Marine Corps states Atheism as risk indicator for risky behavior

Marine Corps states Atheism as risk indicator for risky behavior July 26, 2013

Force Preservation Program

In 2006 the Marine Corps saw the need to implement a new program that would foresee future problems with Marines and attempt to circumvent the destructive tendencies Marines were displaying at the time. It was understandable to put such a system in place. The Marine Corps was reaching an apex where they were losing more Marines to alcohol incidents, motorcycle fatalities, and suicides than they were to actual combat.

So Marine Corps order 1500.58, an order implementing a Mentoring system, was put in place. Throughout the following years orders came down requiring each individual unit to draft and write their own Force Preservation Program. I know because I personally wrote the FPP program for my unit. I got to put that on my list of “accomplishments” in my Fitness Report.

Apparently Training and Education Command in Quantico, Virginia wrote the policy just a bit differently than I would have. Under the Risk Indicator section of the order there are 11 supposed risk indicators that put someone at the possibility for “high risk.” The troubling portion is section 7a. Here, have a look for yourself:

So if you research your religion thoroughly enough to realize it’s a load of bull….then you are at high risk. It also means that you have an issue with your “moral compass”. The worst part about this is that TECOM (Training Command) makes guidance for the entire US Marine Corps. Without TECOM approval there is not a professional schoolhouse or academic measure within the entire military, and they will not receive funding and will not be able to adequately train their Marines. That means Boot Camp, School of Infantry, Advanced Infantry Training, Squad Leaders Course, Sergeant’s Course, Corporal’s Course, every Occupational schoolhouse…

Headquarters and Service Battalion followed the execution and drafting of their FPP program to a T. They included this provision in their program which can be seen here.  Somehow, in my drafting of the policy at my unit, I either overlooked this or it was omitted entirely from what I received. Either way this portion of “risk factor” was never included in the program I wrote. We are reaching out to the US Marine Corps for comment.

If you want to read the entire order I have published it here.

Thanks to Blake Page for breaking this story for me over the Huffington Post.


"Here I'd thought my friend had gone off the deep end. I am very much ..."

Dawkins is Worse than ISIS But ..."
"Go "back" to FB?You're talking about alternate futures."

Dawkins is Worse than ISIS But ..."
"JT is trolling today too. Was there a behind the scenes note to play knifey-spooney?"

Dawkins is Worse than ISIS But ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Priscilla Troop

    You wrote the FPP? I’m sure Training Command would love to know that a low ranking NCO wrote it instead of the Command since you’re not authorized to so so.

    • goodwithoutgod

      Why is he not authorized to do so? As a junior NCO I draft things for senior officers to sign all the time.

      • Paul Loebe

        Hey you’re right! I remember being authorized to do that! Man what a surprise for a senior NCO such as myself to be given that responsibility. Especially since the order was specifically designed for the Sergeants to write the unit level SOP.

    • Paul Loebe

      Thanks for trolling Priscilla. As always entertaining and humorous.

      • Cat

        Some people never learn

        • Priscilla Troop

          Learn what Cat? If you knew what Paul was talking about at all you’d realize how ludicrous his claims are. Just like the claim RBB received a promise from Camp Pendleton not to hold religious events on the installation as the reason for why RBB2 never happened, right? Maybe you should learn a thing or two about how the military really works before trying to speak to it.

          Same to you Paul. Your posts are always entertaining and humorous!

          • Cat

            This is the second time you tried to challenge me about RBB II, I was a part of trying to help make it happen. I might know a little more then you do. You were/are Army really all branches work the same? What was your rank? You are all knowing? No, you are not. The only thing ludicrous here is you.

            What do I mean by you never learn? The fact that Justin, Paul or anyone else with RBB want nothing to do with you. You are an obsessed stalker Priscilla Troop and need to get over it. You can’t stalk Justin any more so now you are stalking Paul? Don’t you think it’s time to move on with your life?

