Statements of Conscience by Military Objectors

The following statements were written by active-duty military members as part of their applications for Conscientious Objector status.

*Note: All of the statements on this page were part of actual servicemembers’ applications for discharge from the military as conscientious objectors. However, not all of these applications were approved. If you are working on your own CO discharge application, get in touch with a G. I. Rights counselor by email or phone.


Navy C.O. Application by Daniel Baker

“I believe that all wars and any other acts of violence cannot be justified. They should be countered only by turning the other cheek and through non-violent action. I believe in complete forgiveness and in loving my enemy as my brother or sister.”


Navy C.O. Application by Pablo Paredes

Army C.O. Application by Nate Wildermuth

Army C.O. Application by Clint Hardesty

” I’ve listened while Field Grade Officers propagate ignorance and ethnocentrism that rivals even Nazism… I do not believe these men are bad or evil. However, human frailty combined with the evils inherent in war, coupled with a military that encourages a sort of “group think” and bloodshed, creates a state of affairs that in my mind is totally against Jesus’ teachings on love and acceptance of one’s neighbor, and the natural law written on all human heart’s that we are all children of God.”


Army C.O. Application by Joshua Casteel

“…While ‘national interest’ is certainly no candidate for a Christian justification to kill, voluntary military service in no way conforms to the parameters of St. Paul’s proclamation to submit to the governing authorities…who bear the sword for a purpose’ (Romans 13). For, I am paid handsomely for my submission.”