The B-52 Stratofortrees or the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat F#ucker), Heavy, Monkeyknocker and Coconutknocker to name a few is perhaps the most widely used and oldest of heavy strategic bombers in the United States military and the history of the US Air Force. It is also widely known that multiple generations of Americans have served in the same air frames a trait not common with US Military aircraft. This bird is unique and exceptional.
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is an American long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber. The B-52 was designed and built by Boeing, which has continued to provide support and upgrades. It has been operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) since the 1950s. The bomber is capable of carrying up to 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) of weapons, and has a typical combat range of more than 8,800 miles (14,080 km) without aerial refueling.
Beginning with the successful contract bid in June 1946, the B-52 design evolved from a straight wing aircraft powered by six turboprop engines to the final prototype YB-52 with eight turbojet engines and swept wings. The B-52 took its maiden flight in April 1952. Built to carry nuclear weapons for Cold War-era deterrence missions, the B-52 Stratofortress replaced the Convair B-36. A veteran of several wars, the B-52 has dropped only conventional munitions in combat. The B-52’s official name Stratofortress is rarely used; informally, the aircraft has become commonly referred to as the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fucker).
The B-52 has been in active service with the USAF since 1955. As of December 2015, 58 were in active service with 18 in reserve. The bombers flew under the Strategic Air Command (SAC) until it was disestablished in 1992 and its aircraft absorbed into the Air Combat Command (ACC); in 2010 all B-52 Stratofortresses were transferred from the ACC to the newly created Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). Superior performance at high subsonic speeds and relatively low operating costs have kept the B-52 in service despite the advent of later, more advanced aircraft, including the canceled Mach 3 B-70 Valkyrie, the variable-geometryB-1 Lancer, and the stealthB-2 Spirit. The B-52 completed sixty years of continuous service with its original operator in 2015. After being upgraded between 2013 and 2015, it is expected to serve into the 2040s.The B-52s will reach the end of their service lives by 2045, will be replaced by B-21 Raiders. (Source – Wikipedia)
ADAPTABILITY! 18 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT THE B-52!
1) The B-52’s very first flight was April 15, 1952 – over 64 years ago.
2) The B-52 Stratofortress was engineered to carry nuclear weapons during the Cold War, but it has only carried conventional ordnance into combat.
3) There were enormous improvements in aviation happening when the B-52 was first being designed, and it went through 6 major redesigns during its 5 year design period. The YB-52 pictured below was the second-to-last major redesign.
4) A B-52A Stratofortress was used to carry the USAF North American X-15. The X-15 aircraft achieved the record for fastest manned powered aircraft, with a speed of Mach 6.72.
5) Over its life there have been 744 B-52s built, but presently there are only 85 in active service, with 9 in reserve.
6) The B-52 Stratofortress can carry up to 70,000 pounds of ordnance which is the equivalent of 30 fully-loaded Cessna 172s. That is 35,000 tons to put it in perspective.
7) She is both young and old. B52 production ended in 1962, which means the youngest B-52 is 53 years old. Can you believe it?
8) The B-52 Bomber has a very unique ejection system; the lower deck crew eject downward. They go north and south.
9) The B-52 is expected to remain in service until the 2040s. That’s over 90 years of service. A proud and distinct heritage of flight and service.
10) In the year 1964, a B-52 configured as a testbed to investigate structural failures flew through severe chop, shearing off its vertical stabilizer. The aircraft was still able to continue flying, and landed safely. A fortress indeed.
11) The aircraft’s navigator and radar navigator sit in the lower deck and part of the aircraft. These are the two seats that eject downward which is rare among aircraft.
12) To comply with the SALT II Treaty requirements, cruise missile-capable aircraft had to be identifiable by spy satellites. Sure let’s tell you exactly where they are at! To comply, the B-52 “G” models were modified with a curved wing root fairing.
14) In 1961, a B-52G type broke up in midair over Goldsboro, NC. Two nuclear bombs on board the aircraft were in fact dropped in the process, but didn’t detonate. After the bombs were recovered, the US Air Force found that five of the six stages of the arming sequence had been completed.
