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Conscientious Objector Soldier

Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:58 pm

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071016/ts_nm/usa_soldier_beliefs_dc

What say you? He claims that he cannot kill someone because of his Christian faith. How does a Conscientious Objector status actually work?
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yowza
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:07 am

This is ridiculous. If he's that devout why the hell did he join the military.

YOWza
 
lrdc9
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:09 am

Quoting YOWza (Reply 1):
This is ridiculous. If he's that devout why the hell did he join the military.

Was he in the guard or full fledged army?
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:10 am

Wow. What a freakin' asshole.

He had no problem taking ~$250,000 from US taxpayers, by enjoying an education from one of the nation's most competitive colleges. He had no problem making his way up chain to O-3, and enjoying the benefits that come with the rank.

And NOW he's finding himself unable to fulfill his duties? He certainly took the Army for all that it was worth. And the final slap is the honorable discharge he's be rewarded. Seems to me that an honorable discharge is something to be earned... not given away to a CPT who reneged on his deal, and abandoned the soldiers under his command.  Yeah sure

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:11 am

Quoting Lrdc9 (Reply 2):

Was he in the guard or full fledged army?

As an USMA graduate, he would have been an active duty soldier.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
Yellowstone
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:16 am

Quoting YOWza (Reply 1):
If he's that devout why the hell did he join the military.

The link states that the soldier developed these beliefs after he joined the military, upon further study of his faith.

As far as how CO status works - you basically have to prove to the military that your personal moral/religious beliefs preclude you from fighting in war of any kind. Then they will put you into one of two categories, depending on whether or not you are OK with serving in a non-combat military position. The two key points here are that a) you have to object to fighting in all military action, not just some, and b) the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate what you believe. This is especially true if you become a CO after entering the military, as they are not generally willing to invest a bunch of money into training you only for you to change your mind. There are cases where the military has denied CO status and ordered soldiers to continue fighting against their beliefs, leading the soldier to refuse orders and face imprisonment rather than continued service.
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Yellowstone
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:31 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 3):
Wow. What a freakin' asshole.

On the other hand, UH60, would you want to serve under an officer who felt that every time he pulled the trigger, he was violating the basic tenets of his religion? I understand that you don't think he has earned any sort of honorable discharge, but at the same time, I don't think he would deserve a dishonorable discharge simply for standing up for his personal convictions. To quote the Wikipedia entry on the subject (not an authoritative source, I know):

"For instance, a person rendered physically or psychologically incapable of performing his or her assigned duties will normally have his service characterized as honorable, regardless of whether the condition or disability was incurred in the line of duty, provided he or she otherwise exceeded standards."

One could argue that COs are psychologically incapable of performing assigned duties.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
MDorBust
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:35 am

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 6):
One could argue that COs are psychologically incapable of performing assigned duties.

That's a fact.
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RJdxer
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:41 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 3):
He had no problem taking ~$250,000 from US taxpayers, by enjoying an education from one of the nation's most competitive colleges. He had no problem making his way up chain to O-3, and enjoying the benefits that come with the rank.

I don't understand why they couldn't find a desk job somewhere for him until he reached his mandatory service date. Send him to Indy and let him preside over military records or some such duty. I agree that giving him an honorable discharge is a little much. He should have gotten a general discharge at best.
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:42 am

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 6):
I understand that you don't think he has earned any sort of honorable discharge, but at the same time, I don't think he would deserve a dishonorable discharge simply for standing up for his personal convictions.

Well let me be the first to tell you that there are more types of discharges beyond honorable and dishonorable.

Quote:
Honorable Discharge

To receive an honorable discharge, you must have received a rating from good to excellent for your service to the Navy. Even though you only qualify for a general discharge, you may receive an honorable discharge under two circumstances. 1. When you are being separated because of a disability incurred in the line of duty 2. When you receive any awards for gallantry in action, heroism, or other meritorious service .

