Army to deploy Conscientious Objector
Private still scheduled for upcoming deployment to Afghanistan
Killeen, Texas: A soldier seeking a discharge from the Army based on a conscientious objection to war has been told by the command at Fort Hood that it still intends to deploy him to Afghanistan sometime in the coming weeks.
PV2 Christpher Munoz and wife by ChristopherMunoz.me
Second Class Christopher Munoz, 22, applied for a C.O.
(conscientious objector) discharge on June 25, 2013. He has also
asked for his deployment to be delayed until request for discharge
would be given a fair hearing.
are eligible for C.O. status if they can prove to military
authorities that they are opposed to all wars, and that the
opposition is grounded in religious belief or moral conviction that
is sincere and occurred at some point after enlistment. PV2 Munoz's
application asserts that he qualified for this status according to
the provisions of Army Regulation 600-43.
a C.O applicant, PV2 Munoz will, by military regulation, be unable to
carry weapons or munitions if deployed.
deployed, PV2 Munoz will be at significant risk for harassment by his
fellow soldiers since he will effectively be a 'dead weight' on the
unit. Despite these very real risks, PV2 Munoz's command has said
that a delay of his deployment will not
be considered," said James M. Branum, an attorney who represents
regs are clear on this matter," said Rena Guay, Executive Director
of the Oklahoma Center for Conscience. "This
seems to be another case in which the Army command willfully ignores
the regulations that are supposed to govern their actions, and tries
to push a vulnerable individual into a situation that will put them
and their fellow GIs at risk. Private Munoz has the right to present
his case for CO status to the Army and have it seriously considered."
will be closely monitoring this case," said Kathleen Gilberd,
Executive Director of the Military Law Task Force of the National
Lawyers Guild. "Unfortunately many commands do not act in good
faith when conscientious objector claims are first filed, despite the
long history of military law and regulation that supports the rights
of conscientious objectors."
of the public are encouraged to sign a petition to the command asking
that PV2 Munoz be exempted from deployment until hi s
CO claim has been fully adjudicated. More information on the Munoz
case and public support campaign can be found at:
a deployment makes no sense for the Army or its mission," said
Chuck Fager, recently retired Director of Quaker House, a military
counseling project near Fort Bragg NC that works with military CO's.
"It will only create a lot of unnecessary bureaucratic
complications for the command, not to mention the problems for the
CO. It's the last thing anyone involved needs."
Munoz's legal defense efforts are supported by Courage to Resist (an
organization dedicated to supporting war resisters), Veterans for
Peace, the Oklahoma Center for Conscience and other organizations.
Munoz was stationed at Fort Hood after completing initial training in
April 2013. He is married and has a 3-year-old child.