Author Topic: Army officials eye food stipend changes after latest meals controversy  (Read 149 times)

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Army officials eye food stipend changes after latest meals controversy
By Leo Shane III
 Feb 21, 05:00 AM

Soldiers at Fort Cavazos in Texas have complained that officials take money from their food stipend to pay for dining hall meals without making any exceptions for religious accommodations. (Staff Sgt. Christian Nevitt/Army)

Army officials are promising to review rules surrounding the Basic Allowance for Subsistence stipend following additional reports that service members are being forced to pay for meals they will not or cannot eat.

The latest complaints come from an anonymous chaplain at Fort Cavazos in Texas, who reported that soldiers there are having funds deducted from their food allowance for daily meals even when local officials cannot provide religious accommodations.

“We have had Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian [soldiers] request to reclaim their BAS due to the fact that the dining facility on the military installation cannot provide them meals in accordance with their faith tradition,” the chaplain wrote in a letter provided by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

“This forces soldiers to essentially pay twice for food: once for the BAS that they cannot reclaim and the second for the money they are forced to use to purchase food to prepare for themselves. For many junior service members, that causes financial hardship at home station.”
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Thomas Jefferson