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BALTIMORE (AP) -- An Army captain at Fort Meade, Md., says he's
an atheist -- and he wants official recognition as a humanist lay
leader, on par with the Christian, Jewish and Muslim lay leaders who help military chaplains serve the troops.
Capt. Ryan Jean says he once was chewed out by his post chaplain
in Kuwait for his lack of faith, an experience that helped persuade him to seek the official recognition.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Jean is one of as many as a dozen
atheists throughout the U.S. military who are applying for lay leader status. They say it's important for nonbelievers to have the acceptance and support that they say Christians in uniform take for
Military authorities have yet to approve an atheist lay leader.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)