Religious services at Field Training?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by flyfightwin00, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. flyfightwin00

    flyfightwin00 New Member

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    So our Det is trying to get things sorted out for FT. Apparently we can choose protestant, catholic, other, or none for a religious service. I'm atheist, so I'd prefer not to attend a service, but I've heard stories, especially in the military, of stigma against those who don't participate in religious services. What would I do instead? Extra PT/cleaning the bathroom? (I joke, but I've heard this happen at basic training). Would my FTO be upset? Can any other older cadets chime in on this? I was raised in a very religious household, so I'm no stranger to church, but it just doesn't really do anything for me.
     
  2. afrotc16

    afrotc16 Member

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    They're not allowed to do any training during religious services because that would give some people an advantage over others (at least this is what I've heard from POC) so (I believe) it's just individual cadet time. But consider tagging along to a religious service. You don't necessarily have to believe what's being said - you can just sit and listen.
     
  3. a400831

    a400831 Member

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    If you don't go to a religious service you get that block of time to relax. I went to Protestant services at Maxwell, one time at JFTC, then didn't go the second week at JFTC. When I didn't go we had 3 hours to shower, sit next to our racks and just chill. Either way, Sundays are the best days of field training.
     
  4. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    If you did the latter part of that statement, you'd be doing more than many regular church-goers.
     
  5. enskaisin

    enskaisin Member

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    I'm an atheist as well, but I went to services at Maxwell for the break from training and opportunity to take some actual quiet time to write letters (and, real talk, the cookies) and ended up really benefiting from attending. Getting to see my friends from home and take a break to think about why I was there and what I wanted to accomplish was really refreshing; it also served as a marker in time, like "oh wow we've already made it to services, look at how far we've come!"

    JFTC is a different animal, and I didn't find the services there as beneficial for reasons already mentioned.
     
  6. Vretro

    Vretro Member

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    You may or may not get "sweet" snacks for attending... Not to incentivize going or anything. I did what a400831 did.
     
  7. kevster

    kevster Member

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    I would say go to the services if you have the chance. It's kinda nice to just get off the campus and have a little change of pace. Most people go to the Catholic or Protestant service regardless of their religious inclination. The pros are you get to catch up with friends, vent a little, probably catch a quick snack, use a normal bathroom (especially at JFTC) and just take a chill pill.

    You won't be stigmatized in any way for not going. I personally didn't want to just sit in my dorm by myself doing nothing. A few of my friends who didn't go to church the 1st week regretted it and all ended up going the following Sundays.

    I would say just go if you are OK with it go the first week and the worse case is that you don't like it and take a pass the last few weeks. Best of luck.
     
  8. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    At basic training you either went to service or did more training, not necessarily the fun kind, so all the kids went. I never asked my son about his experiences at FT, but he is religious anyways. (Step son went enlisted USAF, other son is a senior in ROTC)

    I will say that as a parent, we got to attend one of the services at basic training and it was one of the most moving ceremonies of any kind I have seen in my entire life, and I certainly don't consider myself to be all that religious.

    I guess this is a question for the people that have served, but is there a stigma attached to being an atheist in the USAF?
     
  9. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Ignoring the frequently cited quote of "there is no atheist in a foxhole" for a moment...

    My active duty experience (USMC) was there was no stigma or bias for those who were atheist or those that were religious. Certainly not service-wide or culturally. I am sure that there are sea stories of individual unit commanders or leaders who abuse their authority/ influence in some way but it certainly isn't widespread.

    I do want to speak to the basic training/ boot camp aspect. I agree with most posters that irregardless of your theological position, "church call" was the one time you got away from the overbearing "attention" of your instructors. It was a welcome break from all the "fun." I can't say for certain what happened to those that stayed back in the barracks, but I do know each week brought out more and more "believers" :smile:
     

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