DoD regs say the uniform’s prohibited “when participating in activities such as unofficial public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies or any public demonstration, which may imply Service sanction of the cause for which the demonstration or activity is conducted.” The Military Religious Freedom Foundation says this video, depicting the officers shown below endorsing the work of the Christian Embassy ministry, violates those regs. Does it? There’s no disclaimer on the video page itself, but there is one on CE’s “About” page, where the video is linked.
Watching it as a layman, I don’t draw any inference of Service sanction from the fact that they’re wearing the uniforms. But given the worries about indoctrination at the Air Force Academy, I can understand people taking a zero-tolerance approach. The latest PDF report from MRFF explains their issues with the video; the e-mails toward the end from servicemen who’ve encountered proselyzation on the job are also worth your time.
Incidentally, MRFF isn’t always such a stickler about rules and regs. Their blog post on this subject reprints a Washington Post article in its entirety, which is a mighty expansive interpretation of the concept of fair use.
Click the first image to watch.
Update: Christian Embassy is wondering how this can be against regulations if the Defense Department gave them permission to film inside the Pentagon. Did they give them permission to interview uniformed service members, though?