Robins personnel are no longer allowed to use the phrase "have a blessed day," when greeting visitors and employees after a complaint from an unnamed military member.
The individual complained on the Military Religious Freedom Foundation website, saying they were greeted on "no less than 15 occasions over the last two weeks" with the phrase.
The complainant did not think it was appropriate due to his "non-religious nature."
Base spokesman Roland Leach confirmed that Robins employees have been told not to use the greeting. He declined further comment, but said the base will release a statement on the matter later today.
This is the complaint the employee wrote to the foundation:
Infraction report from MRFF client at Robins AFB
Mar 9, 2015
I would like to make your organization aware of a possible church/state separation issue.
I am an active-duty Air Force member/employee currently assigned to Robins Air Force Base, Georgia for the purpose of training. I have been entering through what is known as the "Russell Gate" since the 23rd of February. On no less than 15 occasions over the last two weeks, I have been greeted by the military personnel at the gate with the phrase "Have a blessed day." This greeting has been expressed by at least 10 different Airmen ranging in rank from A1C to SSgt. I found the greeting to be a notion that I, as a non-religious member of the military community should believe a higher power has an influence on how my day should go.
I apologize that I cannot provide recordings of these incidents as I feel I would be endangering my position and family by doing so. I'm sure sending an authorized representative of MRFF to enter the gate with a government id will be immediately greeted with the same message of faith.
I prefer to keep my name withheld as I know I would be discriminated against in my workplace if it came to light that I " complained ".
Based on the complaint, Military Religious Freedom Foundation President and Founder Mikey Weinstein sent the following response:
…Spoke with Maj. (name withheld), Commander of the (Unit Designation Withheld) Security Forces at Robins AFB, Georgia at 9:18 am this morning MDT…..explained the outrage of our 13 MRFF clients stemming from his security force airmen saying "Have a blessed day" to all who enter the Robbins AFB gates…..explained AFI 1-1, Section 2.12…..he asked me how MRFF would feel if he had his troops stop saying that sectarian "greeting" and replaced it with "have a nice day", would that be ok?…I replied that that would be perfect….he confirmed that he would take this action and the call ended….duration: 3 minutes and 10 seconds….
The memo certainly didn't fall on deaf ears as the unnamed base employee sent this 'thank you' memo to Weinstein:
Mr Weinstein / MRFF staff,
Thank you for the quick response to the situation at my base. After your actions, the personnel at the gates have immediately changed their greetings to a more professional "Have a nice/good day sir/maam". It is unfortunate that your services are necessary in this day and age, but they are highly appreciated. It is good to know someone available to stand and yell "This isn't right" for those of us who feel we'd be discriminated against for doing so.
If you need anything else from me, feel free to contact me again.