3-star ripped for presentation referencing God
WASHINGTON DC - - Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins, the new head of the Defense Information Systems Agency, is under fire for a commander’s call Wednesday that included references to God. But Hawkins, who just took over the directorship of DISA in January, said his presentation has been taken out of context.
As part of an all-hands meeting with DISA employees, Hawkins apparently showed a power point presentation that contained two slides titled “Ronnie’s Rules” that outline 18 priorities, the first and last of which are “Always put God first, and stay within His will” and “Always remember God is good — all the time!”
Hawkins said in a response to a query from Air Force Times that he stated at the all-hands meeting that “Ronnie’s Rules” were his personal road map for living and he has used it since he was a captain. He said he tries to live by these rules every day.
“Those two slides, in particular ...were in no way a directive or expectation I have for our dedicated men and women,” said Hawkins, who previously served as deputy director of command control, communications and computer systems, Joint Staff at the Pentagon. “The rules are my own personal guide posts, or moral compass.”
All DISA employees apparently didn’t see the presentation the same way.
A fine DISA employee who witnessed the presentation spoke with Air Force Times under condition of anonymity. He said he was shocked that a senior leader would include such direct references to God in a commander’s call that in his opinion was held to say “I’m your new commander and this is what I expect of you.”
The employee said that he provided the presentation to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group, “in hopes of saving lives.” Yeah, right.
MRFF’s founder and president, Mikey Weinstein, is calling for Hawkins to be court-martialed for violating his oath to the Constitution. He said he is representing 21 employees at DISA.
The employee said what might seem like an ordinary presentation to Air Force employees can be easily obtained and used as propaganda in other countries — something he said a commander should know. People in Arab nations for example, might see Hawkins’ comments as a show of support toward one religion by the U.S. government, he said.
“If you’re a commander, you will be seen as speaking for the U.S. government whether you like it or not,” he said. “What you do goes out into world.”