General Discharge

You receive a general discharge when you separate from the service, under honorable conditions, without a sufficiently meritorious military record to deserve an honorable discharge.

Other Than Honorable Discharge

You receive an other than honorable discharge for misconduct or security reasons.

Bad Conduct Discharge

You receive a bad conduct discharge (BCD) when you separate from the service under conditions other than honorable. You receive a bad conduct discharge only by an approved sentence of a general or a special court-martial.

Dishonorable Discharge

You receive a dishonorable discharge (DD) when you separate from the service under dishonorable conditions. You may receive a dishonorable discharge only by a general court-martial and as appropriate for serious offenses calling for dishonorable separation as part of the punishment.

He does not deserve an honorable discharge. He took a lot from the military, and when military life no longer suits him... he decides to up and go. That is undeserving of any honorable recognition.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
Yellowstone
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:50 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 9):
Well let me be the first to tell you that there are more types of discharges beyond honorable and dishonorable.

And this is why it's a good thing to have someone who knows what they're talking about involved in the thread. Looking at that list, the honorable discharge does seem a little odd. At the same time, I don't think you should minimize the decision he made. Think about the bonds you feel to your fellow soldiers, UH60. I'd imagine that this man felt the same way toward his fellow troops, and that he faced a difficult internal struggle between loyalty to his faith on one hand and his military responsibilities on the other. From what I have read about the CO process, I doubt the military would have discharged him if he had not done a very thorough job of proving that he had had a genuine change of heart.

By the way, my views on the issue are colored by the fact that if I were drafted, I would have to register as a conscientious objector myself.
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N1120A
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:52 am

Quoting YOWza (Reply 1):
If he's that devout why the hell did he join the military.

Looks like he developed those beliefs later

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 8):
I agree that giving him an honorable discharge is a little much. He should have gotten a general discharge at best.

The problem is that having less than an honorable discharge seems to mark people for the rest of their life. I think guidelines should be drawn up not allowing employers, schools, etc. to use a general discharge as a detrimental qualification.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 9):

He does not deserve an honorable discharge. He took a lot from the military, and when military life no longer suits him... he decides to up and go.

Well, I would agree if he had just up and gone, but it appears he has developed some pretty serious religious beliefs that have changed his status. That he admitted to them as opposed to putting others in the questionable situation of having a commanding officer who can't take up arms seems to have been the right thing to do.
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CALTECH
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:04 am

CO should stand for Cop-Out. Give him a very dead-end desk job until his time is up.
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WellHung
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:13 am

I don't see where all the outrage at the guy is coming from.

He presented the beliefs he is entitled to hold, the Army accepted them and let him go. I certainly wouldn't want that guy next to me if we were being attacked and I would imagine every soldier in Iraq would feel the same. If you're going to be pissed at anyone/anything, it should be at the Army.
 
Yellowstone
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:14 am

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 12):
CO should stand for Cop-Out. Give him a very dead-end desk job until his time is up.

Last I checked, punishing people for their religious beliefs is unconstitutional.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
RJdxer
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:16 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
The problem is that having less than an honorable discharge seems to mark people for the rest of their life. I think guidelines should be drawn up not allowing employers, schools, etc. to use a general discharge as a detrimental qualification.

Considering he is in the seminary studying to be a minister, a general discharge would not seem to be an issue in this case.
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:20 am

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 10):
Think about the bonds you feel to your fellow soldiers, UH60. I'd imagine that this man felt the same way toward his fellow troops, and that he faced a difficult internal struggle between loyalty to his faith on one hand and his military responsibilities on the other.

The way I see it... he reaped A LOT of benefits from the US Army and the US taxpayers. And now that's going to be redeployed, he objects and asks to be released. It seems like an unfair trade. The whole deal with serving in the military is "I'll scratch your back, and you scratch mine." The military will provide you with a ton of benefits - FREE benefits - that a person would probably not get as a civilian. In return, they expect you to serve out your commitment. He's not doing that. He's taking a lot, but not giving back in return.

