Nontheist Erasure

There are atheists in foxholes, and they serve for good and country. If you support the troops, support all the troops, regardless of their religious affiliation.

It is a myth that there are no atheists in foxholes. Not only are there atheists in foxholes, Department of Defense (DoD) demographic data shows that self-identified atheists and agnostics outnumber every non-Christian denomination combined. Furthermore, nearly 30% of military personnel did not indicate any religious affiliation on their induction forms.

Nontheists serve in our country’s armed forces and deserve respect and support just like any Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Sikh, Wiccan, or other religious service member who receives equal rights and support from the United States Armed Forces chaplaincy.

However, despite the growing presence of nonreligious people in the military, the U.S. Army is the only military branch that has fully incorporated the Faith and Belief Codes for Reporting Personnel Data of Service Members as required by the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s March 2017 memorandum of the same name.

The Secular Coalition for America and its member organization, the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, call on all branches of the military to implement the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s March 2017 memorandum, “Faith and Belief Codes for Reporting Personnel Data of Service Members.” This includes the directed requirement that all listed faith and belief groups in the directive should be available at all branches, including training for personnel clerks who input data on trainee religious preference upon military induction.

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