When I hear this line I usually say (just to be irritating) "Yes there ARE no atheist in fox holes, cos they are off being courageous while the christians and the rest are cowering in the fox hole praying to save themselves"
I served 6 years in the Army, my deconversion came towards the end of my service. I met a few guys who avoided church and religion in general but never verbally expressed actual atheist/agnostic views. I did have an XO who told me churches were "control mechanisms" and "a total crock of shit." I also had a commander tell me he had more important things to do on Sunday than go to church; and that he wouldn't require any of his men to waste their time there either.
The cliché term is used by religious people to make them feel better. Some of them can't stomach the idea of someone who is not 'god-fearing' fighting for our country. Some think that since being a soldier requires morals, none of them could be atheist. And some truly think we're fighting a holy war (I guess that could be debatable), so all the holy warriors must have faith in god.
Yes. My son served in the army for 4 years and spent 15 months in Iraq. He's now in the reserves. His dogtags said "atheist". He refused to celebrate christian holidays or pray during his time in the Army. He also refused admission to the VFW because of the christian wording in the application form.
At the time I was an atheist, however I didn't advertise it. I was trying to blend in and not gain the attention of my superiors, outside of my duties.
My dog tags say Rom. Cath. The reason for this is at the induction center they ask what me religion preference was and I told them I don't have one. The SPC asked "Well, what are your parents?" I said Catholic... 3 days later my tags came in with Rom. Cath on it. I was always too busy to anapathetic to get them changed.
I did attend catholic services during basic training, not to worship, but to catch up on my sleep. A pew is pretty comfy to sleep on. They also had vending machines there...
Yea, Sundays after breakfast, and the Drill Sergeant says "Anyone going to church fall in on the bus; anyone not going to church head upstairs to clean the latrines." Only took a few seconds of thought to decided I was a devout church-goer (at least for a couple months). LOL!