I don't mind him getting released from service, and I don't object to the whole premise of a conscientious objector. However, I do object to him getting an honorable discharge. He is not fulfilling the obligation he agreed to, and is not fairly returning his service in return for benefits reaped. Give him a general discharge and let him go.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
N1120A
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:27 am

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 15):
Considering he is in the seminary studying to be a minister, a general discharge would not seem to be an issue in this case.

Perhaps, but applications for various things still ask about less than honorable discharges.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 16):

The way I see it... he reaped A LOT of benefits from the US Army and the US taxpayers.

Well, he did give a lot back. How much more would a private contractor have made in his job?
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:27 am

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 12):
CO should stand for Cop-Out. Give him a very dead-end desk job until his time is up.

I disagree. I don't want a commander who is not fully committed to his duty. And I certainly don't want a battle buddy who hesitates at the critical moment of danger!

We need people who are committed to serving. We really don't have the time to be dicking around with people who don't. Cut them loose and don't look back. HOWEVER, we shouldn't be rewarding them with the privilege of an honorable discharge.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:35 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 17):
Well, he did give a lot back.

Says the guy who's never served.

The military, and especially individual units, are structured around the assumption that commanders are going to be available for a least x amount of years. We gave him a quarter million dollar education. He received MOS specific training, he received captain career course schooling, and as a West Pointer he most likely received war fighter specific training like Airborne/Air Assault/Ranger/etc. I don't know about him specifically, but the vast majority of captains take advantage of the fact that the Army will pay for your masters. And he'll also be able to take advantage of all post-service programs available to soldiers who were honorably discharged.

All he had to do was fulfill a contractual obligation of 6 years. He's not completing that agreement, thus he shouldn't get an HD.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
searpqx
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:40 am

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 8):
I don't understand why they couldn't find a desk job somewhere for him until he reached his mandatory service date. Send him to Indy and let him preside over military records or some such duty. I agree that giving him an honorable discharge is a little much. He should have gotten a general discharge at best.

Not often we agree, but in this case you nailed it. I have no issues with him claiming conscientious objector status, but considering what he's been provided by the military, at the least he could have finished serving out his commitment in a non-combat role.
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CALTECH
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:51 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 18):
I don't want a commander who is not fully committed to his duty.

They have to have something like a toilet paper procurement desk job, where he wouldn't do too much damage.


Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 18):
And I certainly don't want a battle buddy who hesitates at the critical moment of danger!

Totally agree.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 18):
We need people who are committed to serving.

It is just a few bad apples here and there, just the fact when they have to do what is part of their duty, combat, all of a sudden they do not want to go, really irks me. It is as though they ride for free but when it is time to pay the piper, they find CO status.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 18):
We really don't have the time to be dicking around with people who don't. Cut them loose and don't look back. HOWEVER, we shouldn't be rewarding them with the privilege of an honorable discharge.

Agreed.

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 14):
Last I checked, punishing people for their religious beliefs is unconstitutional.

How is that punishment ? Don't know much about the military eh ? All those desk jobs in the military are punishment then ? Wow, The Pentagon must be a big punishment facility then in someones' opinion. A lot of things change when you enter the military, it is not like it is in civilian or college life.
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N1120A
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:52 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):

Says the guy who's never served.

And there is a reason for that. Anyway, I am one of the taxpayers who's money was spent on him, and I still wonder what it would have cost to have a mercenary in his job.
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ORFflyer
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:03 am

"In following Jesus' example, I could not have fired my weapon at another human being, even if he were shooting at me," said Brown, who plans to continue seminary classes he began by correspondence while in Iraq.

Let's see where he is in five years....  Yeah sure

Quoting Lrdc9 (Reply 2):
Was he in the guard or full fledged army?

What does that matter?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
Looks like he developed those beliefs later

Could they be beliefs of convenience perhaps?

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 14):
Last I checked, punishing people for their religious beliefs is unconstitutional.

