Christian Marine, Fighter Pilot Find New Callings

Alan Clyne recently retired from the US Marine Corps after a long career. Clyne was in Iraq in 2005 when he was tasked with driving an armored bulldozer to clear a path for engaged fellow Marines:

It was there, at a tiny forward operating base called Camp Gannon in November 2005, that Chief Warrant Officer 4 Clyne and a fellow Marine, Master Sgt. Scott Witmer, hopped aboard an armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozer that neither man had been trained to operate and drove into a high-risk rescue mission in an active combat zone.

A tank accompanied them — from behind…

“We started taking fire right on the edge of town.”

A local Peoria, Illinois, article talks about his new role as a “Christian missionary” working full time at the World Mission Builders branch of Church Growth Ministries.

Clyne sees one profound similarity between the work of all three worlds — Caterpillar building the equipment, the military deploying it, and the church building effort that employs the skills he learned from each entity.

“In hard times, whether it’s business or it’s war, the only thing that’s going to see you through to the sunshine the next day is perseverance,” he said.

Craig Candeto is a former US Navy Super Hornet pilot, and also a former US Naval Academy quarterback. Since leaving the Navy in 2009, he hasn’t flown, but he’s worked around the football world and is now at Georgia Tech, trying to work his way into Division I football coaching:

Where once Candeto’s literal arsenal included a 20-millimeter rotary cannon and air-to-surface missiles, he now fires off e-mails to square away details of the Yellow Jackets’ travel plans…

It is another step on what he hopes will be a journey toward his dream job as a Division I head coach…

It turns out Candeto’s motivation isn’t all football:

He craves the opportunity to influence and be an example to players…It’s not a role he can play to a great extent making travel plans, but he abides by the Bible passage on his Twitter page, from the book of Colossians: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward…”

Said Candeto, “I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

You can serve Christ whether you’re in the military, after retiring from a long military career, or after separating from the military early on. And, as R.G. LeTourneau famously found out and encouraged in others, “serving Christ” doesn’t mean you have to leave the career you enjoy and for which God has given you talents to go on some kind of missionary journey to the deepest heart of Africa.

Serve God where He’s placed you. After all, you are where you’re supposed to be.

Also at the Stars and Stripes.