16) After the USSR fell in 1991, 365 B-52s were destroyed under the START treaty. The aircraft were stripped of usable parts, chopped into 5 pieces with a 13,000 pound steel blade, and sold for scrap at 12 cents per pound. Someone made a killing!
Back in July of 2011 when Vision-Strike-Wear.Com was hand delivering CPO365 shirts to the Chief’s Mess at Whidbey Island, the announcement of the first Growler transference at Hangar 5 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island was being announced. We got to hear the incredible “Thunder” these amazing aircraft gave off when they launched from the airfield. The Chief’s, Senior Chiefs, Master Chief and for a brief time the Command Master Chief greeted us in the most respectful way. VAQ-135 transitioned from the EA-6B Prowler to the EA-18G Growler.VAQ-135 is the fourth operational squadron to have achieved the qualification following the proven paths of VAQ-132, VAQ-141 and VAQ-138.
“One thing I’ve noticed throughout this entire process in all the Black Raven Sailors is this; even though the entire squadron was split up attending schools in Oceana, Va., being trained over at VAQ-129, and then reconstituting at VAQ-135, our Sailors never forgot that at the end of the day they are all Ravens,” said Johnson.
“They never went away from what makes this group of people awesome,” he added. “This day would have never arrived, nor would the squadron have performed as well as it did during this transition if it weren’t for these outstanding Sailors and their ruthless work ethic and spirit. Our Sailors are who got us to where we are today.”
The next step for the squadron will be to accept their new Growlers and to begin routine squadron operations again. Black Ravens past and present are anxiously looking to the near future, when the squadron will once again deploy into harm’s way, this time as an expeditionary squadron, employing the world’s premiere Airborne Electronic Attack platform.
THEN CAME THE BLACK RAVENS SHIRTS!
Word spreads rapidly at NAS Whidbey Island and it was less than a week after the delivery of the CPO 365 Mess shirts that we received a call from VAQ-135, The Black Ravens requesting a USN Shirt for their FCPOA. Give it a Japanese feel, add a Raven of course, flags representing the area they were operating in and finish it with a Torii gate. Can do!
No other means of aircraft has been so widely displayed in movies, books, visual accounting, story telling as the UH-1H Iroquois over the skies of Vietnam. The Huey, Loach, helo and many other terms and slangs have been given to this bird over the years. So let’s take a look at what she is and what she has done.
The Iroquois was originally designated HU-1, hence the Huey nickname, which has remained in common use, despite the official redesignation to UH-1 in 1962. The UH-1 first saw service in combat operations during the Vietnam War, with around 7,000 helicopters deployed. (Source – Wikipedia)
THE HUEY IN MOVIES.
Easily argued the scene with the 1st Cav screaming over the skies of Vietnam inbound towards the hooches off the Vietnam coastline strikes many memories as seen in the movie Apocalypse Now. Colonel Kilgore and his quote “I love the smell of Napalm in the morning. It smells like victory!” is synonymous with the Huey and its versatility as a weapons platform and a troops transport.
Charlie Doesn’t Surf!
Every Helicopter Is a Huey
Hollywood invariably produces at least one military movie per year but here are a few things that make the use of the UH-1 a bit funny when you stop to think about it.