          • Priscilla Troop

            If that’s what you need to tell your-self Ms. Burns. You may have been part of trying to make it happen but you failed to do so. The only thing you know about it is what you were told, nothing more. No not all military branches work the same, as you know. What my rank was is irrelevant to this topic. No I am not all knowing and have never claimed to be.
            The stalking comment is a bit disrespectful of you and it’s apparent you have no clue what you’re talking about there either other than what you’ve been told. If you’d like me to release the IG investigation against Mr. Griffith and the FOIA showing what he did, I can. Again, confronting someone about claims they make hardly constitutes stalking and you’re just parroting loaded verbiage that was deliberately used to try and embarrass me, among other things.

          • Cat

            I have a very sincere question for you, if you were so wronged by Justin, what are you doing here? Why are you subjecting yourself to the past and not letting go it?

            To come here and post, shows you are obsessed still. I don’t need to embarrass you, you are doing a great job of it yourself.

          • Priscilla Troop

            Cat, reading a blog isn’t subjecting your-self to the past and no letting go. How is reading and/or commenting on this blog, obsessing on the past? I comment on and read other blogs on this network and have for a long time, so. The comment I initially left had to do with a claim made in the blog, did it not? Might I remind you that while you played a role in trying to organize RBB2, I actually organized RBB so I see no issue with me reading the blog or commenting on it. For you to equate that to stalking and obsession for one comment, well I think you should be the one who feels embarrassed but I’m certainly not. If I were contacting Paul or commenting on every blog he wrote then you would have a point about ‘stalking’ but I haven’t. In fact this is the first time I’ve left a comment here. I think you’ve been told so many things about me and come to believe they’re true that you can’t see past that.

            I do appreciate that you recognized I was wronged by Justin but I have a sincere question for you. How is what happened in that situation any of your business and why is it reflecting on your perception of me personally? Why did you even bring it up in the first place? You are coming across as a bit hostile and it’s reflecting on your character to speak to yet another issue you have clue about. You know what don’t even bother answering that, I already know. I have no issues with you personally Ms. Burns and never have but I do think you should consider what you just accused me of and apologize, even though I know you won’t.

          • Cat

            “I do appreciate that you recognized I was wronged by Justin ” I NEVER said that. I said ” if you were so wronged by Justin, what are you doing here? ” I say that knowing in your twisted mind that you actually believe that.

            You helped organize RBB, that is one truth you have told. All the while when we were working on RBBII you would go on posts claiming it was not about equality and what phony’s Paul and Justin are.

            You went to his FB wall and commented on a post, then deleted it. You have not been responding to any RBB blogs for a quite awhile, the ONLY reason you started doing so again is because Justin came back and posted.

            Your post was an attack and accusative, everything you say and do is because of your unhealthy crazy obsession, you need to start thinking of your family and get some help. No one is interested in your lies. No one is interested in your drama.

          • Priscilla Troop

            When did I say Paul or Justin were phonies again or that it wasn’t about equality? Pointing out that your reasoning for trying to host another RBB was illegitimate was the truth and it’s the reason it wasn’t approved. Calvary Chapel still has their Armor of Light ministry at Camp Pendleton. If you’re talking about the issue a couple weeks ago I can clear that up pretty easily. A mutual FB friend at that time posted a comment that appeared on my newsfeed about the American Atheists monument. Without seeing that it was on Paul’s personal page, I replied to that individual, not Paul. When Paul responded with his uncalled for comment, it showed up on my newsfeed. I responded and said that I agreed with the monument because it gives AA more visibility in the public domain. I admittedly got angry and posted it to my page but after being confronted and calming down, I realized it was out of anger and silly so I deleted it. Which brings me to why I even started reading this blog, because of that incident. It has nothing to do with Mr. Griffith.
            You accuse me of lying, about what exactly?

          • Cat

            It was on a post months ago a military news article written on RBBII. You came here and accused Paul of lying first about the article and then about RBBII, I am done bothering with you Priscilla Troop.

