Wheaton ROTC program faces charges of unconstitutional behavior

The Wheaton ROTC program faces investigation by the United States Army due to the request that an applicant for a position in their military science department be “of Christian faith.”
On Nov. 10, the Army responded with the news that they have begun a “holistic review” of Army ROTC programs.
According to military science professor lieutenant colonel James Joyman, the Army sends the best qualified officer, but the Rolling Thunder battalion, hosted by a private Christian institution, has always had the right to accept or deny the officer that the army sends. He stated that the desire of the battalion is that whoever is employed would “understand and respect the religious nature of the college.”  These officers come from varying faith backgrounds.
Wheaton Battalion Commander senior Derek Minkus affirmed this, stating that the program is not dictating. “To my knowledge, (the ‘must be of Christian faith’) is a request,” he said.
Towards the end of October, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation came across the advertised position for assistant professor of military science at Wheaton College. The reaction was prompt.
The anonymous Army officer who reported to the MRFF pointed out that the Wheaton position advertised a very specific stipulation on the list of potential assignments for army captains: “Must be of Christian faith.”
After learning this, Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of MRFF elaborated that, “In MRFF’s nearly 10 years of fighting this precise, illicit version of Christian extremism in the U.S. military, this Wheaton College/ROTC travesty is one of the most disgustingly blatant, appallingly bold, and mercilessly atrocious attacks on the foundational principles of our U.S. Constitution that we have EVER witnessed!”
Weinstein’s mention of the U.S. Constitution refers to Article VI, which states that, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
“The value of the military,” Weinstein said, “is that it is equal opportunity.” Positions are based on merit, expressed Minkus, rather than being affected by race, gender or religious affiliation. “The best people get the best jobs,” he added.
Spokespersons for Wheaton confirm that the college and program has been cooperative with the government’s investigations, desiring to equip cadets to the best of their abilities.
LTC Hoyman stated, “I’m an officer in the US army, a professor of military science at Wheaton College. There’s a lot of agreement about the kind of leaders we want to develop.” He addressed both moral and ethical leadership in this, and spoke of appreciation of Wheaton’s emphasis on faith and learning because, “You make decisions from your whole person.”

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