Is there a lot of anti-Semitism in the military?

Today’s military has little room or tolerance for discrimination and bigotry. While there have certainly been low points in our military’s history with regards to anti-Semitism, incidents are extremely rare now and when they do occur they are almost always dealt with swiftly and severely. It is probably fair to say that incidents are more rare in the military than out of the military.

The majority of problems that come up now are simply due to ignorance on the part of people who have had little or no contact with Jews and have zero understanding of our culture and tradition. Sometimes this comes across as anti-Semitism, like when your platoon sergeant doesn’t understand why you should have Yom Kippur off from work, but with some tactful explanation most of these issues are resolved quickly. If that doesn’t work, a call (or visit) to your chaplain (of any faith) will fix it in no time. Blatant anti-Semitic or racist remarks by anyone, especially a leader, is often a career-ending mistake and there are specific channels for dealing with those kind of people in your chain of command.

So, while I can’t say that there are no anti-Semites in the military, I feel confident saying that there are no “openly” anti-Semitic personnel. We have all had our run-ins with the “ignorant” type, but I imagine so has any Jew who lives outside of a dominantly Jewish community. Bottom line: it’s not an issue that should keep anyone from joining. If anything, the greater representation we have, the less ignorant people will be of our culture.

Posted in: Life in the Military