(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The U.S. Air Force Academy has responded to criticism and promised to improve its processes after a mandatory training event was scheduled during a sacred Jewish holy day.
According to a recent article by the Colorado Springs Independent, the Air Force Academy scheduled the Commandant’s Challenge on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, which began at sundown on Tuesday, Oct. 4, and ended at sundown on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
Criticism arose with the accusation that the Academy placed more importance on certain religious holidays and not on others, according to the Colorado Springs Independent.
The Air Force Academy has responded to those accusations, saying that the scheduling of the event was an oversight, one which they are working to ensure never happens again.
Read the full statement from the Air Force Academy, sent to FOX21 on Tuesday, Oct. 11:
The U.S. Air Force Academy recognizes the importance of the holy days of all faiths. A training event was unintentionally scheduled [last week] during the Jewish observance of Yom Kippur. The Academy’s Academic Year Calendar is developed and maintained through an institutional process that includes input on faith considerations of the cadets. We will correct our processes to ensure this, and mistakes like this, do not happen again. The Academy office of Diversity and Inclusion, in partnership with Academy Chaplains, maintains a religious calendar of events in support of this effort. In advance of the training events, religious accommodations were planned and made available to all Jewish cadets wishing to observe Yom Kippur. Throughout the year, Academy leadership ensures training requirements are met for cadets of all faiths while also accommodating cadets in exercising their First Amendment rights.Lt. Col. Brian Maguire, Director of Public Affairs, U.S. Air Force Academy