True - but like I said above - are these only beliefs of convenience?
 
lobster
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:11 am

Quoting Lrdc9 (Reply 2):
Was he in the guard or full fledged army?

What does it matter? Either one is covered by the same UCMJ. The only difference is the Oath of Enlistment in that Guard soldiers swear to the Governor and Regular Army to the Pres. Either way, this guys a fuckhead.  Angry



Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 3):
Wow. What a freakin' asshole.

He had no problem taking ~$250,000 from US taxpayers, by enjoying an education from one of the nation's most competitive colleges. He had no problem making his way up chain to O-3, and enjoying the benefits that come with the rank.

And NOW he's finding himself unable to fulfill his duties? He certainly took the Army for all that it was worth. And the final slap is the honorable discharge he's be rewarded. Seems to me that an honorable discharge is something to be earned... not given away to a CPT who reneged on his deal, and abandoned the soldiers under his command

EXACTLY!!


If this guy was so into his religion, why didn't be become a chaplain then? He won't be required to carry weapons then, can still serve his god, and most importantly, his country. This guy is a MAJOR jackass and I'm sure glad I was not under his command.
 
N1120A
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:15 am

Quoting ORFflyer (Reply 23):

Could they be beliefs of convenience perhaps?

If they were, I doubt the Army would have backed down.
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ORFflyer
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:23 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 25):
If they were, I doubt the Army would have backed down.

He must have presented his case well.
 
halls120
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:40 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 9):
He does not deserve an honorable discharge. He took a lot from the military, and when military life no longer suits him... he decides to up and go. That is undeserving of any honorable recognition.

Agreed. You want to be a CO, fine, but to say his service was honorable is a travesty.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
Quoting RJdxer (Reply 8):I agree that giving him an honorable discharge is a little much. He should have gotten a general discharge at best.

The problem is that having less than an honorable discharge seems to mark people for the rest of their life. I think guidelines should be drawn up not allowing employers, schools, etc. to use a general discharge as a detrimental qualification.

A general discharge is not dishonorable or other than honorable. It is what it is, and it is what this clown deserved.

That's right, he's a clown. Sorry, I have a hard time accepting the sincerity of his conversion.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 9):
He does not deserve an honorable discharge. He took a lot from the military, and when military life no longer suits him... he decides to up and go.
Well, I would agree if he had just up and gone, but it appears he has developed some pretty serious religious beliefs that have changed his status. That he admitted to them as opposed to putting others in the questionable situation of having a commanding officer who can't take up arms seems to have been the right thing to do.

The right thing to do would be to honor the commitment he made.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
Quoting N1120A (Reply 17):Well, he did give a lot back.
Says the guy who's never served.

The military, and especially individual units, are structured around the assumption that commanders are going to be available for a least x amount of years. We gave him a quarter million dollar education. He received MOS specific training, he received captain career course schooling, and as a West Pointer he most likely received war fighter specific training like Airborne/Air Assault/Ranger/etc. I don't know about him specifically, but the vast majority of captains take advantage of the fact that the Army will pay for your masters. And he'll also be able to take advantage of all post-service programs available to soldiers who were honorably discharged.

All he had to do was fulfill a contractual obligation of 6 years. He's not completing that agreement, thus he shouldn't get an HD.

Well said.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
N1120A
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:41 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 27):

The right thing to do would be to honor the commitment he made.

If he truly could no longer make that commitment, it isn't the right thing.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
halls120
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:43 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 28):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 27):
The right thing to do would be to honor the commitment he made.

If he truly could no longer make that commitment, it isn't the right thing.

