Marine who was court-martialed after putting up Bible verse at her desk loses First Amendment appeal in ‘outrageous’ federal court decision

Sharp looking Marine right? After hearing the “whole” story, she reminds me of a term I learned very early in my career. While speaking to my Gunny one day (I was a Sgt), talking about a particular Marine I was having a slight problem with, he said. “He’s nothing but a Cocker Spaniel Marine.” I questioned the term and he asked if I ever owned a Cocker Spaniel, to which I said no. He then explained, “They look good, but ‘ain’t’ worth a shit.” So, after vetting this incident somewhat, I would say this Marine is, or was,  the poster for a Cocker Spaniel Marine.

SterlingCourt-martialed: Marine Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling was court-martialed in 2014 partly because she refused to take Bible verses down from her workspace

Below is the story as reported by the media, but be sure to read the headline carefully:

Marine who was court-martialed after putting up Bible verse at her desk loses First Amendment appeal in ‘outrageous’ federal court decision

A Marine who was court-martialed after refusing to take biblical verses down from her desk has lost her federal appeal, in a decision her representative called ‘outrageous’.

Marine Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling lost a 2014 court-martial at her base in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, based in part on her refusal to remove the verses. She challenged that action but was told Wednesday that she had lost the case after it was ruled that the order was not a ‘substantial burden’ on her First Amendment rights, Fox News reported.

‘We reject the argument that every interference with a religiously motivated act constitutes a substantial burden on the exercise of religion,’ said the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the highest military court, in a 4-1 decision. ‘In this case, the record does not clearly address whether (Sterling’s) conduct was based on a “sincerely held religious belief” or motivated by animosity toward her chain of command,’ it added.

‘Military orders are presumed to be lawful and are disobeyed at the subordinate’s peril.’

‘This is absolutely outrageous,’ Kelly Shackelford, president of First Liberty Institute, which represented Sterling.  ‘A few judges decided they could strip a Marine of her constitutional rights just because they didn’t think her beliefs were important enough to be protected.’

Judge Kevin Ohlson, who wrote the dissenting opinion, agreed, saying: ‘while the military’s asserted interest in good order and discipline surely deserves great deference, it does not demand reflexive devotion.’

Sterling, a Christian, had posted a modified form of Isiah 54:17 that read ‘No weapon formed against me shall prosper’ in three areas at her workspace. She refused to remove them when ordered, saying that the three identical verses represented the Holy Trinity.

Ultimately her commanding officer threw them in the trash and added the incident to a number of offenses for which she was court-martialed. Those included disrespecting a superior officer, disobeying lawful orders, and failing to report to an assigned duty.

She was reduced in rank and given a bad-conduct discharge. She later left the Marines.


OKAY, Don’t run off yet, as you know there are always two (sometimes more) sides to every story. So, here’s the other side from someone who was there, her Sergeant Major.

Ok boss, here we go. This thing was mine before we drop kicked her out with a “Big Chicken dinner.” (Marine slang for BCD – Bad Conduct Discharge.

I hate to bore you with all the details but this is an opportunity set the record straight. She was not Court-Martialed for anything dealing with the bible, bible verses, or Religion. She was Court-Martialed for disrespect, disobeying a lawful order, and UA.

All the garbage about religion has to do with a counseling she received from her SNCO months before the event leading to the Court-Martial even took place.  She took several “post its” (Gov property) wrote her 54:17 quote and posted them all over a work computer/monitor, a computer shared by two other Marines.

Every day it was a new drama with her.   She would complain about everything and anything.  In her mind, she just knew she was being wronged about something.  The whole bible verse thing was just one of many, and I mean many issues.  The MEF IG (Marine Expeditionary Force Inspector General)  got tired of hearing her complaints (3 Request Masts, 2 CONGRINTS – Congressional inquiry, where a service member writes his/her congressman) about nothing.  I had to spend time with the IG of the Marine Corps and go over her shenanigans in detail after she wrote a letter to the SECNAV.  She didn’t even bother going to the CMC and went VFR direct to the SECNAV.  I had a 3″ binder full of goodies of her drama.  She also wrote a letter to the President’s wife, now that was comical.

Finally, she stepped in it, and told a Major of Marines that she was not going to do what she was ordered. This individual was so arrogant, she represented herself at her Court-Martial.

She joined the Corps at the age of 27.  At one point she worked for the VA before joining. I can’t prove it, but I am confident she joined hoping to leave with medical benefits.  She was on light duty the entire time she was on active duty.  A bogus hip/back injury that only females get.  She knew all the right terms to use when questioned about her injuries.  Not something your average Jarhead would have a clue about when dealing with injuries, medical, med benefits, etc.

She was a total fraud.

Sgt Maj Anonymous

It ceases to amaze me how the media, our protector of the truth, will pick out a small part of something and make it the primary issue.

Remember the headline ? A half-truth used to garner attention to get someone to read their trash. Problem is we are such as” sissified,” lazy, spoon-fed society that all we remember is the headline.  I think they missed the boat slightly. They could have added the word “woman” and it was have attracted even more attention. This poor young Marine was discharged because she was  disallowed her First Amendment rights by an outrageous federal court. WOW!

Shame on them. The woman (no longer a Marine – the Once a Marine, Always a Marine motto does not apply to those that receive a BCD, she is what we call an EX-Marine) is a fraud who could not do what was required

3 thoughts on “Marine who was court-martialed after putting up Bible verse at her desk loses First Amendment appeal in ‘outrageous’ federal court decision”

  1. Belay my last. I jumped the Gun and had not read the whole article.
    But my last statement I stand behind. We Do need Change We need a President with some BALLS.

  2. I would like to say this didn’t happen or couldn’t. Instead It makes me Cringe that We the People have let OUR FREEDOMS Deteriorate to this level that something like this could happen! I’ll bet if it was a muslim that it would have been condoned as (It’s part of their religion it’s ok).
    We need Change We need a President with some BALLS.

Please leave a comment on this post or on any subject; all are appreciated. Thank you and Semper Fi, Jim