stroke and the rank to make him stop. To those of us who can’t risk being found out by Col. Hundley and his crew. Anyways we can’t risk the payback.

Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF please make Col. Hundley end his on-duty preaching and especially on that important DoD website.. And to obey the Army regs and the constitution. His own religious faith is not supposed to be bigger than either of those things or even the UC Military Justice. And our own religious faiths should not be any of Col. Hundley’s business or concern.

V/R

(U.S. Army active duty enlisted soldier’s name, rank, MOS, title, Army unit and assigned military installation all withheld by request)

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3 Comments

  1. Yovonne Aut

    And that is the problem: by remaining silent and allowing the status quo to remain unchallenged, you ensure this illegal behavior will continue. Mikey Weinstein and the wonderful folks at MRFF can only do so much, you have to decide if you are going to continue to keep silent and to be bullied and live in fear the rest of your military career, or if you are going to stand up and do something about it. If you decide to act, I’m sure Mikey Weinstein and/or volunteers with MRFF will help walk you through the process of informing your Chain of Command that you wish to file a formal IG complaint and how to follow up on it. If the matter is not handled at the lowest level and the illegal behavior continues, keep pushing it up the chain of the IG until it is handled, even if that requires going all the way to the DoD IG himself. Keep copies of every last scrap of communication, including transcripts of verbal correspondence and copies of email, and keep pushing the formal complaint up until the matter is corrected. Keep your nose clean, don’t gossip about the complaint (it will be an active investigation) and do not back down. Even after the matter is resolved, keep copies of all communication.

    Yes, there is no doubt about it, doing this will be difficult. Back in the early 2000’s, I filed a formal IG complaint against a battalion commander who proselytized me and wound up having to take it to the MACOM IG, which took several months after filing the first formal complaint. The issue was finally resolved after I stated that I would take the matter to the very top if necessary and the BC stopped his proselytizing, at least at that duty station (I have no idea what he did after he left). Yes, there were grumbles by peers and superiors of similar mind to the battalion commander, but they knew I wouldn’t tolerate further proselytizing or bullying. I did my job, they did theirs, and we all moved along.

    Best of luck and best wishes to you and your family, and to the other people unlucky enough to have to serve under COL Hundley and his ilk.

  2. Yovonne Autrey

    My name is Yovonne Autrey, not Aut. Dratted fumble fingers.

  3. G

    Unfortunately, Autrey, Americans seems to have a negative cultural attitude/stigma against whistleblowers, rat finks, stool pigeons in real life. We have been conditioned to be that way against those people even at elementary and high school level and it carries over into our adult lives.

    Considered yourself lucky that your problem was resolved. Sadly, too many other people had their careers destroyed when they had complained. There was a movie in 2012 called the Silent War about the systematic, widespread rape of both female and male personnel in the US military for a long time. The victims who had complained were thrown out of the military while their rapists were allowed to stay in and got promoted.

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