It’s true Holly has a fetish when it comes to a Huey and for a variety of reasons. Every time the Hollywood heroes in an action or military movie or TV show have to go somewhere and someway by helicopter, there are big chances they will be doing it in a Huey. This is justified in Vietnam War movies cause well they were there and they were actually used: the UH-1D Iroquois is an icon of United States involvement in Vietnam, with over 7,000 birds seeing service (and many, many more of other military and civilian models since—Bell is still making Hueys today believe it or not). As a dedicated troop transport helicopter, it’s a natural choice for thePlatoon. The Huey looks like the perfect helicopter that conveys a tough, militaristic feel and suggest a military movie in the way that a less easily-recognizable helicopter might not. Maybe its because so many of them have been used they are simply the go to helicopter when it comes to movies. In a gunship, Huey situation, one can expect two heavily-armed attack Hueys flown by nameless pilots in formation (ton of movies that have this) with a Huey carrying a hero. Though the United States military started replacing Hueys with Black Hawks as the general-purpose transport helicopter as long ago as 1979, they still keep a lot of them flying for various odd jobs and things. The same is true of the other branches, except the Marine Corps, who not only still use them in a front-line role but are also currently taking delivery of the new and highly-advanced UH-1Y model. It’s commonly said in the US Military that when the last Blackhawk is deleted from the inventory, it will be slingloaded to the Boneyard by a Huey. In the movies they still show up everywhere even now from movie to movie – even places they have no right to be, in countries that never flew them as funny as that may be. As a general rule:
Hueys have a 50-50 chance of showing up in a fully civilian movie, where Bell JetRangers and other models appear just as often;
A somewhat-military movie, or a movie featuring the military that skimped on research, will almost invariably have Hueys and follow this pattern.
A well-researched military movie will only feature Hueys as appropriate – for instance, when dealing with the Vietnam War era, or for Marine Twin Hueys.
Hollywood characters in action films are particularly prone to stumbling across Hueys all fueled up, ready to fly and very often fully-armed (often as not with weapons no real Huey ever dreamed of carrying).
It flies, turns, banks and survives against all odds when taking on a Russian MiG
WE WERE SOLDIERS
Col Hal Moore takes his Troopers into the jungle of Vietnam and with the use of the Huey survives against impossible odds. The Huey made the difference.
“We will ride into battle, and this will be our horse.”
NAVOCEANASWCEN Naval Oceanography Antisubmarine Warfare Center Yokosuka Shirt Created
Custom United States Navy shirts are more than just flashy images. They have purpose and a mission and carry a message in the United states Navy! Sinking enemy submarines lies at the heart of this command and its strategic importance. Naval Surface War Fighting!
WHO IS NAVOCEANASWCEN?
Command Mission. The mission of the Naval Oceanography AntiSubmarine Warfare Center Yokosuka, Japan (NAVOCEANASWCEN YOKOSUKA JA, further abbreviated NOAC Yokosuka) is to provide asymmetric warfighting advantage for Antisubmarine (ASW) forces in 7th/5th Fleets through application of oceanographic sciences; and accurate and timely weather forecasts, warnings and recommendations for Commander, Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ) ashore forces to facilitate asset protection responsibilities and risk management. (Source – http://www.usno.navy.mil)
HOW DO YOU KILL A SUBMARINE!
Mk. 54 lightweight torpedo
The U.S. and allied navies have one of the best light torpedoes in the world in the Mk. 54. It has a 96-pound warhead guided by a torpedo that can ignore enemy countermeasures and home in on an enemy sub at 40 knots. It can be launched from ships, helicopters, and planes and reaches deep enough to kill all known subs.
The Littoral Combat Ship
The LCS ASW mission is to conduct ASW operations in support of a carrier strike group (CSG), amphibious readiness group (ARG), LCS surface action group (SAG) or independently. he Littoral Combat Ship is a fast, agile and networked surface combatant optimized for operating in the littorals. The primary missions for the LCS include countering diesel submarine threats, littoral mine threats and surface threats, such as small surface craft attacks, to assure maritime access for joint forces. The underlying strength of the LCS lies in its innovative design approach, applying modularity for operational flexibility. In executing each mission, LCS employs a modular Mine Countermeasures (MCM) MP, Surface Warfare (SUW) MP or Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) MP. (Source – http://www.navy.mil)
Arleigh Burke Destroyers
What could be easily said as the workhorse and the backbone of the United States Navy surface fleet. The Tin Can Sailors have been dropping depth charges since WW2 and fire the Mk. 54 anti-submarine torpedoes.
When NAVOCEANASWCEN contacted Vision-Strike-Wear.Com they requested a strong American, Japanese custom US Navy design featuring the Torii Gate, Mt Fuji, a Trident skewering an enemy submarine piercing its hull, and their command motto “Maintaining Freedom Of The Seas” which is an important message as world powers work hard to develop their submarine technologies and the US navy effort so keep ahead of that curve.
