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  1. #1
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    AF colonel accused of imposing religion

    RAF MILDENHALL, England — An Air Force colonel is being criticized for improperly referring airmen under her command to a far-right religious Web site.
    Col. Kimberly K. Toney sent a e-mail Jan. 16 to the 501st Combat Support Wing inviting airmen to enjoy a linked video highlighting an inspirational individual on 4marks.com, a Roman Catholic Web site.
    The video featured Nick Vujicic, a 25-year-old who was born without arms or legs. According to the video’s introduction, Vujicic finds his "greatest joy in this life is to introduce Jesus to those he meets and tell them of his (Jesus’) great desire to get to know them personally by allowing him to become their Lord and Savior."
    Air Force Master Sgt. Jeffrey L. Thompson, a member of the 501st, sent a letter to Toney that complained she had inappropriately advanced her faith in an official capacity.
    "My own impression of your e-mail was an organizational endorsement of Christian faith, because the e-mail, article and video compelled us to witness an exercise in religious-specific faith that I felt was in conflict with DOD neutrality on religion," Thompson said in his letter.
    Thompson, who says in the letter that he is a Roman Catholic, had no further comment Monday.
    No formal complaint had been lodged in connection to Toney’s e-mail as of Monday, U.S. Air Forces in Europe spokesman Senior Master Sgt. Stefan Alford said. Thompson states in his letter to Toney that he intends to file an official complaint.
    "He has yet to fill out the required paperwork and start the complaint process," Alford said. "Right now there’s no complaint, no investigation."
    Alford said Toney first received the video through a colleague.
    In the Feb. 2 letter to Toney, Thompson contended in his letter that the e-mail violated Air Force regulations regarding religious proselytizing. He also said the Web site 4marks.com "explicitly promotes an atmosphere that is hostile to our commander-in-chief, which is potentially detrimental to the good order and discipline of our unit."
    One posting on the Web site features President Barack Obama in a Nazi uniform with a Hitler-style moustache, while other content claims Obama "wants to murder babies that have survived abortion."
    "As a commander you wield a tremendous amount of power," Thompson stated in his letter. "What you say, write, or send out sets our direction and instructs us how to get there."
    Toney declined to comment and instead said she would release a statement.
    In that statement she apologized for the e-mail and said she did not realize the Web site and links contained "inappropriate" content.
    "I sincerely apologize for this oversight, especially to those individuals who may have been offended, and want to ensure all are aware that my intent was solely to provide a tool that might offer beneficial insight toward overcoming adversity," she said in the statement sent to all members of the 501st.
    Toney has commanded the 501st and its approximately 3,000 military personnel distributed across eight bases in the U.K. and Norway since 2007.
    In his letter to Toney, Thompson also wrote that he had contacted the Military Equal Opportunity office about filing a complaint. He also says that the airman with whom he spoke at the office divulged his identity to Toney — a violation of numerous Air Force regulations.
    The MEO office worker did not return repeated requests for comment.
    "[The worker] informed me that he has told you my identity regarding this issue," Thompson wrote to Toney. "I appreciate that his intentions were good, but approaching the wing commander on what I perceived as a foul has made me very nervous.
    "No one wants to be on the wrong side [of] their wing commander," Thompson said in the letter.
    Others also saw Toney’s e-mail as an inappropriate mingling of religious beliefs and official military duty. Military Religious Freedom Foundation head Mikey Weinstein said his organization heard from "in excess" of 60 people regarding the e-mail. Weinstein released the correspondence to Stars and Stripes.
    Thompson reached out to the foundation, based in Albuquerque, N.M., for help, Weinstein said.
    The foundation claims more than 11,000 military "clients" have contacted the group when they felt their religious rights were being affected, said Weinstein, who is an Air Force Academy graduate, former military attorney and onetime member of President Ronald Reagan’s legal counsel, according to the foundation’s Web site.

  2. #2
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    An Air Force "Wing King" is akin to the Captain of a navy vessel or a General in the Army.

    They wield most of the power in the Air Force.

    That poor Master Sergeant got sold up the chain by the EEO office, and that bites.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  3. #3
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    No pun intended, but Holy Shit! A MSgt is bitching to a colonel in a letter? My, my, things have changed......

    Dumb of the colonel, she shouldn't have done that, but if I were a MSgt, I don't think it would have pissed me off enough to stick my neck out like that. He wrote the letter after he made the complaint. Might wanna stayed tuned to see if anyone actually did burn him with the colonel. This kinda smells....
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  4. #4
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retdetsgt View Post
    No pun intended, but Holy Shit! A MSgt is bitching to a colonel in a letter? My, my, things have changed......
    It sort of sounded like the letter was anonymous until EEO ratted out the MSgt.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  5. #5
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    Air Force Master Sgt. Jeffrey L. Thompson, a member of the 501st, sent a letter to Toney that complained she had inappropriately advanced her faith in an official capacity.

