Network update: Still growing, but with little official recognition
Despite limited support from the military leaders, local groups continue to come together within the MAAF structure and with the diligent work of local leaders. There are new groups established since November at Ft Riley, RAF Lakenheath, and the San Diego Area. Still more are in development.
In particular, at Ft Leonard Wood in Missouri, a still-informal group adopted by local humanists who are establishing a Coalition of Reason. These collaborations ensure the local civilian community can feed growth for the local military community. The UK Armed Forces Humanist Association is continue to feature MAAF efforts, hopefully along with the MAAF group at RAF Lakenheath.
Academy cadets at West Point and midshipmen at Annapolis continue to seek official recognition for their groups. Official recognition for sports, academics, and religion/life-stance clubs are run through the same secular program. MAAF continues to lobby diversity leaders in the military to serve atheists and humanists as an un-served diversity community.
Outreach to chaplains continues as well. In addition to forming a local group, individual leaders are preparing paperwork to be officially recognized by chaplains to provide services to atheists and humanists. At Ft Bragg, Ft Meade, Travis AFB, the San Diego area, and others, outreach to chaplains continues. Unfortunately, reluctance on the part of some local chaplains combined with lack of responsiveness from top-level leaders continues to limit progress. However, the continued growth of local groups and persistence of local leaders will make our needs impossible to ignore.
Local Affiliate updates:
- [CA] San Diego Area - - SD-MAAF: Newly established; local meetings to be published.
- [FL] Tampa - - MacDill Atheists & Secular Humanists: Meet at the post chapel December 20th.
- [HI] Hawaii - - MASH Hawaii: Working closely with the Hawaii Secular Society and the local Coalition of Reason. Join their private meetup for meeting details.
- [KS] Ft Riley - - MAAF Ft Riley: Newly-established; local meetings to be published.
- [KY] Ft Campbell - - MASH Ft Campbell: Working closely with the Austin Peay student group; recently hosted Freedom From Religion Foundation President Dan Barker.
- [TX] Ft Hood - - CENTEX – MAAF: Meeting for drinks on Dec 17th and planning a showing at the upcoming Austin half-marathon.
- [Germany] Kaiserslautern - - Kaiserslautern Military Community MAAF: Recently received official recognition from the local installations as a Private Organization.
- [Turkey] Incirlik AB - - MAAF Incirlik: Continues to seek new members in a smaller-population area.
- [UK] Lakenheath - - RAF Lakenheath Atheists & Freethinkers: Newly established; local meetings to be published.
Interested in starting a local group or making your group official? Check out information about local group setup, meeting ideas, and affiliate development, and then Contact MAAF.