Air Force appoints special adviser on religious tolerance
DENVER ” A rabbi who retired as the military’s top chaplain in the European Command was appointed by the Air Force on Monday to help implement recommendations of a task force that investigated complaints of religious intolerance at the Air Force Academy.
Arnold E. Resnicoff was named special assistant to acting Air Force Secretary Michael Dominguez and chief of staff for values and vision.
The military task force reported Wednesday there was no overt religious discrimination at the academy but that commanders failed to accommodate the diverse religious needs of cadets and staff.
The task force was created after reports that evangelical Christian cadets and staff harassment other cadets. The panel made nine recommendations, including a suggestion that the Air Force create guidelines on what religious remarks can be made without intimidating someone.
Dominguez praised Resnicoff’s experience and called him “an exceptional choice to help the Air Force integrate our core values into Air Force operating concepts and vision.”
Resnicoff is a Vietnam veteran who served in the Mekong Delta region and retired as command chaplain for U.S. European Command.
He is a former National Director of Interreligious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee and one of a small group of Vietnam veterans who helped create the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Mikey Weinstein, an academy graduate who has campaigned for changes in the religious climate at the academy, said he hoped Resnicoff would meet with him. He noted that Lt. Gen. Roger Brady, who led the task force, and Lt. Gen. John Rosa, academy superintendent, both met with him before the report was released.
“If this new assistant is serious, I would expect him to reach out to the reluctant leader of this revolt. I haven’t heard from him,” Weinstein said.
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