Second Star at AFA

By: AP
By: AP

The Pentagon says it wants to promote one of the top commanders at the Air Force Academy.

Brigadier General Johnny Weida was nominated to receive a second star, becoming a major general. But the born-again Christian has been the subject of complaints that he improperly mixes religion with education.

In an e-mail in May 2003 he urged cadets to "ask the Lord to give us the wisdom to discover the right. The Lord is in control. He has a plan for, every one of us."

The announcement comes one day before the scheduled arrival of a task force investigating allegations that cadets were pressured to attend religious services, public prayers were held before official events and Jewish cadets were harassed and insulted.

Through a spokesman, Weida is declining comment on either the religious tolerance issue or his pending promotion.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Gary Keck says he can't comment on whether the board that recommended Weida's promotion knew of the religious tolerance inquiry. He says the board recommends promotions based on an officer's record and potential.

The promotion becomes official after Senate confirmation, which usually is routine at Weida's level and below.=


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