Report on Chaplains

The following list includes names and sources of chaplains identified as having commented on the myth that there are no atheists in foxholes. There are almost overwhelmingly negative reports, but a few positive reports and retractions. For any chaplain listed with a negative comment, we invite the chaplain to show their respect for atheist service members by rescinding their comments and acknowledging the contributions of military atheists. We also ask that military leadership do this task for us and ensure that chaplains and commanders who disparage atheists are required to retract their comments just as they would disparaging remarks against any religious group.
View the MAAF Chaplain Outreach program to follow up.

Chaplain: Major Steven Veinotte
Link: http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Keeping+the+world+safer+for+all+of+us&articleId=263fde97-a5c5-4f42-8570-35fb05282b14
Text: Major Steven Veinotte of Campton has seen the truth of that old adage that there are no atheists in foxholes. ďI think thatís natural,Ē he said.

Chaplain: CH Terry Bewley
Link: http://www.atheistmedia.com/2010/04/fox-news-no-atheists-in-foxholes.html
Text: Asked if there are no atheists in foxholes, CH Bewley responds "Yes it is true, very true."

Chaplain: CH James Carter
Link: http://www.worldmag.com/articles/13025
Text: Faith is "literally the foundation" by which Fort Hood soldiers and their families deal with the realities of this war, said 4th Infantry Division senior chaplain James Carter. "You've heard the saying that there are no atheists in foxholes. I don't believe there are any atheists in a war, period," said Carter, an ordained minister with the Presbyterian Church in America.

Chaplain: COL Glenn Davis
Link: http://www.wtvm.com/Global/story.asp?S=4776060&nav=menu91_2
Text: According to Chaplain Glenn Davis, thatís why a soldierís strength must come from above. "They say there are no atheists in foxholes"

Chaplain: Captain Joe Angotti
Link: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week808/profile.html
Text: I thought [combat] would change them, because there's that saying that there are no atheists in a foxhole, and I find that's not true. Even in a battle zone there's still a fairly large number that's not practicing a faith, . . ."

Chaplain: LTC Herbert Heavner
Link: http://www.mlive.com/news/fljournal/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1103988009119180.xml
Text:
"You know the saying that there is no such thing as an atheist in the foxhole," Heavner said. "That still applies."

Chaplain: COL Joel Cocklin
Link: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/living/10388926.htm
Text:
saying is true: 'There are no atheists in foxholes,'

Chaplain: CPT James Covey
Link: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/012/17.44.html
Text:
The saying 'There aren't atheists in foxholes' is true.

Chaplain: LTJG Irving Elson, Navy
Link: http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=10131
Text:
They say there are no atheists in a foxhole, and thatís certainly true.

Chaplain: CMDR Kal McAlexander, Navy
Link: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0411/09/ltm.06.html
Text:
There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole. We've had experience operating in mined waters, and the sailors experience the same thing.

Chaplain: LT Jeff Wheeland, Army
Link: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041009/NEWS10/410090328/-1/NEWS
Text:
"People say there are no atheists in foxholes, but I believe there are no atheists among soldiers anytime during a war," the minister said.

Chaplain: Lt Col Jacqueline Alexander, Army
http://www.stewart.army.mil/frontlineonline/archivedpages/FrontlineOnline05-15-03.pdf
Text:
"During World War two even the atheists turned to God."

Chaplain: CPT Bob Hart
http://www.campbell.army.mil/IDN/pdf/Issue12.pdf
Text:
ďThere are no atheists in the foxholes," according to Chap. (Capt.) Bob Hart, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) brigade chaplain. ďThatís an old saying in the chaplain corps."

Chaplain: CH Duvall
Link: http://www.localnews8.com/home/926307.html
Text:
Pastor Duvall says there are no atheists in a fox hole and he's looking forward to his call to serve.

Chaplain: Cmdr Charles Kessler, Navy
Link: http://www.islandpacket.com/features/story/3726754p-3334408c.html Text:
"It's a time when the people start getting in touch with their spiritual side," Kessler said. "There are no atheists in foxholes."

Chaplain: MAJ Juan Borges, Army
Link: http://atheism.about.com/b/a/044066.htm
Text:
Boston's Daily News reports on the homecoming of U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Juan Borges, an army chaplain: "He ... offered prayers, Bible readings and opportunities for worship. "There are no atheists in a foxhole," he said. "Soldiers have spiritual needs that have to be met. If there were no chaplains around, soldiers' morale would be worse off."

Chaplain: LT Jose Molina
Link: http://www.dcmilitary.com/marines/hendersonhall/9_14/commentary/
Text: Chaplain's Column titled "No Atheists in Foxholes".

Chaplain: Thomas Burns, Navy vet
Link: http://www.indcatholicnews.com/foxholes.html
Text:
Bishop Burns said his service as a naval chaplain had taught him that "spiritual depth is inseparable from operational effectiveness".
"There are no atheists in foxholes," he said. "When people are faced with their own mortality, it focuses their minds and they realise there is someone beyond this world who will care for you."

