F.A.Q. Military Issues


F.A.Q. Military Issues

I am in the military and want to have my Satanism recognized. Is that possible?

In the United States, there used to be an Armed Services Chaplains’ Manual that had been updated up until the second Bush administration, after which it seems to have disappeared. Members of the Church of Satan in the US armed forces could display their membership cards and request acknowledgement of their affiliation, since the Church of Satan was included in this official publication. Non-members had no such recourse.

The situation is less clear in the armed forces of other nations and continues to develop.

However, since Satanists are pragmatic it is important to consider that in any military situation you might have superior officers who are Christian and thus might hold unreasonable prejudices against anyone identifying himself as a Satanist. If a career is planned in the military, announcing one’s Satanism might not be a wise course to take. Many of our members serving in the armed forces often choose to identify themselves as atheists, or not select any religious affiliation.

The choice is yours, but do consider the consequences quite carefully before taking a step that cannot be reversed.

I am a veteran and a Satanist and plan to be buried in a national military cemetery. Is it possible to have a pentagram or a Sigil or Baphomet or some other recognition on my grave marker?

Satanism Needs a Dead Veteran

When a US military veteran dies, the veteran’s family or representative can apply to receive from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs a free headstone or marker for the veteran’s grave. Generally, these markers are inscribed at the top with a religious “Emblem of Belief.” As of late 2022, the department offers 79 different emblems including those for Atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Humanism and Wicca but it does not (yet) include a symbol for Satanism. The Department has a process for adding new emblems to its list of offerings but the key first requirement is a dead veteran whose last wishes explicitly include a desire for it.

If you are a Satanist veteran who served for at least 24 months on active duty or is currently serving on active duty in the US military, you can help make history by being the first to initiate this formal request to the Department of Veterans Affairs. To do so, all you need to do is to express this as your desire.

U.S. government regulations allow the following individuals to request a new emblem of belief for inscription on a headstone or marker: the decedent's next-of-kin, a person authorized in writing by that relative, or a personal representative previously authorized in writing by the now-deceased veteran.

The relative (or representative) must submit to the Department a standardized application form, a certification that the proposed new emblem represents the dead veteran’s religious affiliation or belief system, and a digital graphic file of the emblem. The emblem must be free of copyright or trademark restrictions or authorized by the owner for inscription on Government-furnished headstones and markers and it must be able to be reproduced in a production-line environment in stone or bronze without loss of graphic quality.

We have assembled a simple one-page document that, along with the official forms, will allow you to meet all of these requirements. Simply enter your information, store the document along with your will or other end-of-life documents, and consider sharing it now with your next-of-kin or designated representative.

You can download the PDF form here.

The official information about the VA program is here: https://www.va.gov/burials-memorials/memorial-items/headstones-markers-medallions/

The information specifically about adding a new emblem to the list is here: https://www.cem.va.gov/cem/hmm/emblems.asp

Hail Satan!
Magister Robert Merciless

Was the Church of Satan ever recognized by the U.S. Military?

Yes, from 1977 onwards there was an entry regarding the Church of Satan in “Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups. A Handbook for Chaplains, Extracted from: DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY PAMPHLET NO. 165-13.” We reproduce the 1978 version for its historical significance.


From time to time, you may find yourself with a question that is not addressed in the F.A.Q., or literature. We welcome all intelligent and informed questions.

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