On October 25, the United States Air Force Academy announced that the words “So Help Me God” would be optional when cadets recite the Honor Oath. Established in 1984, the cadet Honor Oath reads:
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. In an official press release Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson said:
Here at the Academy, we work to build a culture of dignity and respect, and that respect includes the ability of our cadets, Airmen and civilian Airmen to freely practice and exercise their religious preference — or not…In the spirit of respect, cadets may or may not choose to finish the Honor Oath with ‘So help me God.’ Since that October announcement several media outlets and blogs mistakenly reported that it was the Air Force itself who had made “so help me God” optional.