Chaplain: MAJ Reese Friedman, Air Force
Link: http://www.westtexasonline.org/churchnews/chaplainstory.htm
Text:
Military people really do call him 'Padre," he says, and they've told him it's true that there are no atheists in foxholes. As a part-time chaplain at Wilford Hall Hospital on Lackland AFB

Chaplain: Charles Howard, UK Fleet Air Arm
Link: http://www.rnreference.mod.uk/01/People_Matters/winter_2003/site/lm/fleet_air_arm.htm
Text:
They say there are no atheists in foxholes - I donít think any of our brave pilots and aircrew missed my final flight deck Church service held the evening before we deployed into the sands of Kuwait."

Chapain: CH William Cummings, vet
Link: http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110003323
Text:
In a field sermon in Bataan in 1942, U.S. Military Chaplain William Cummings uttered the now famous line "There are no atheists in foxholes." But when NBC's Tom Brokaw repeated the remark in a March broadcast about the pending war with Iraq, official atheistdom was quick to complain. And just so you don't think they're kidding, the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers is keeping an online list of actual atheists who are or have been in foxholes, which can be accessed at www.militaryatheists.org.

Chaplain: CPT Scott McCammon, Army
Link: http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/newsh/items/article/item_6885.html
Text:
"Soldiers must practice spiritual fitness in the same way they practice physical or mental fitness," says Captain Scott McCammon, a battalion chaplain at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Hartford County, Maryland, who uses Kass' test to evaluate his soldiers' deepest needs. "You can know how to dig a foxhole, but unless you are spiritually fit, you won't have the courage to stick your head out of the hole. I remind them of the old saying, 'There are no atheists in foxholes,' and encourage them not to wait until they get into one to start praying.

Chaplain: MAJ Eric Albertson, Army
Link: http://www.catholicherald.com/articles/03articles/chaplain313.htm
Text:
Major Eric Albertson made comments but has since apologized, assured us he had no intent to offend, and has been more careful with his comments since then. MAAF appreciates his response and hopes more on this list will follow.

Chaplain: LTC Mitchell Ackerson, Army
Link: http://www.forward.com/issues/2003/03.04.04/news7.html
Text:
Mitchell Ackerson is a sort of Every Man's Rabbi. The senior chaplain for the 220th Military Police Brigade and, incidentally, the senior rabbi of the army's entire combat theater,...Of the axiom "there are no atheists in foxholes," Ackerson said, "That's very, very true." Religion in the military, he added, "is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

Chaplain: COL Charles Clanton, Army hon.
Link: http://citadel.edu/pao/newsreleases/archives/spring98/012898.html
Text:
Director of Religious Activities and Chaplain to the Corps of Cadets at The Citadel, retired Army Colonel Charles T. Clanton, has been appointed as the Honorary Colonel of the U.S. Army's Chaplain Corps Regiment. The old adage 'there are no atheists in foxholes' proved true in my experience. It was a real honor and privilege to serve God and those soldiers who had a real need and desire for the ministry I was providing."

Chaplain: CPT Michael Lozano, Army
Link: http://www.ltsp.edu/news/2003-2004/0403lozano.html
Text:
"I can tell you that the adage is true that there are no atheists in foxholes," he said. Lozano brought about 100 Bibles, and also rosaries, prayer cards and beaded crosses with him to Iraq. The whole lot was quickly claimed. And the military police specialists he served as part of the 324th Military Police Battalion had heavy-duty questions.

Chaplain: CPT Matthew Kreider, Army
Link: http://www.ifca.org/voice/03May-Jun/Kreider-Peters_deployed.htm
Text: The old saying is true, "There are no atheists in foxholes."

Chaplain: CPT Jason Peters, Air Force
Link: http://www.ifca.org/voice/03May-Jun/Kreider-Peters_deployed.htm
Text: The old saying is true, "There are no atheists in foxholes."

Chaplain: MAJ John Paul Echert, Air Force
Link: http://www.forestlaketimes.com/2003/july/2margotedit.html
Text:
Father John Paul Echert of the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis who is a Chaplain and currently a full-time officer (Major) in the United States Air Force "There is an old saying that there are no atheists in foxholes - or only a few," Echert said.

Chaplain: CPT Sam Bowersock, Army
Link: http://www.newarkadvocate.com/news/stories/20031208/localnews/4562.html
Text:
But now Sam Bowersock, a Newark native and Army chaplain, is stationed near Fallujah with the 1-504 82nd Airborne -- also known as the Red Devils. To his men, he's "Holy Devil Chappy," or "Chappy" for short. The old saying, "there are no atheists in foxholes." is quite true.

Chaplain:
Link: www.peacehost.net/christianCO/ChristianCO.pdf
Text: Page 30 - Why are there no atheists in foxholes? Everyone believes in God in times of distress because they realize there is no help from a human.

Chaplain: Chris Faria
Link: http://www.smdc.army.mil/PubAff/04Eagle/April04.pdf
Text: "there are Atheists in foxholes."

Chaplain: Arnold Resnicoff
Link: http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0628/p09s02-coop.html
Text: "There are no atheists in foxholes," goes the saying, but foxholes can breed atheists, when those who see war's nightmares lose all faith in dreams - and fight fire with fire and dog eat dog are the only values that survive.