[Vision2020] Army Regulation 600-43 "Conscientious Objection" Re: 126th Engineer Company to Depart On/About September 17th

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Sat May 1 13:11:52 PDT 2010

Unless I missed it, no one in this thread addressed legal conscientious
objection regarding military service or orders.

*In fact, soldiers serving in the US military do sometimes
get to legally exercise their independent judgment, regarding whether a
conflict (a euphamism for war), or any act of killing in war, for that
matter, is "legal" (legal might refer to international laws or treaties,
which the US may be violating, even if domestic US congressional actions
or courts are not upholding these laws) or moral or not, which can sometimes
result in a legal refusal regarding some military duties or commands; and
this is within the military system, not civilian courts or the press.*

For example, a soldier can on grounds of conscientious objection based on
religious beliefs be placed where they will not be commanded to kill (thus
legally making a decision not to shoot at anyone in war, contrary to the
statement in the post I am responding to, below), such a serving as a
medic.  Of course, refusing military service or orders can also result in a
court marshal and prison.  Also, conscientious objection is based on an
individual case, and is difficult to prove.  A whole military unit cannot
legally refuse deployment etc. when ordered, based on conscientious

Unless the sources below are out of date, recently over-turned,
conscientious objection is legally allowed in the US military, based on
religious beliefs:

Army Regulation 600-43
Conscientious Objection
21 August 2006

Both websites below offer the same document.  I wanted two sources to be
more certain this was an authentic document:


Note 3.1.1 and 3.1.2, Class 1-O and 1-A-O, definitions of "Conscientious
Objector" as characterized by the US Department of Defense, May 5, 2007.
The first refers to someone who objects to military service of any kind in
war in any form, the second to someone who objects to being a combatant, but
agrees to non-combatant military service, I assume in the conduct of war,
such as a medic.  Conscientious objector status can be applied for in the
process of registering for the draft:

Again, both websites offer the same document:



Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett

Andreas Schou wrote:

Dave --

I'm suggesting that soldiers don't get to exercise their independent
legal judgment as to whether a conflict is legal, when every
applicable civilian authority has determined it to be legitimate (if
unwise, or immoral). Our military isn't permitted to act autonomously,
because, historically, militaries that act autonomously turn their
guns on their citizens. If they want to challenge the legality of the
war, the appropriate place to do so is the civilian courts. If they
want to challenge the morality or wisdom of the war, the appropriate
place to do so is the press.

They don't get to choose whether or not to go to war; they don't get
to choose whom they shoot at, or why. There are very specific
conditions under which soldiers are permitted to defy an unlawful
order; usually, when waiting and going about it a different way is
going to kill a civilian. This isn't one of them.

-- ACS
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