March 2020 – The licensing office of the U.S. Army has banned a faith-based company from engraving Bible verses on Army-licensed dog tags and jewelry. Since 1998, Shields of Strength (SOS) has produced around 4 million dog tags, hundreds of thousands of which have been donated.
For the last seven years, SOS had been authorized to sell products with Army trademarks and seals. Last August, SOS owner Kenny Vaughan received an official email stating, “You are not authorized to put biblical verses on your Army products. For example, Joshua 1:9. Please remove ALL biblical references from all of your Army products.”
The email came after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), a liberal legal organization, sent a letter complaining about SOS to all branches of the military. MRFF argued the company violated the Department of Defense rules and threatened “administrative and litigation complaints” unless SOS stopped including religious references on its licensed products.
Representing SOS, First Liberty Institute sent a letter on December 3 to the U.S. Army Trademark Licensing Office arguing that the office was violating the U.S. Constitution by making such requirements. At press time, the Army had not responded to First Liberty.
onenewsnow.com, 12/4/19; firstliberty.org, 12/3/19;