Under Secretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo delivered some bold statements to the House Armed Services Committee today. According to Camarillo, “for soldiers who requested religious accommodations, the Army gave each a careful and individualized review to ensure that we upheld Constitutionally protected First Amendment rights. Our Deliberate review process considered the specific facts of each individual case, seeking to determine whether accommodations were feasible.”
Those statements are factually incorrect based on what we know from a memo written to the Secretary of Defense from DoDIG (Department of Defense Inspector General). Dated June 02, 2022, the memo is written to SECDEF with the purpose “to inform you of potential noncompliance with standards for reviewing and documenting the denial of religious accommodation requests of Service members… The denial memorandums we reviewed generally did not reflect an individualized analysis…”
Yet Camarillo testified to Congress by stating, “the Army gave each a careful and individualized review to ensure that we upheld Constitutionally protected First Amendment rights.” The DoDIG memo states further in that “the volume and rate at which decisions were made to deny requests is concerning. The appeal authorities of the Services we reviewed indicated that an average of 50 denials per day were processed over a 90-day period. Assuming a 10-hour work day with no breaks or attention to other matters, the average review period was about 12 minutes for each package. Such a review period seems insufficient to process each request in an individualized manner and still perform the duties required of their position.”
The testimony given by the numerous DOD officials before Congress today was littered with lies and statements that can be disproven with evidence, however, the statements given by Mr. Camarillo were laughably ridiculous and hard to stomach based on what we know from the mountain of evidence and articles related to the subject. The DOD leading Congress around by the nose has become a commonplace event lately, leading me to believe these statements will go unchecked and added to the dismissed body of lies and illegal actions conducted by the DOD over the last year and a half.