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Observant Jews in the Military?

Discussion in 'Military Dentistry' started by Ranelar, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. Ranelar

    7+ Year Member

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    Are you an observant Jew, or do you know an observant Jew in the military? Bonus points if he's a dentist. I would like to know how the military deals with Shabbat and all the holidays (and I mean all, not just Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and part of Passover). Does the military provide kosher food? I know I can't choose when/if/where I'm deployed, but can I choose where I'm stationed so that I can plan for my child to get a proper Jewish education? Thanks.
     
    #1 Ranelar, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
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  3. jmick101

    jmick101 Kung Fu DDS
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    Dont know about all the holidays, but I know that the military is pretty accommodating in religious matters. I do know that the military has Kosher MRE's and they are pretty tasty.
     
  4. krmower

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    I have known dentists that are Seek and Muslim in the Army. The dentist that was a Seek was allowed to grow his beard and wear his head wrap. The dentist that was a muslim never had a problem. He even deployed to Iraq - although I never thought to ask how his dietary requirements were met.

    I have seen Jewish Soldiers wear there caps during the day. As a dentist unless you are deployed you are not required to eat at any military facilities - so normally your daily food consumption is up to you.
     
  5. Ranelar

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    Thanks for the info. What about living on base? I'm guessing that since dentists don't have to eat on base, that means they don't have to live on base either? What about choosing where to be stationed?
     
  6. krmower

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    In the Army the choice to live on or off base is up to the dental officer. Most of the dentists I meet choose to live off base and buy or rent.

    As far as assignments - coming out of school they will offer you several choices and ask you which you want. These will be places they have the greatest need. They will always try to work with you, but when everyone coming out of school says they want to go to Hawaii ...
     
  7. Ranelar

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    Well lucky me, I'm born and raised in Hawaii and don't want to go back :p I just need to be somewhere near a major city (Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, San Francisco, etc) so that I can send my kid to a Jewish school. Do you think that's a difficult or easy assignment to get?
     
  8. krmower

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    If your definition of large cities are the ones you listed, then in the Army your only options are going to be Washington DC (Walter Reed, Ft. Belvoir, Ft. Meyer), Tacoma Washington (Ft. Lewis), San Antonio Texas (Ft Sam Houston), and El Paso Texas (Ft. Bliss). There may be some other cities that are large enough to have a Jewish school - but you would need to check those cities out. As far as the cities I listed - Tacoma and El Paso may be the 2 easiest large cities to get. It will also depend on if you decide to do any specialty training - those locations are at specific locations.

    Other cities near bases you may want to look into are: Kileen/Austin/Waco Texas (Ft Hood), Columbus Georgia (Ft Benning), Fayetteville NC (Ft Bragg), Clarksville Tennessee (Ft Campbell), Manhattan Kansas (Ft. Riley) - you would have an easy time getting any of those assignments.
     
  9. Ranelar

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    Hmmm, I wonder if Navy or Air Force has better options for me? I'm pretty sure there's a Marine base in San Diego (and Navy supplies the health care right?)
     
  10. dheav005

    dheav005 keepin' it movin'
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    that's right. Marines let us blue side guys patch them back together so they can get back to the suck.

    Norfolk has a fairly robust Jewish community, as does Chicago; both of those areas have huge Navy installations.
     
  11. 2GOODHANDS

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    The military will provide "kosher" foods when deployed per request but when deployed< be prepared to be flexible> When on ships or in operational platforms in combat zones, you may have to make arrangements with the Food Service Officer on the ship or Chow hall people on the ground.

    Now, if you have a strict Kosher diet, you would be best to let those around you know about it way in advance. Otherwise, plan to make exceptions or limit your diet when in a deployment theater.

    We have Rabbis, so this is not new to the military by any stretch. We can work with this. Doc
     
  12. Ranelar

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    Thanks for the info. Do you happen to know if the Rabbis you've come across are Orthodox, or are they Reform/Conservative? I am a strict observant Jew (Orthodox). Many Reform/Conservative Jews don't keep Shabbos or kosher, or they are flexible, which probably makes military life much easier.
     
  13. umkcdds

    umkcdds Army OMS
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    if you get special holidays off of work, i'm converting.

    i may also convert so seek, so i can grow a beard.
     
  14. Ranelar

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    The reason you don't work is so that you can spend the day praying, studying Torah, and/or fasting. You can't manipulate any electronics on those days either, because that's causing work to be done (you can setup timers for lights and food beforehand when needed). So no driving, using the computer, playing video games, watching tv etc. You could technically turn the TV on and leave it on before the holiday starts, but that's not in the spirit of any holiday, so it's extremely discouraged. If that sounds interesting, you're welcome to convert :p It's usually only a 2 year process, and as long as you're already circumcised, you should do fine! If you're not... :p
     
    #13 Ranelar, Dec 29, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008

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