updated 5/27/2005 4:47:02 PM ET 2005-05-27T20:47:02
UPDATED STATEMENT

"The Air Force takes the issue of religious respect very seriously.

A Headquarters Task Force headed by Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Lt Gen Roger Brady, went to the Academy where they interviewed cadets, faculty, and staff, and examined Academy programs and procedures. This group’s charter includes determining how the Academy is working through these issues and to assess relevance of “lessons learned” at the Academy to the broader Air Force.

Right now the task force is compiling the results of their visit and formulating recommendations that they will present to Air Force leadership.  When complete, the Air Force will release the findings of the report.  At this time it is premature to judge the findings since the report is not complete.

Additionally, we take allegations of retribution most seriously.  Air Force leadership believes it essential to have an objective review and a determination of the facts surrounding the allegations made by one of our commissioned officers, Chaplain MeLinda Morton.  Accordingly, we have asked for an independent review by the Department of Defense Inspector General. 

The Air Force is committed to the Constitutional tenets guaranteeing Americans free exercise of religion and the associated establishment clauses of the First Amendment.  For that reason, we will do everything possible to ensure that all Airmen, including the cadets of today who will be the leaders of tomorrow, reflect the highest values of our military and the Nation."

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