In October 2013, the United States Air Force Academy announced that the words “so help me, God” would be optional when cadets recite the Honor Oath. In response, several GOP Congressmen proposed legislation that would force all Academy cadets to add those words back. The Wild Hunt spoke with a Pagan military veteran as well as Air Force Academy (AFA) Public Affairs officials about the proposed legislation and why they believe keeping “so help me, God” optional is important. We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God.
Don Branum, staff writer for the Air Force Academy’s official newspaper, The Academy Spirit, was named the Defense of Defense (DoD) 2013 Civilian Communicator of the Year. The award is part of the Thomas Jefferson Awards Program, which recognizes the top military and DoD civilian journalists in the categories of print, photo, and broadcast media. This prestigious award is likened to winning a Pulitzer Prize in the civilian world. To win the Civilian Communicator of the Year award, entrants must submit five samples of their work from at least three categories such as commentary, a series, hard news, feature, or photojournalism. Journalists from all branches of the military, including Guards and Reserves, plus DoD civilian journalists, compete for a Thomas Jefferson award.