          • Priscilla Troop

            Cause that never happened. Ms. Burns, you’re just a dumb puppet who takes what she’s told at face value and you latch onto other people’s activism. You and Paul are ineffective and that’s why RBB has not and will never go anywhere. Best of luck crazy cat!

          • Cat

            If being helping Rock Beyond Belief is being a puppet the same goes for you Priscilla. The difference being is I am welcomed here and you are not.

          • Priscilla Troop

            The difference being I didn’t ‘help’ organize RBB, I organized it, Mr. Griffith took credit for it. You are just trying to ride the coat tails and aren’t getting anywhere so you just exaggerate or flat out make shit up. How many events and protests have you organized ever? Crazy Cat

          • Patrick Parker

            I have no idea who you are and don’t care but I’ll say this, don’t you dare tell my wife how to take care of our family and start spouting off that horse shit about her stalking, who do you think you are? I’ve had it with you and the rest this group harassing and defaming her. We’ll see you in court.

          • Cat

            Mr, Troop,
            Your wife came seeking us out to troll us, No one here is interested in having anything to do with her. She stays off the blog, off our facebook, off our twitter, you will never see another remark about you wife from me again. I look forward to court 🙂

    • Kathleen Duncan Johnson

      Nothing unusual about this at all. I was writing stuff for programs like this for very senior people to review and sign, including stuff that was later incorporated into Army Regulations from the time I was an E-5..

  • gibsonsdad

    Marines can write?

  • Kevin Dodge

    The TECOM Order that you linked is unsigned and undated. Are we sure this is a valid order?

    • Paul Loebe

      It is. It was the one utilized to draft the programs at the unit level. It was mailed out by a Marine who was made to put together training classes on it earlier this week. I have more info on that H&S BN I will post up as soon as I can get to a computer.

      • Kevin Dodge

        Units (the OPFOR) should not be using a TECOM Order to draft their own programs. The Order specifically states “This Order is applicable to all TECOM military personnel.” I realize that “borrowing” text from another document is standard practice, but TECOM’s text is not prescriptive unless the unit decides to copy their content without changing it. Still, the school houses, that fall under TECOM, have to use this order…

        • Paul Loebe

          How right you are. This one is a redraft for schools. I stand corrected.

          However, the one at H&S is separate from the TECOM order.

  • Cat

    She does not care about facts,

  • Ryan Hite

    That is not the way it works no god does not equal no morals….

  • James Works

    I suppose what the phrase “spiritual faith” means could be construed to mean “faith in oneself,” but that is not the generally accepted understanding of the phrase. Can’t see that (1) should be included at all. I am troubled that “prudence” is equated with “to know right from wrong.” Prudence has to do with “acting with or showing care and thought for the future,” not with distinguishing between right and wrong. One can proclaim an action that is clearly wrong to others as being “prudential.”

  • jenny

    Not believing that a super power would protect me before going into a battle is pretty scary . We call that power ‘God”.
    And if we loose our solders to alcohol/ suicide that is very bad. God gives a sense of hope and protection, even if sometimes that is very difficult to believe in while in the middle of the battles.

    • Paul Loebe

      You can believe whatever you want. But when that belief is used against me merely because I don’t believe you are crossing a line that violates my civil liberties. Even worse when it affects my career you are taking food off the table for my family and making sure I don’t get promoted with my peers. That is even more egregious than just telling me I’m “going to hell”…

      This rule gives the commanders authority to say that when a non-believer has problems it’s because they don’t believe….regardless of the stress of any given situation. Total BS!

  • Paul Loebe

    I blacklisted Priscilla for any wondering. I’m done dealing with that. She is not now nor will ever be a part of Rock Beyond Belief. She may go join her friend at the Christian Fighter Pilot where she regularly participates but she is not welcome here. I normally do not ban but given her history with Rock Beyond Belief I feel that it is counter-productive towards any activism I and my team are conducting. I welcome criticism and disagreements as we can all learn and grow from them but I will not accept them from she or her family on my blog in the future. Thank you all for your continued support.

    I have now closed this thread for comments.