It turns out that nobody is too atheist to fight for your freedoms and that there are soldiers who don’t let fear rob them of the critical thinking – and thus, there are atheists in fox holes. The US army has acknowledged another flavor of such men and women by allowing them to etch “Humanist” into their name tags.
While this may seem like a small and obvious thing, it was a two year-long battle for Maj. Ray Bradley.
More than two years after first making his request, Army Maj. Ray Bradley can now be known as exactly what he is: a humanist in the U.S. military.
“I’m able to self-identity the belief system that governs my life, and I’ve never been able to do that before,” said Bradley, who is stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and works on supporting readiness of the Army Reserve’s medical staff.
Lt. Col. Sunset R. Belinsky, an Army spokeswoman, said Tuesday (April 22) that the “preference code for humanist” became effective April 12 for all members of the Army.
In practical terms, the change means that humanists could face fewer hurdles in trying to organize within the ranks; military brass would have better information to aid in planning a deceased soldier’s funeral; and it could lay the groundwork for eventually adding humanist chaplains.
Two years of fighting, but one quick letter from the ACLU and the army changed its tune pretty damn quick.