*artwork is the copyrighted design of Vision-Strike-Wear.Com. Permission to use this design or derivative requires the written permission of Vision-Strike-Wear.Com
Death Before Dismount! The US Army Armor Divisions Don’t Tread Lightly In Combat nor should they when these beasts of steel and blood cut through the enemy like a hot knife through butter along with a 105mm rifled gun.
DEATH BEFORE DISMOUNT –
DBD. Maybe the most quoted phrase among tankers since their inception. Never give up the tank, leave it, abandon it. It is home, it is your life and and it is there to protect and attack as needed, piercing through enemy lines.
The Beast Of War –
“Out of commission, become a pillbox. Out of ammo, become a bunker. Out of time, become heroes.”
“Because You Are Tankers!”
Fury – The Movie
Norman Ellison: I’ve never even seen the inside of a tank. I’m a clerk typist. Was heading to Fifth Corps HQ, and they pulled me off the truck. They sent me here. It’s gotta be a mistake.
Three main versions of the M1 Abrams have been deployed, the M1, M1A1, and M1A2, incorporating improved armament, protection, and electronics. These improvements and other upgrades to in-service tanks have allowed this long-serving vehicle to remain in front-line service. In addition, development for the improved M1A3 version was reported in 2009. (Source – Wikipedia)
The 1st Armored Division of the United states Army, headquartered in Fort Bliss, has been for decades looked upon as one of the hardest hitting, elite and downright kick ass Armored Division in the US military. The division was nicknamed “Old Ironsides”, by its first commander, Major General Bruce R. Magruder, after he saw a picture of the frigate USS Constitution, which is also nicknamed “Old Ironsides”. The large “1” at the top represents the numerical designation of the division, and the insignia is used as a basis for most other sub-unit insignias. (Source – Wikipedia)
The United States Army and its amazing Armor units have been at the heart of the United States Army going back to World War 2. From the development of the Sherman tank tot he M1A1 Abrams the technology and lethal ability of the US Army main battle tank has gained tremendous ground over the years. The courage and commitment of a US Army tanker knows no defeat and above all things it has always been Death Before Dismount!
One of the most controversial military subjects in today;s society is how religion is perceived by the Department Of Defense in terms of how it is looked upon from a grand perspective with military rules and regulations down to the individual Soldier Sailor, Airman, US Marine and US Coast Guardsman. Are we being attacked from within the military and having the core values usurped by religion?
IS ONE SOLDIER’S GOD MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANOTHER’S?
We have seen stories written about Indians, Muslims, Christians and Jews being recognized in the military a discussion about uniforms, the desire to take training days off because they are conducted on religious days of observance, the issues pertaining to religious hate crimes and more. Is there a solution? The American military has always been one of uniformity and teamwork but can those ideals survive in an environment when individuals want to be recognized based on their individual religious views?
DOES MILITARY AND RELIGION MIX?
According to www.Esquire.Com one perspective is that they do not. As quoted by Esquire.Com “The military and religion do not mix, nor should they. When a religious man has power over another, and therefore has the ability to force his views, the intent of the Founding Fathers is betrayed. Any who advocate for military preaching are betraying our nation’s Founding Fathers.”
Is this true and do you believe it? The discussion of one man forcing his views over an another as in making a rule or creating change such as allowing a certain headress to become part of the uniform you are sending a message that one person is more important than the rest and then exceptions continune to become the norm and not the exception where uniformity is
is crucial to the culture of the US Military.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND THE MILITARY.
As discussed by Militaryreligiousfreedom.Org there are some in depth perspectives about how the separation of church was at the very forefront of the Founding Father of the United States and how important it was for America to not allow the cross over of these two important areas. According to a recent article that our Constitution was created based on democracy and not one of religion. As quoted from their website “Our founding fathers set up a government based on democratic principles, not religious principles. Our Constitution is secular. There is no mention of Christianity or any other religion.”
