Chaplain Andrew Calvert - Cases - First Liberty

Andrew Calvert is a dedicated military chaplain who has served 16 years in the military and has deployed to combat zones three times.

Earlier this year, from his personal Facebook, Chaplain Calvert responded to an Army Times article titled, “Source: Biden to drop Trump’s military transgender ban.” Published in January, Chaplain Calvert’s post questioned a forthcoming decision to repeal the Department of Defense’s (DOD) policy regarding transgender service members. His response was in accordance with his sincerely held religious beliefs, and at the time of his post, the Army’s policies. His account clearly disclaimed any official endorsement, and argued scientific evidence supported by the DOD policy at the time.

3rd Security Forces Assistance Brigade’s (3SFAB) official Facebook account received several anonymous direct messages with screenshots of Chaplain Calvert’s January 25 posting. In response to these direct messages, they directed an investigation to determine whether Chaplain Calvert violated Army regulations or policy.

Despite Chaplain Calvert’s post being in concord with the policy at the time, the Army concluded that Chaplain Calvert’s comments constituted unlawful discrimination. The Investigating Officer recommended that Chaplain Calvert receive a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand (GOMOR).

After First Liberty Institute challenged that decision, sending a letter to the commanding officer reminding him that taking adverse action against Chaplain Calvert because he expressed his sincerely held religious beliefs and personal views on matters of public concern violates federal and military law, the Army agreed not to issue a formal reprimand against Chaplain Calvert.  The decision clears the way for Chaplain Calvert’s record to be cleared, resulting in the possibility of future promotions and assignments.

“We’re very happy for Chaplain Calvert and we commend the Army for making the right decision,” said Mike Berry, General Counsel for First Liberty Institute. “No service member should ever be punished because of their religious beliefs.”

Chaplain Calvert said, “I am grateful for this favorable decision, and I look forward to continue meeting the spiritual needs of the soldiers with whom I serve.”

News Release
For Immediate Release: 6.24.21
Contact: Lacey McNiel, media@firstliberty.org
Direct: 972-941-4453

 After First Liberty Institute Appeal, Army Issues Favorable Decision for Highly Decorated Army Chaplain
Chaplain Andrew Calvert’s record will now allow for future promotions, assignments after earlier reprimand    

Ft. Hood, TXFirst Liberty Institute today announced that the U.S. Army agreed not to issue a formal reprimand against Chaplain (Major) Andrew Calvert.  The decision clears the way for Chaplain Calvert’s record to be cleared, resulting in the possibility of future promotions and assignments.

“We’re very happy for Chaplain Calvert and we commend the Army for making the right decision,” said Mike Berry, General Counsel for First Liberty Institute. “No service member should ever be punished because of their religious beliefs.”

Chaplain Calvert said, “I am grateful for this favorable decision, and I look forward to continue meeting the spiritual needs of the soldiers with whom I serve.”

Chaplain Calvert had been threatened a career-ending formal reprimand due to comments he made from his personal social media account. Responding to a news article, Chaplain Calvert expressed his religious beliefs and his support for the Department of Defense’s (DOD) prohibition against transgender service members.  At the time of his post, Chaplain Calvert’s statements were fully consistent with and supportive of existing DOD policy.  Nevertheless, an Army investigator concluded Chaplain Calvert’s religious beliefs violated Army policy and the Army suspended Chaplain Calvert from his duties as chaplain and considered issuing a formal reprimand.  First Liberty successfully appealed the reprimand, likely saving Chaplain Calvert’s career and his reputation.

Chaplain Calvert has 16 years of service and has deployed to combat zones numerous times.  His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star and three Meritorious Service Medals.

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About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

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


5.12.21 – News Release

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