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Capt. Peter Brown

By the Associated Press. July 18, 2007

FORT DRUM, N.Y. A 10th Mountain Division officer serving in Iraq has sued the Army to gain conscientious objector status.

Capt. Peter Brown, a 2004 West Point graduate, said his religious convictions prevent him from carrying a loaded weapon or ordering his men to use lethal force. He filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia last week after military officials twice rejected his applications for conscientious objector status.

Brown has been stationed in Baghdad since August with the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment.

Brown’s conversion to his pacifist interpretation of the Bible began after his commission into the Army in 2004, when he attended a civilian religious center in the Netherlands, the lawsuit said.

"I truly believe that I would rather give my life than to take another person’s life," Brown said in court papers. He is being represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Brown, who has been accepted to seminary in St. Louis, works in a non-combat capacity processing detainee information, according to 2nd Brigade Combat Team spokesman Maj. Webster Wright III.

"This is an ongoing litigation case and is being handled at a higher level," Wright said. "We will continue our mission and will comply with whatever the decision is."