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'So help me God' optional in Air Force oath

5:02 PM, Oct 25, 2013   |    comments
The Air Force Academy Preparatory School took down this poster of the honor oath after a complaint about the words 'so help me God'' in the oath. (Air Force Academy)
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AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colorado (AP) – Air Force Academy cadets are no longer required to say "so help me God" at the end of the Honor Oath.

School officials said Friday the words were made optional after a complaint from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group.

Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson says the change was made to respect cadets' freedom of religion.

The oath states, "We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God."

The academy says cadets are required to take the oath once, when they formally enter the school after boot camp.

The school outside Colorado Springs has about 4,000 cadets. When they graduate, they are commissioned as second lieutenants.

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