Thursday, September 18, 2014
Air Force Will Allow Enlistees and Officers To Drop "So Help Me God" From Oath
The U.S. Air Force announced yesterday that effective immediately it would allow enlisted members and officers who wished to do so to omit the words "So help me God" from enlistment and officer appointment oaths. The change comes after the Department of Defense General Counsel issued an opinion concluding that the omission is permissible despite language in federal statutes setting out the language of the oaths that include the phrase. The Air Force requested the opinion after an enlisted man who is an atheist insisted on omitting the phrase. (See prior posting.) According to ABC News, the other branches of the military already allow the omission, as did the Air Force until a policy change last year.