Academy Makes God Reference in Honor Oath Optional

The Air Force Academy will no longer require cadets to recite the final clause of the honor oath that mentions God, according to an academy release. “We work to build a culture of dignity and respect, one that includes the ability of our cadets to freely practice and exercise their religious preference—or not,” said Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, academy superintendent, in the Oct. 25 release. “So, in the spirit of respect, cadets may or may not choose to finish the honor oath with ‘So help me God,'” she said. The oath reads: “We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and live honorably, so help me God.” The academy’s class of 1959 adopted the first sentence of the oath, the cadet’s honor code. In 1984, the Cadet Wing created the oath—after widespread allegations of cheating among some cadets—by taking the honor code and adding the second sentence, states the release. (Colorado Springs report by Maj. Brus E. Vidal)