Chaplain Assistant Loses Opportunity for Advancement After General Refuses to Resolve Baseless Discrimination Complaint

FT. BRAGG, N.C., Aug. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — First Liberty Institute demands MG Kurt Sonntag be held accountable for his refusal to resolve a complaint against Army chaplain assistant, SSG Kacie Griffin.  MG Sonntag’s deliberate inaction caused SSG Griffin to lose her place in the highly selective “Green to Gold” program in which enlisted soldiers are competitively selected to attend college and become Army officers.  First Liberty represents SSG Griffin along with Chaplain Scott Squires.

First Liberty Institute
(SSG Kacie Griffin (left) and Maj. Kurt Sonntag (right))

“MG Sonntag is expected to make life and death decisions for those under his command, and yet he refuses to make a simple decision that would allow this highly qualified chaplain assistant to obtain her college degree and become an officer,” Mike Berry, Deputy General Counsel to First Liberty Institute says.  “There can be no other explanation for this indecision except for an anti-religious bias that has no place in the U.S. Army.”

SSG Griffin served as Chaplain Assistant to Chaplain Scott Squires.  When a same-sex couple applied to attend an upcoming “Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat,” SSG Griffin informed Chaplain Squires of the application and informed the applicant that Chaplain Squires would speak with her.  For this purely administrative act, an Army investigator determined that SSG Griffin “gave the impression she was not eligible for the event” and should be reprimanded for failing to “timely answer” her question.  Griffin’s immediate supervisor cleared her of any charges of discrimination, but the complainant appealed to MG Sonntag, who has actively refused to make a decision on the appeal. This leaves the complaint against SSG Griffin unresolved and, because it is listed as pending investigation, prevents her from participating in the Army’s highly selective “Green to Gold” program.

“SSG Griffin had what amounts to a full-ride scholarship to attend college and become a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army,” says Berry. “Because of this unfounded complaint and MG Sonntag’s intentional refusal to render a decision, she may never go to college, let alone become an officer.”

About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at or by calling 972-941-4453.

Contact: Lacey McNiel,
Direct: 972-941-4453

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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