Furthermore it is also cited by Militaryreligiousfreedom.org “It is important to note several things,
#1. The presidential oath of office, the only oath specified in the Constitution, does not contain the phrase “So help me, God” or show any requirement to swear on a bible.
#2. The pledge of allegiance written in 1892 did not contain, “under god.” until it was added by Congress in 1954.
#3. Most significantly the 1797 Treaty with Tripoli, negotiated under President Washington, unanimously approved by the Senate and signed by President Adams, declares, “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
The founding fathers, many of who were religious gentlemen, created a secular government for very specific reasons.
#1. They were very conscious of the pitfalls the church-state alliances had fostered in Europe, the reasons for many to depart and forge a new path in the new world.
#2. They looked back to our early American colonial period where some colonies officially established churches and taxed all citizens to support them regardless of whether they were members of the church or not.
Among the many things that make this country unique are the liberties guaranteed in our Constitution, including religious freedom. Because we live in this pluralistic society set up by our founders, people of all faiths or no faith are welcome and we as Americans enjoy more religious freedom than any other people in the world. Simply stated, our founders understood two very simple and important things:
#1. That the separation of church and state would allow all faiths to flourish.
#2. That in matters of religion our government would be set up to remain neutral.”
So with this being said does it appear that our military has regressed and is not in line with our very own US Consititution? Giving US Military personnel the right to display, wear or take on the appearance of a connection to their religion seem like a departure from our US government not following its own mandate?
GENERAL NORTON A SCHWARTZ ON RELIGION ON 911.
As quoted on September 1st, 2011 by General Schwartz
“Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion.” In this memo he states, ” Leaders at all levels must balance Constitutional protections for an individuals free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and its prohibition against governmental establishment of religion”. Further ” They must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.”
RELIGION AT THE CORE OF THE US MILITARY.
Without exception military lies at the heart of the US Military. It is part of its culture and its heritage from the prayers spoke in a squad bays, the beliefs fostered and expressed during a barrage, the need to feel a connection to something greater that will help get one through difficult times like a battle or a war. Religion and the US military permeates our history from the movies we watch to the stories we read. American culture has been connected with war since its independence in 1776 and the religions of those who fought then and the many wars and battles since the founding of our country. There are also chapters and verses from the Bible alone that have been adopted into US Military culture. A few examples of these Psalms and texts are listed below.
One of the most famous of Biblical Psalms, 144:1 has been quoted numerous times by the men and women of the military. The reason for this is that it speaks to the men and women of the US military giving them added strength as they experience the enemy on the battlefield and need that added faith to get them through difficult times. Without their religious convictions Biblical passages like would never be expressed.
Psalm 144King James Version (KJV)
144 Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
3 Lord, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!
4 Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.
5 Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
6 Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them.
We Will Never Forget – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. Without exception the US military is has and will always be about never leaving our men and women on the battlefield. It serves at the heart of who we are as Americans and as soldiers. And should we lose a brother or sister we as Americans have taken vows, expressed the deepest and most sincere feelings about never forgetting them and keeping their cups always filled at times of gather. Although the chair might be empty we always remember those we have lost and could not be with us a feeling rooted in our religious beliefs and backgrounds.
PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD!
Below is the Bible passage taken from Ephesians 6, 13-17 which is the foundation of warriors in the field that has gone back centuries to our modern military day.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
When American was attached on 911 her Fireman, Police, First Responders many of whom were former military did the first thing they knew to do: They rushed to the scene and did their jobs. Ingrained in these heroes above their own personal safety they went to save lives of others. They put the men and women of the Twin Towers ahead of their own, running to the scene to make every effort to save lives. As a cornerstone of American values and ones deeply ingrained in our military is putting the lives of our brothers and sisters ahead of our own even when it mean self sacrifice. It is keeping the faith as is often the quote that is the building block of America and why we as a culture are reminded daily of how important faith is to the foundation of this country.
THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY…
Who at what point has not heard the beginning of this all too famous Biblical statement. Either you are in a crack US Marine platoon, part of the US Army highly evolved artillery or airborne division or you are stuck in some god forsaken place in a sloppy and disgusting foxhole you still need a little faith that you will get through this madness and get home safely. It takes faith and belief you can do it. Sometimes you just need to feel like you are the biggest, baddest mother in the valley to accomplish this feat.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
MILITARY AND RELIGION AT THE HEART OF THE AMERICAN CULTURE.
Movies like Uncommon Valor, Saving Private Ryan, Blackhawk Down, We Were Soldiers, Hacksaw Ridge and many more centered on your battle buddy, your fellow soldier, your brother and relying on him and him you in the harshest of environments. For the commons soldier you looked for any means to survive and being shoulder to shoulder on the firing line, in a fox hole praying to get home safely or simply looking for any reassurance from your faith that no harm would come to you and everyone could go home when it was over has been every part of the American culture from fighting the British Redcoats, surviving in Hell Holes in the Civil War, over the fields of France during World War Two, on the hills of Korea and in the jungles of Vietnam. There have certainly been more like Fallujah, Baghdad, Kuwait and so many more where America has been.
“On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind.” Dan Lipinski
American movies have also chronicled our heritage and connection tot he military and each has told a story often with a direct correlation to a religious connection or faith expressed.
How a conscientious observer, Desmond Doss, against all odds and efforts to prevent a man from being an Army Medic, wages into battle without a single weapon and successfully saves the lives of over 70 men in his command earning him the Medal Of Honor, the first one by a conscientious observer ever.
A father wages a personal and very private effort to save his son and his fellow soldiers, with the assistance of his son’s remaining A-Team from a Cambodian POW camp years after the war had ended.
After a Delta Force, 75th Ranger Battlalion raid into a dark and heavily armed Bakara Market in downtown Mogadishu encounters heavy enemy action and the downing of several Blackhawks both Delta Operator and 75th Ranger work as a team to successfully extract pilots and crew from downed crash sites against all odds.
We Were Soldiers
A film featuring Mel Gibson as Colonel Hal Moore whose Troopers of the 7th Cav, surrounded, successfully fought off attacks from North Vietnamese soldiers over the course of days and was able to retrieve all his men and leave the field of battle with honor.
Throughout American films and their association with military films there are notable quotes that have also become part of the American Military conscience.
Chris Kyle – In the film adaptation, Kyle is visibly moved by his first shot and later mentions meeting his maker and justifying each shot he took. He writes that he spent a lot of time praying during difficult times.
God of our fathers, who by land and sea have ever led us to victory, please continue your inspiring guidance in this the greatest of all conflicts. Strengthen my soul so that the weakening instinct of self-preservation, which besets all of us in battle, shall not blind me of my duty to my own manhood, to the glory of my calling, and to my responsibility to my fellow soldiers. Grant to our armed forces that disciplined valor and mutual confidence which insures success in war. Let me not mourn for the men who have died fighting, but rather let me be glad that such heroes have lived. If it be my lot to die, let me do so with courage and honor in a manner which will bring the greatest harm to the enemy, and please, oh Lord, protect and guide those I shall leave behind. Give us the victory, Lord.” General George Patton
“Military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars.” General George Marshall
SO WHAT IS THE RELIGIOUS MILITARY ANSWER?
On a personal note religious expression in the military is one that would be fundamentally based on a democracy but in the military it is not a democracy. The orders given, the laws given and governed, the decisions of senior leadership is not one based on free rights. They are not. When you signed the papers and took the Oath to Defend The Constitution you gave up your rights and that was of your own volition and free will. No one said you could;t go to Church, a Mosque or Synogogue. They are simply stating that you don’t get the power to decide what you do when it comes to not following the orders of the officers and command appointed over you. You made that choice. Now is not the time to stand out as an individual unless it is in the course of following orders and doing your job. You are not special and no matter what you feel is right or wrong no one cares what your opinion is while you serve in the US military. You have a job. Do it and don’t make it some personal need to demonstrate how important you think your religion is. If you don;t like the rules don’t join because it only hurts the fabric of the US military when you do.