    "[The worker] informed me that he has told you my identity regarding this issue," Thompson wrote to Toney. "I appreciate that his intentions were good, but approaching the wing commander on what I perceived as a foul has made me very nervous.
    Nope, looks like he signed it. Wanna bet he retires no higher than a MSgt?

    I'm not defending that colonel, but it would take something more than my sensibilities getting offended to go up against an 0-6.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retdetsgt View Post
    Nope, looks like he signed it. Wanna bet he retires no higher than a MSgt?

    I'm not defending that colonel, but it would take something more than my sensibilities getting offended to go up against an 0-6.
    I'm with you on that score, but email *has* changed things a bit - and particularly in the Air Force.

    I can recall seeing an active duty Major jumping up and down at guardmount screaming "I'm in charge, I'm in charge" after an email went out to us reservists on active duty that we were to report to *our* shirt for discipline issues.

    If I could have, I'd have tossed my beret and walked off at precisely that moment - and it was especially poignant when my flight chief (active civilian LEO) discovered the active duty Major had a ignition interlock restriction on his drivers license and did not indeed have the device on his vehicle.

    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  7. #7
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    I'

    I can recall seeing an active duty Major jumping up and down at guardmount screaming "I'm in charge, I'm in charge" after an email went out to us reservists on active duty that we were to report to *our* shirt for discipline issues.
    Some technology, I'm glad I missed out on.

    If there was one rank in the Army that gave me most grief, it was Majors.... I don't know why, but it seemed they got to be Major too fast and it went to their head or they'd been a Major for 15 years and had no hope of making Lt. Colonel. Every time I got in chicken shit grease, it was because I pissed off a Major..... Usually one that was an battalion XO who wasn't given any real responsibility by the CO. And it seemed usually over something that was none of their real business to begin with.....

    One walked up on a field problem when I was stateside and starting poking his nose into it. I've still got a letter of reprimand one wrote on me for asking him if he wanted to run my platoon. Apparently, he didn't. So when I told him in that case he needed to talk to my Captain, it got ugly. Fortunately, I was close to separation so I really didn't care. I had a CIB and he didn't.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  8. #8
    Billy Mack's Avatar
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    I've always been a little baffled by the rank of major in the Army. You're too senior to command a company but you won't be able to command a battalion. You have to spend the whole grade in staff positions.
    Last edited by Billy Mack; 02-11-09 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Wrong form of too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Mack View Post
    I've always been a little baffled by the rank of major in the Army. You're to senior to command a company but you won't be able to command a battalion. You have to spend the whole grade in staff positions.
    Major in the Air Force is a squadron commander.

    Lt. Colonel is a group commander, and Colonel is a wing commander.

    I never was able to figure out what the general officers do.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  10. #10
    Billy Mack's Avatar
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    After my time in the Army, I spent 3˝ years in the Air Force Reserve. I couldn't figure out what anyone did.

    I wonder what the Navy would be like.

  11. #11
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Mack View Post
    After my time in the Army, I spent 3˝ years in the Air Force Reserve. I couldn't figure out what anyone did.
    There are two Air Forces.

    Don't trust anyone not wearing a beret.

    My little brother is a naval officer, but that's as much as I know about the Navy.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  12. #12
    Billy Mack's Avatar
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    I wouldn't know. I rarely dealt with anyone outside my flight. I was EOD first. The Air Force just paid the bills.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Mack View Post
    I've always been a little baffled by the rank of major in the Army. You're too senior to command a company but you won't be able to command a battalion. You have to spend the whole grade in staff positions.
    My brother retired from the Army as a Lt Col. Most of his time as a Major was spent in admin jobs except for a stint when he commanded an armor range. But that wasn't as much of a command per se. Sort of like being in charge of the property room. He was a Major when he was in Vietnam where he was assigned to S-2. Not a bad racket, he lived in a hotel with other field grade officers.... Sure beat my accommodations!
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    An Air Force "Wing King" is akin to the Captain of a navy vessel or a General in the Army.

    They wield most of the power in the Air Force.

    That poor Master Sergeant got sold up the chain by the EEO office, and that bites.
    Well I guess we know who is going to be given the task of touching up the paint jobs on the center line of active runways.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army

    Renniger-Richards-Griswold-Owens

  15. #15
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America View Post
    Well I guess we know who is going to be given the task of touching up the paint jobs on the center line of active runways.
    Reminds me of a joke I read decades ago in Reader's Digest. An AF CMSGT was sitting in a class and the instructor asked him what he used to remove the ice from B-52's in subzero weather.

    Without batting an eye, he replied, "Airmen 3rd's"

    Disclaimer: Yeah, I know they don't have that rank anymore. That;s what they used to call E-2's,
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  16. #16
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    You have to know how the new AF is run. Her mistake was it was a Christian site. Equal ain't.

  17. #17
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    lol. good thing that it takes an act of Congress to remove rank from an E-7 and above.

 

 

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