Then he doesn't deserve an HONORABLE discharge.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
huskyaviation
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:52 am

There is no mechanism to convert the price of his education into a loan which he has to pay back if he is unwilling to fulfill his duties (aside from death/disability)? If not, they should.
 
allstarflyer
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:53 am

Quoting YOWza (Reply 1):
This is ridiculous. If he's that devout why the hell did he join the military.

 checkmark  People don't join the military to cut a check, pose in a uni, beef up the resume and/or simulate combat. Military service is a distinction that sets it apart from any other job function, save perhaps for police and fire. People thank those in those types of jobs because of sacrifices these are willing to make. Willing is the key word there, and this guy missed that core value entirely.
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LAXspotter
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:54 am

Are there any people who are opposed to Conscientious Objectors? Not this particular "shady" one.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
 
lobster
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:43 am

Quoting LAXspotter (Reply 32):
Are there any people who are opposed to Conscientious Objectors? Not this particular "shady" one.

TOTALLY. We are an ALL VOLUNTEER force today. They know damn well that the basic principal of serving in the military is fighting wars. We fight wars with weapons..guns. Those guns are made to be pointed at someone and fired. Thats how you win a war, kill or be killed. If someone is intellectual enough to say that they are a c/o then they know damn well whats expected of them. Especially someone in the Army who underwent three weeks of rifle marksmanship during basic training. Firing your weapon at someone is what we do. There is no room in the military for someone to pull this bullshit. Don't join if you feel that way because I sure as hell don't want you being the guy sitting next to me when the shit hits the fan.

On the other hand, when we had a draft, I can see it in a small way. Yes, people got drafted who were "true" conscientious objectors. But for all those little chicken shit bastards that ran to Canada, F them. Whether you agree with the war or not, being called to serve your country is of the highest honor one can get. And they ran from it. THAT bothers me.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:46 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 22):
And there is a reason for that. Anyway, I am one of the taxpayers who's money was spent on him, and I still wonder what it would have cost to have a mercenary in his job.

Well it really all depends on what his specific MOS was, what year he was in his contractual obligation, and what his primary duty was to his unit. What he was making was probably the same as me. It's public info, so lets break it down:

-We do know that he was a USMA graduate, so the taxpayers spent $250,000 on his education. I don't know to many civilian schools that cost $62,500 a year.

-As a captain he would have at least spent 3-4 years in the military. So with 4yrs of service, a captain makes a base pay of $56,260.80 a year.

-It seems like he was in NY state, so that would mean Fort Drum. Captains, with no dependents, stationed at Fort Drum make $12996 a year in housing allowance, or $16104 with dependents.

-Officers make $2312.88 a year in food allowance.

-Additional skills, such as pilot, foreign languages, paratrooper, medical, etc... all make additional bonuses in their pay checks.

So what we do know is that he was at least making $71569.68 a year without dependents, or $74677.68 with dependents. He also had no school loans, but held a 4yr bachelors of science degree from one of the most competitive schools in the US. He also had additional career and leadership schooling.

-UH60

[Edited 2007-10-16 20:48:21]
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
Yellowstone
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:58 am

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 21):
How is that punishment ? Don't know much about the military eh ? All those desk jobs in the military are punishment then ?

A desk job is not in itself punishment. But when you phrase it as

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 12):
a very dead-end desk job

you are implying that he will be denied any sort of job advancement opportunity because of his beliefs. That's why it would be a punishment - that "very dead end" qualifier.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
All he had to do was fulfill a contractual obligation of 6 years.

I would propose that in cases like this, the CO be required to serve in some sort of non-military national service organization (the Peace Corps would be one possibility) in lieu of military service. But yeah, I agree that just giving him an honorable discharge and letting him off the hook entirely is not an effective use of national resources.

Quoting Lobster (Reply 33):
If someone is intellectual enough to say that they are a c/o then they know damn well whats expected of them.

But the issue here is that he became a CO after entering the military. People's religious beliefs can certainly develop over time, which appears to have occurred in this case.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
lobster
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:06 am

Quoting LAXspotter (Reply 32):
Are there any people who are opposed to Conscientious Objectors? Not this particular "shady" one.



Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 35):
But the issue here is that he became a CO after entering the military. People's religious beliefs can certainly develop over time, which appears to have occurred in this case.

Care to read the post to which I applied too?

