Army Officer on Finding God at West Point
The Army was actually instrumental in my salvation.
– Capt Roger Taneus, Maryland National Guard
Chaplain (Capt) Roger Taneus just became the newest chaplain in the Maryland National Guard. In an Army article, he talked about how he became a Christian while at West Point thanks to a para-church ministry:
Taneus said he found God while at the U.S. Military Academy…
“I had a salvation experience at West Point through a ministry called the Navigators,” Taneus said. “They had a big impact on my life.”
The Navigators is a Christian ministry with a mission of helping others, including military personnel, to know God and to grow in their faith as they navigate through life.
“I heard the Lord in an audible voice tell me, ‘I want you to use everything you’ve been learning at West Point and the military to serve my kingdom,’” Taneus said.
Like many Christians, he wasn’t sure how God would use him. He graduated West Point in 1997 and served for 5 years before becoming a corporate consultant and part-time seminary student. But that wasn’t enough:
“I got a sense that the only thing that makes me happy is to help people… and I knew that the best way to help people was through God’s word [Bible],” Taneus said. “So I left everything, took a pick-up truck, and headed out to seminary.”
Chaplain Taneus, whose family hails from Haiti, ultimately signed on as an Army chaplain with the Maryland National Guard, in part to “give back”:
This is my way of giving back, also to bring a Bible-based, spiritual, and emotional healing not only to civilians but also to veterans and soldiers.
Chaplain Taneus’ story is notable for two points:
First, The Navigators and other para-church ministries (including CRU (formerly Campus Crusade) and Officers’ Christian Fellowship) have a crucial role to play in the spiritual formation of young cadets. And since those cadets will enter the military as officers, those ministries have the potential for profound impact on the military as a whole, as they disciple Christian officers who can serve God in their units and daily lives.
That leads to the second point. Chaplain Taneus tried several career paths and ultimately determined he was called by God to serve in the pastorate. While virtually every Christian has the same question at some point (How should I serve God?), that doesn’t mean everyone has to become a missionary to the deepest heart of Africa.
As R.G. LeTourneau was once told, God needs Christian businessmen, Christian politicians, Christian construction workers, police officers, teachers, etc., etc. God gave you skills, passions, and interest. Use those talents where God has placed you — wherever that is — and glorify Him there by your service.