Department of Defense Issues Report on Religious Climate at U.S. Air Force Academy

June 22, 2005

Source: U.S. Department of Defense

http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2005/tr20050622-3104.html

On June 22, 2005 the U.S. Department of Defense issued a transcript of the press conference held on the same day "to discuss the findings and recommendations of an Air Force report on the religious climate at the Air Force Academy."... In May this year, [Lieutenant General Brady, the deputy chief of staff for Personnel] visited the Air Force Academy and led a series of interviews with over 300 people. The goal was to "take pulse" on the issue of religious disrespect at the academy. He summarizes the findings of these interviews: "First, some academy practices left a perception among some groups at the academy that the academy was not addressing their religious needs, particularly groups that were less numerically represented in the population. Secondly, there's the ongoing challenge of... making sure that [the cadets] understand the values of our Air Force, most notably respect for the beliefs of others, in this case... Finally, there was a lack of awareness on the part of some faculty and staff, and perhaps cadets in positions of authority, that -- as to what constitutes appropriate expressions of faith, particularly in this setting, in superior-subordinate relationships in a government institution." General Brady then made a series of recommendations for the Air Force based on these findings. Among these recommendations were the following: "providing useful operational guidance to commanders regarding what is and is not appropriate in the area of religious expression," "enforcing policy guidance regarding endorsement and advertising," and "developing a wider cultural awareness, both internal to the Air Force and external, in our employed environment."