And even if his beliefs developed when he was "in", that still doesn't deserve an honorable discharge. It will be interesting to see where he is a year from now. If he's living in a seminary somewhere studying his religion, then fine, I'll eat crow. But I have a doubt that isn't going to be the case. Time will tell.
 
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CALTECH
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:09 am

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 35):
you are implying that he will be denied any sort of job advancement opportunity because of his beliefs. That's why it would be a punishment - that "very dead end" qualifier.

So it is inconstitutional to have any dead end desk jobs as implied by you, what a marvelous new set of lawsuits that could be filed. It is not about his religious beliefs, it is the contract he signed and did not fulfill.
UNITED Would Be Nice
 
Mir
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:33 am

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 8):
I don't understand why they couldn't find a desk job somewhere for him until he reached his mandatory service date. Send him to Indy and let him preside over military records or some such duty.

 checkmark  There are plenty of ways he could have fulfilled his commitment to the Army (and to the taxpayers that paid for his education) without having to fire a single bullet. Regardless of what his beliefs are, he made a commitment, and needs to serve out that commitment.

Quoting Lobster (Reply 24):
If this guy was so into his religion, why didn't be become a chaplain then?

Good question.

Quoting LAXspotter (Reply 32):
Are there any people who are opposed to Conscientious Objectors?

I'm not, provided that they don't use it as a means of escaping from the military. As I said, there are plenty of ways that you can serve the country without having to fire weapons, and there's no reason that someone should be prevented from being a mechanic or an ATC controller just because they don't like shooting people. If someone gets to the front lines and discovers that they just can't take it, I have no problem with them being pulled off, but they have to stay in the military in some capacity until their service commitment is up.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
N1120A
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:33 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 34):


-We do know that he was a USMA graduate, so the taxpayers spent $250,000 on his education. I don't know to many civilian schools that cost $62,500 a year.

Why would it cost $62,500 a year? Are you including room, board, salary, etc.?

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 34):
-As a captain he would have at least spent 3-4 years in the military. So with 4yrs of service, a captain makes a base pay of $56,260.80 a year.

Was he a captain the whole time?
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:21 am

Quoting LAXspotter (Thread starter):
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071016/ts_nm/usa_soldier_beliefs_dc

What say you? He claims that he cannot kill someone because of his Christian faith. How does a Conscientious Objector status actually work?

Being a conscientious objector doesn't mean that a person is a coward. In WW2 e.g. conscientious objectors served often in non-combatant positions, for example as medics. In this role they often went out off cover under fire to help wounded comrades. Many of them received high decorations.

Also, in WW2 in the US e.g. Quakers, who didn't want to join the military at all, often served as smoke jumpers, risking their lives fightimng wildfires.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
BN747
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:00 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
The problem is that having less than an honorable discharge seems to mark people for the rest of their life.

Not really, it seems that no one gives a crap in the civilian world. Back in the day of 'I wanna job with a company where I can retire in 20 years'..it had more clout. When I got out (Honorable Discharge)..no one ever discussed or brought it up..it didn't mean a thing. NOWADAYS -- HA! Even with a dishonorable discharge almost anyone can make in the civilian world, most civilian workplaces have no idea what any of that means..they just want a body that hasn't been in the clink-

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
Quoting N1120A (Reply 17):
Well, he did give a lot back.

Says the guy who's never served.

Yet as he said..he is the Taxpayer you're bitching about 'getting ripped off'.. he's has every right to say as much and more!

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 29):
Then he doesn't deserve an HONORABLE discharge.

Plus tons of guys 'skate' thru the service and never do squat or actually 'brick it' thru and receive Honorable Discharges. Hordes actually abuse military privileges (soldiers buying goods at the PX and Commisary) then selling it off base to foreign locals at 10X the price (Blackmartket racketeering) all the way up to high ranking officers abusing credit card privileges and 'sneaking items' aboard their transports under the guise of ' mission training flights'..and receive 'Honorable Discharges - and all go on to excel in life. Yet they've completely abused the advantages Military life affords.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 40):
Being a conscientious objector doesn't mean that a person is a coward. In WW2 e.g. conscientious objectors served often in non-combatant positions, for example as medics. In this role they often went out off cover under fire to help wounded comrades. Many of them received high decorations.

