DoD Updates Policy on Conscientious Objectors

To qualify for conscientious objector status and to be granted military discharge on that basis, an individual must oppose all wars, not just a particular war. However, a conscientious objector may still embrace “spiritual warfare” between good and evil, the Department of Defense explained in a new policy instruction (pdf).

“An individual who desires to choose the war in which he or she will participate is not a Conscientious Objector under the law. The individual’s objection must be to all wars rather than a specific war.”

But “a belief in a theocratic or spiritual war between the powers of good and evil does not constitute a willingness to participate in ‘war’ within the meaning of this Instruction.” In other words, it is possible both to be a “spiritual warrior” and a conscientious objector. It is uncertain whether enlisting in spiritual warfare on the side of evil would void this distinction.

See “Conscientious Objectors,” Department of Defense Instruction 1300.06, May 5, 2007.

0 thoughts on “DoD Updates Policy on Conscientious Objectors

  1. So let me get this straight…

    According to the new “Edict of Faith” DOD policy, a military appointed chaplain shall now be officially appointed to act for the Constitutionally mandated SECULAR US “Department of Defense” to examine the military member, who has applied for CO status in an official ‘Grand Religious Inquisitor’ capacity on “Acts of Faith”?

    Great Idea! Great DOD Policy! Very innovative indeed, especially for recruitment and retention of troops!!!!

  2. This really makes no difference to me as I oppose all wars, but it seems just a little ridiculous to put WWII, Vietnam, and the War on Terror all on the same level. Certainly one should be allowed to agree with one but not the other. …and I’m kind of lost to what relevance spiritual warfare has to do with military involvement. Like thanks for giving me permission to believe and practice what I want. I thought I already had that.

  3. @zz ziled: Yes, I think you’ve gotten the idea. I’m not sure why you think it’s bizarre that a person or institution that isn’t religious would be able to determine whether another person or institution was religious and actually held a particular belief. They’re not looking to “ferret out” true believers, they’re looking to find liars, which is considerably easier.

  4. When someone joins the military today there is a good chance he or she will be sent into a combat area (especially the Army or Marines).That is the job they signed up for. For someone to claim C.O. after getting orders to a combat zone is a crock.That individual is nothing but a gutless piece of offal. However I do think that they should be kicked out because I sure wouldn’t want the self centered yellow belly around me when it hits the fan. Good ridence to rotten trash.

  5. Utter Bush bullshit. If someone is against all wars, why the hell would they be in the military?

    The whole freaking POINT of the Conscientious Objector status is for servicemen who believe a *particular* war is unjustified or unconstitutional.

    Sickening.

  6. I wonder why they are updating this policy while we have an all volunteer military. People who oppose war generally find some other way to contribute to their society rather than joining the military.

    Could it be that someone is planning for a draft?

  7. some people join and then become objectors. It is easy to join up but after you see the destruction war causes any sane human starts to have problems with how we conduct war. Many of us were lucky enough to get out before having to be put in a position of claiming co or violating our human consciousness.

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