Atheist Chaplain’s Assistant delivers powerful speech (MUST SEE)

Sergeant Nicholas Amann’s re-enlistment ceremony was not typical by any means. Sgt. Amann is not your typical soldier. He’s prior-infantry but re-classed to chaplain’s assistant so he could help other soldiers. He’s also an atheist.

My wife almost cried when she saw this.

Sergeant Nicholas Amann

Foxhole Atheist | Chaplains Assistant

My wife nearly lost it when he choked up a bit. I noticed it came while quoting scripture that urged forgiveness even to your enemies. He stands up for the oppressed on a wide spectrum of social justice issues. Yet he refuses to give up on their oppressors either.

This type of speech took a lot of bravery to deliver in this official setting. The embrace from his fellow soldier at the end was an extremely moving image.

Sgt. Amann says that he has no regrets. Though he was initially a bit apprehensive at the idea of sharing this with everyone, he rapidly changed his mind. As humble as he is, I think deep down he knew how powerful this speech was – and that it needed to get out there.

Sgt. Amann’s speech made my day. Please show this to someone else.

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  • Karen Hannifin

    Thanks for posting this, Justin. What a wonderful and hopeful thing to watch over my morning coffee.

  • *applause*

    Also, too: shared. Thanks for this.

  • Thanks for sharing this, Justin. I would have never seen anything like this during my term of service.

  • emma

    makes me damn proud to be an american atheist.

  • Karin

    A young man we can all be proud of. Absolutely, a great deal of courage required for this speech. Go get em! Thank you!

  • Lois

    Glad to have a military where this type of freedom is allowed and distributed.

  • Kathleen

    I noticed that the soldiers behind the Sargeant abruptly lowered and removed the American flag they had previously been holding up behind him, and that this happened at 1:55. It appeared that they got their cue to lower the flag from someone outside the field of view of the camera. It was when Sargeant Amman first starting speaking about how if “we brought someone from 2000 years ago…the least they would call us is god.” Is this standard behavior in such a ceremony to do this (lower the flag and fold it) in the middle of a speech? Since the Sargeant had a prepared written speech, it is easy to suppose it might have been reviewed and known to other parties prior to the speech. It’s not unlikely I am too sensitive to ways that atheists are disrespected in formal settings, but I would like to hear from this readership if there is anything that can be read from the mid-speech flag lowering?

    • Justin Griffith

      Your eyes did not mislead you. I had jumped ahead in the video embed here for 2 reasons, and that was one of them. The flag is supposed to stay up the whole time, and yes they did indeed get a cue from someone off camera.

      I didn’t want this to be about anything other than those beautiful words, so I neglected to mention it. But no, you’re not paranoid.

    • John

      You’re not paranoid, however, to give a 6 min speech for a reenlistment speech was most likely the issue more than anything else… It is just not done by most people. It had nothing with him being an Atheist, it had to do with the length of his speech. If a soldier were to speak for 6 minutes about the greatness of the Christian God for 6 minutes he would not only have had that done but would have received at least a counseling statement because it offended someone, most likely an atheist.

      I personally wouldn’t have used my reenlistment to talk about things like that or anything Theological or anti-theological at all, but that is just me. If we are going to get pent up on norms–his sunglasses were out of regulation as well, but again that is me caring about the uniform. According to those same regulations it is not mandatory to hold the flag up during a speech, it is common curtacy just like not making a 6 min speech is often not done out of common curtacy…

      • A.A.

        For the record, those are his reading/seeing glasses. Not sunglasses. But yes, it had to do with the length of his speech, the flag being taken down.