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Religious Expression or Religious Coercion: Commanders Caught in the Cross-Fire

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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The U.S. has a long history of supporting the religious needs of those serving in the military. Even before the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights existed, military leaders ensured those under their command had opportunity to exercise their religious convictions. George Washington successfully persuaded the Continental Congress on 29 July 1775 to appoint ministers as chaplains with a rank of captain and a salary of 20 per month. With this action, the American government officially established the military chaplaincy to support the free exercise of religion for those who served in the military.1

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Approved For Public Release;

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