by Pam Zubeck
Glen Doherty, a former Navy SEAL and member of the Advisory Board for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, was one of the three Americans killed in an assault on the American Embassy in Libya on Tuesday, which also claimed the life of U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.
The MRFF was formed in 2005 by Mikey Weinstein, a 1977 graduate of the Air Force Academy, after his son reported cadets using pejorative language against Jews, and faculty and staff advocating for fundamentalist Christianity. Weinstein is Jewish.
"Glen was a true American hero," Weinstein says in an interview. "I know that he took some flak from current and former SEALS for joining our advisory board years ago. But he didn't view the value of a human being based on what religion they are.
"He was the first one to remind me not to be tepid in this fight," he says. "He was the first one that made me realize that the closest you get to drawing blood in the military, the closer you get to combat, the higher the infiltration of fundamentalist Christianity. He didn't care when he suffered derision from other SEALs by coming on board with us, because it was the right thing to do."
Doherty also was among the first to contact Weinstein after the MRFF mounted a billboard in Colorado Springs aimed at the Air Force Academy failing to widely distribute an Air Force Chief of Staff directive on the military's maintaining neutrality on religion. ("It's a sign," Sept. 29, 2011)
Doherty, who was working as a security officer in Libya, left the Navy after serving nine years as a highly decorated SEAL with multiple combat deployments, the MRFF website's biography of Doherty says. While in the Navy, he attended the 18 Delta Special Forces Combat Medical School, the SEAL sniper course, and was an expert in SEAL combat tactics. After separating from the Navy in 2005, Doherty spent four years working as a security and intelligence specialist for government agencies conducting operations in high threat regions, which included Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He had extensive experience teaching and training operators around the world in a broad range of disciplines. An accomplished pilot, Doherty had multi-engine, commercial and instrument flight ratings and was a nationally certified paramedic. He held a bachelor's degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a minor in Aviation Safety.