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WASHINGTON — The Air Force has announced ‘so help me God’ can be omitted from the enlistment oath.

The change, which is effective immediately, was made after the American Humanist Association threatened to sue when a recruit was unable to complete his reenlistment due to scratching out the phrase on a form.

Following a review of the policy by the Department of Defense General Counsel, the Air Force will now permit airmen to omit the phrase, should they so choose. That change is effective immediately, according to the Air Force statement.

Air Force members were previously able to leave out the phrase but that change in October 2013.