Fighting for our servicemembers' rights, so they can fight for ours.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Contact Bekki Miller | (337) 356-8696 [email protected]

Military Religious Freedom Foundation Considers Filing Federal Lawsuit Over Religious Speech/Flag Folding Debacle
at Travis AFB

Fairfield, CA - The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) announces that it is currently considering filing a Federal lawsuit against the United States Air Force (USAF) on behalf of 14 USAF officers, NCOs and civilians MRFF is presently representing at Travis AFB near the Bay Area in northern California. All 14 of MRFF’s Air Force clients are either practicing Protestants or Roman Catholics.

The Federal litigation under expedited exploration by MRFF trial lawyers is called a Writ of Mandamus action. It regards the matter of the justified ousting of a Mr. Oscar Rodriguez from zealously shouting an unlawful religious-laced speech at the flag folding ceremony of an official USAF retirement proceeding held at Travis AFB in April of 2016. The planned litigation would have a Federal judge force the Air Force to follow its very own regulations.

Late yesterday, the Air Force publicly released a shockingly erroneous statement illicitly confirming the “right" of USAF personnel to have religious-themed speeches utilized at flag folding ceremonies at the personnel discretion of Air Force members. Nothing could be further from the truth. That statement directly contravenes a decade-old Air Force regulation, Air Force Instruction (AFI) 34-1201, Section 2.15 which specifically states:
"According to Title 4 United States Code, there is no specific meaning assigned to the folds of the flag.  Although there are flag folding ceremony options offered by various national interest groups, these are not official Air Force ceremonies.  The Air Force developed a script that provides a historical perspective on the flag.  There are no ceremonies in the Air Force requiring a script to be read when the flag is folded.  However, when a flag folding ceremony is desired and conducted by Air Force personnel at any location, on or off an installation, this script is the only one that may be used. (Emphasis added)”.

The astonishing and embarrassing disparity between the Air Force’s official statement from late yesterday and the actual controlling Air Force regulation could not be more blatantly apparent!

MRFF demands that the Air Force immediately retracts its prior fatally erroneous statement from late yesterday and replace it with a statement that confirms the total applicability of AFI 34-1201, Section 2.15 to all USAF flag folding ceremonies.

Failure by the Air Force to timely accede to MRFF’s demands will open the door to the aforementioned Federal Writ of Mandamus lawsuit currently being considered by MRFF litigators with MRFF’s 14 USAF clients at Travis AFB, California as potential plaintiffs.