Precisely, and the subject of this thread is more honest than most receiving an 'Honorable Discharge' is catching all this flack...for being honest. Anyone can go into the service at 18 or 22/23 (officer) and after 2, 3 or 4 years - military aside - develop a whole new look at life.

Went in religious -- a few years later now a completely non-believer.

Go in a dis-believer and become a believer.

Go in a hunter..and then never want to touch a weapon again..

..people change, in the military, outside the military, never having served in the military. Not many people are the same persons they were when they were 18, 19, or 20. Hopefully, no one is...most people are not all that bright at those ages. Someone where 'hopefully' they begin their trek on the path of worldliness and enlightenment-- which means a change in view points. Marraige vows have lasted shorter than this fellas' commitment..and a lot more than $250, 000 can be on the line. So all this 'store-shelf outrage' is pure nonsense.

People change..it happens .. get over it.


BN747
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
 
Yellowstone
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:39 am

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 37):
So it is inconstitutional to have any dead end desk jobs as implied by you, what a marvelous new set of lawsuits that could be filed.

No, what I'm saying is that it's probably illegal to force someone to take a less desirable job because of their religious views.

Quoting Lobster (Reply 36):
If he's living in a seminary somewhere studying his religion, then fine, I'll eat crow. But I have a doubt that isn't going to be the case.

There are plenty of COs that aren't clerics.

Quoting Mir (Reply 38):
there's no reason that someone should be prevented from being a mechanic or an ATC controller just because they don't like shooting people

The issue's not quite that simple. Suppose that I helped repair a tank that went and killed an Iraqi. Am I not partially implicated in that Iraqi's death, since I knew that the object I was repairing would be used to commit acts of violence?

Quoting Lobster (Reply 36):
Care to read the post to which I applied too?

Yes, I did. You said that you don't agree with members of the military being able to declare themselves COs. That was the claim to which I responded.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
BN747
Posts: 5344
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 5:48 am

RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:43 am

Quoting BN747 (Reply 41):



Basically, if man or woman, can reach a conclusion down the line .. their 'this marital commitment' isn't for them and divorce or seperate from it (usually at a high price), then walking away from a military commitment for whatever the reason (esp. an honest one) is no different. It's not what it was when you got involved. Thank god everyone doesn't do it...we'd have NO ARMY! But it is far more admirable than the 'leeches' who 'learn the system.. (aka manuever themselves into positions to avoid combat assignmentts) and become lifers for no other reason than 'get paid....and risk nothing'... and don't dare try tell me those types don't exist.. cuz I know better!

BN747
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
 
RJdxer
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:27 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
Why would it cost $62,500 a year? Are you including room, board, salary, etc.?

Yes he is. The cost to the taxpayer to put a person through West Point is 250k for four years. The 62.5k is the yearly averge of those four years.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
Was he a captain the whole time?

No, but what he is refering to is the grade/years of service reference. Pay is awarded not only on rank, but years of service thus if you are captain with four years of total service you earn slightly less than a captain with 5 years of total service but probably less than a 1st luitentant with 10 years of service, if such an animal still existed.
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David L
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:30 pm

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 42):
No, what I'm saying is that it's probably illegal to force someone to take a less desirable job because of their religious views.

It probably is but that's not what's being suggested. It's not about his religious views, it's about the fact that he can't perform the role(s) they expected him to perform - the roles they spent time and money preparing him for.
 
UH60FtRucker
Posts: 3252
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:39 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):

Why would it cost $62,500 a year? Are you including room, board, salary, etc.?

I included everything. The cost of a USMA education is priced out to be $250,000 for four years. I simply divided it by 4 years to give an estimate of the cost. The educational portion alone, cost about $125,000. For the UAFA it costs $286,000 a year, and the USNA is about $250,000.

