Soldiers who don't believe in God can go to war with "atheist" stamped on their dog tags, but humanists and others with various secular beliefs are still officially invisible in the Army.
Maj. Ray Bradley is currently to be the first humanist recognized as a "distinctive faith group leader" by the Army. In the meantime, he can't be designated as a humanist on his official records or dog tags, although he can be classified as an atheist.
The distinction may not seem like a large one to those unfamiliar with humanism, but Bradley, based at Fort Bragg, says it's the equivalent of being told that "Christian" is an acceptable designation, but not "Catholic."
"Humanism is a philosophy that guides a person," Bradley said. "It's more than just a stamp of what you're not."
Humanism's core beliefs range from the assertion that knowledge of the world is derived from observation and rational analysis to the conviction that working to help others also promotes individual happiness.
"There's an old saying; just because you're paranoid, that doesn't mean they're not out to get you. I have my own variation: just because you're insane that doesn't mean that things aren't slipping in unnoticed through dimensional gateways..." ~ Christopher Knowles (h/t to The Daily Grail for quote.)