The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is currently investigating an outfit called Marshall Minutes Military Ministries. The Milwaukee MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) is being targeted by Marshal in order to “harvest young vulnerable recruits”. According to Chris Rhodda:
Marshall Minutes is run by Michael G. Marshall of the Armed Forces Baptist Missions (AFBM), an organization on “A Worldwide Quest for the Souls of Men and Women in Uniform and their families.” AFBM’s primary means of evangelizing the military is “church planting,” establishing churches near military bases and then opening “Military Service Centers” to help these churches “reach young, single military men and women with the Gospel of Christ.” Marshall Minutes’ particular “field white for the harvest” is the Milwaukee Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), where new recruits are tested and processed before being sent to basic training, and the ministry plans to “plant” a church near the Great Lakes Naval Base in late 2008 or early 2009.
Yikes. Sounds like a cult to me. “Harvest” sounds soooo creepy.
But it’s not the misleading names of these organizations that makes them significant enough for me to be writing this piece about them. Unofficial organizations with official sounding names are a dime a dozen. Many have logos that incorporate images such as the Great Seal of the United States, and some use “.us” rather than “.com” or “.org” URLs for their websites to further the impression that they are government entities. What’s different about the USOSC, and formerly the USSC, is that their members wear military uniforms and rank. This is not only deceptive. IT’S ILLEGAL!
More Christians, lying for Jesus. When are they going to learn that the ends don’t justify the means? Clicking on the link for Marshall Ministries reveals that the website has been emptied of content. Looks like the cockroaches are scattering when the light shines on them.
Title 10 of the U.S. Code strictly prohibits any person who isn’t a member of the armed forces from wearing “the uniform, or a distinctive part of the uniform, of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps” or “a uniform any part of which is similar to a distinctive part of the uniform of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps.”
According to Title 18 of the U.S. Code, (Crimes and Criminal Procedures): “Whoever, in any place within the jurisdiction of the United States or in the Canal Zone, without authority, wears the uniform or a distinctive part thereof or anything similar to a distinctive part of the uniform of any of the armed forces of the United States, Public Health Service or any auxiliary of such, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”
And even scarier, members of this ministry are putting on military uniforms and giving themselves superior officer rank that they did not even earn. This is not only illegal, IT’S A FEDERAL CRIME.
What part of this do they not understand? It looks like another case of right-wing religious kooks pretending they have qualifications they did not earn. Just like fake college degrees in the Homeland Security Dept. It’s bad enough that some of the non-denominational or Pentecostal chaplains have very little or no college education. Now we have wannabe chaplains who don’t even want to get accreditation and sponsorship of a religious organization with little or no educational requirements.
Who the hell is even checking up on these people? What is wrong with the current military leadership these days? So anyone calling themselves Christian can do anything they want to young recruits these days? Is this the start of right-wing Christians just putting on military officer uniforms and waltzing in and taking command? WTF?
Michael Marshall, listed in Maj. Alan Shaw’s endorsement letter as a Lieutenant Colonel in the USSC, doesn’t provide his highest real military rank in his biography, but he was an enlisted man in the Navy from 1972 to 1976. By wearing the USSC uniform, which was essentially the U.S. Army uniform, and the rank insignia of a Lieutenant Colonel, Marshall was doing nothing short of impersonating an Army officer. Even the MEPS Inspector General didn’t recognize the illegality of these Army chaplain look-alikes. According to Maj. Shaw’s letter of endorsement, the IG actually commended them in a report.
I worked very hard for my rank as an officer in the US Air Force. I graduated with a degree in Applied math and passed Officer Training School. I made all of my promotions and held the rank of Captain when I left the service. I worked my ass off and earned a regular commission as a First Lieutenant instead of having to wait until the rank of Major. I’m extremely pissed that these assholes think that all they have to do is simply put on the uniform, walk in and get treated like an officer.
Thus, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is now officially demanding that those responsible within the penumbra of the Department of Defense, and there are many, including Inspectors General, for the aiding, abetting, and endorsing of USOSC proselytizers, feloniously impersonating active duty U.S. military officers and senior NCOs must be subjected immediately to trial by courts martial. Additionally, MRFF is now likewise demanding that all United States Attorneys whose jurisdictions cover localities where USOSC personnel are illegally wearing their proselytizing-enabling, intentionally confusing military ‘uniforms’ in blatant violation of Title 10 of the U.S. Code immediately refer these violations to the FBI for aggressive and swift investigation.”
Way to go Mikey, get these assholes. Everyone, please read and forward links to this very informative article or these articles. These pricks need to be held accountable. If anyone has any photographs or video of these guys in uniform, please email the photos to me or send a link to video or photographs.
This is not much better than the Nazi Chaplains from last year.