Obviously it's differs from many civilian colleges in a large way, but at the end of the day, a lot of money is spent on USMA graduates. The trade off is that the US Army expects them to complete their contractual obligation of 6 years service (6yr service for pilots does not begin until after flight school is completed.)

Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
Was he a captain the whole time?

He graduated as a O-1, then 18 months later promoted to O-2. Another 18months later, he would have been promoted to O-3. Each grade held it's own pay, and every year of service brought a pay raise. His responsibilities would have increased as each promotion came, most likely moving from platoon leader to company commander.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:44 pm

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 44):
Pay is awarded not only on rank, but years of service thus if you are captain with four years of total service you earn slightly less than a captain with 5 years of total service but probably less than a 1st luitentant with 10 years of service, if such an animal still existed.

It's actually based on even number of years in service. So no 5yr mark on the pay charts! Small correction.  Wink

But you're general point was correct. As rank increased, and years in service increased, pay is adjusted accordingly. And depending on where he lived, his BAH was adjusted for local costs. Whether he had dependents or not, also effected his pay. And whether or not he drew special pay would effect the bottom line.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
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yowza
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RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:52 am

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 5):
The link states that the soldier developed these beliefs after he joined the military, upon further study of his faith.



Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
Looks like he developed those beliefs later

Call me cynical but I'm going to have to call bullshit on this one. If he attended USMA the type of surroundings he would have been in are not exactly conducive to deep self examination and personal spiritual evaluation and growth. It's as much a conditioning program (and a very good one) as it is an education. You study, you do your training and you get on with it. This to me is some guy who enjoyed the good aspects of service, got out to the field, then promptly shit his pants because he didn't have the stones to live up to his part of the very generous deal he made with Uncle Sam.

I think out of spite and as a means of stopping other soldiers from pulling this move they should not have discharged him. They should have forced him to work off his tuition in the most degrading (but legal) way possible.

YOWza
 
rfields5421
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: Conscientious Objector Soldier

Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:41 am

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 8):
I don't understand why they couldn't find a desk job somewhere for him until he reached his mandatory service date.

So some guy has earned 9 months in the states at a desk job after 15 months in Iraq - and you want to take that away from him and send him back so the CO can sit at a desk????

But this guy already was back in the states after completing his tour in Iraq.


First - the type of discharge - his type of discharge is based upon his 3+ years of active duty service. Not why he is being released from the service.

He served an honorable combat tour in Iraq for more than a year. He may have even won a combat award. His service has obviously been up to high standards. There is nothing to suggest that he has not fulfilled his duties and all orders. His initial request for CO status, while he was in Iraq - was denied. He did not quit doing his job, he did not get sent back early. There is nothing anywhere in the story and others on this guy to indicate he does not deserve an honorable discharge. He's been promoted to Captain in just over three years after graduation. If he was not doing his job exceptionally well - he will still be a 1st LT.


Second - his West Point education - if normal policy applies - he will be responsible for paying back almost $150,000 to the taxpayers.


Third - the ACLU tried to make this story sound like the Army caving in before a federal judge made a ruling. Well, if you study the precedents a bit - federal judges have no authority over active duty military personnel and their relationship with the military. Yes, plenty of people sue - but all that ever happens is they make lawyers richer.


Fourth - do you really thing the US Army would have caved in to pressure on this? Since I served in the Navy for 20 years, I'm not completely familiar with Army policy - but doubt that it's significantly different. The person's performance and beliefs over time are watched carefully. The person has to do a lot of work to prove his commitment and beliefs.

There are enough people who make this change in beliefs after there service begins that manuals and regulations for treating the cases exist.

He had to prove his faith and commitment to that faith to many people a lot more skeptical than anyone on this forum before the army would approve his discharge.

I know most of you think military officers are a bunch of fools - but they actually are pretty smart - and know a heck of a lot more of the details of this case than anyone here.

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