Something to make clear, “Paganism/Wicca/Heathenism/etc” are all acknowledged and protected religions in the United States(it’s a first amendment right). Service members are allowed to affiliate themselves on documentation and ID tags. Religion charms/pendants are authorized on ID tags(at least for the Army). In 2007, the pentacle was authorized as an option for fallen service members. Now with that info out of the way, here are common questions.
Q: Has any of your comrades/superiors treated you differently?
No, because I’m the person they work with and all they care about is what I contribute to the team. I treat them with respect as they treat me with respect. If I were treated differently, or felt like I wasn’t treated fairly, I could actually report them for “Equal Opportunity” since this is an issue of “creed”. Military, does not play with that kind of thing.
Q: Does the military have services for Pagans?
It really depends on your base and location. My base does, but the days and hours are kind of inconvenient, but they have it. The one in my neck of the woods, is more Wicca-type, however, I am not opposed to joining them, because I like to meet like-minded people I can relate to.
Q: Has the military and religious beliefs conflicted?
Most of ancient Paganism was built by warrior societies. In fact, ever since becoming Pagan, I felt more appreciative of the military. There are so many similarities that many service members(regardless of faith) could learn from. I kind of went off topic. Sometimes you have to make the hardest decisions that go against your faith, ALL the time; especially in the military. However, that doesn’t make any less of a person of that faith. Whatever, wrong that you do(because we’re human, we fail by design) you take that up with personal Deity and think how to move from there.
Q: What’s some words of advice you could give to Pagans about to join or who are new to the military?
In my experience, most people do not give a shit what your faith is; what matters is accomplishing the mission. THAT’S IT. You don’t have to come out about being Pagan right away if you don’t want to, but if you do, it will be okay. Don’t be afraid of what that base has to offer.
These are very few questions. I am sure there are more questions that could be asked for Pagan service members. If you served/currently serving, received more questions than just this, I would love to hear them.