So, when I see a story like this one, where one of the most senior officers in the USAF quite matter-of-factly puts his Christian vision into his introduction to his command, I am not surprised.
As part of an all-hands meeting with DISA employees, Hawkins apparently showed a power point presentation that contained two slides titled “Ronnie’s Rules” that outline 18 priorities, the first and last of which are “Always put God first, and stay within His will” and “Always remember God is good — all the time!”As I tweeted, isn't the first loyalty of any soldier, marine, sailor or airman/women (is it an accident that the USAF's term for enlisted person is not gender neutral?), or officer to country and constitution? God or Gods or demons or trees or flying spaghetti monsters are private matters, not to be prioritized at all and certainly not put above the Constitution. Sure, there is the whole "so help me God" at the end of the oath, which is more than I really want, but path dependence is a bitch. Harder to get God out these various things, but separation of Church and State is fundamental for the United States, and I am pretty sure that the US Air Force is still part of the USA.
Anyhow, General Ronnie Hawkins is now, of course, back-tracking, saying that these are the slides he has always used and are just for his edification:
"Those two slides, in particular ...were in no way a directive or expectation I have for our dedicated men and women,” said Hawkins, who previously served as deputy director of command control, communications and computer systems, Joint Staff at the Pentagon. “The rules are my own personal guide posts, or moral compass.”Um, then why show them as part of your priorities as part of your intro to the staff? Shouldn't he have learned somewhere along the way that one leads by example and that the power of the office means that your priorities become the troops'? Oh, they probably don't teach that at the US Air Force Academy because they are too busy praying and evangelizing and bullying folks who do not believe or believe in the wrong God(s).