Chaplain (LtCmdr) William Dorwart has a fascinating story. He enlisted in the Navy in 1967, then left and obtained a Masters in Dividnity at Notre Dame. He then rejoined the Navy as a Chaplain in 1985 and left again in 1991 to serve a civilian ministry role.
To help meet the shortage of Catholic chaplains, he returned to the Navy in 2008, 41 years after he originally enlisted. He started again as a Lieutenant, and was finally promoted, for the second time, back to LtCmdr.
It’s an odd career path, but even now Chaplain Dorwart hopes to continue to serve in military ministry, if an age waiver is granted.
I want to let you know that your Passover packages arrived on the USS Gonzalez yesterday. None too soon! We had a challenging Passover, because many of our supplies did not arrive in time…Our Jewish Sailors…were facing the remaining Passover day without foods Kosher for Passover.
When talking about military religious freedom, much of the focus is naturally on chaplains. Often left unmentioned is the assistant, bodyguard, and companion of military chaplains: his chaplain’s assistant.
As noted in a recent Marine article, chaplain’s assistants not only support activities at home, but they are also the armed protectors of the unarmed chaplain when deployed:
Religion has always been important to 19-year-old Seaman Apprentice Jacob L. Brown, a religious program specialist…
When he learned that he could pursue it while serving his country, he jumped at the chance… Continue reading →
Navy Chief of Information RADM John Kirby didn’t write a personal letter to Michael Weinstein, but he might have been thinking about him when he emailed naval officers and told them to stop the “jargon and gibberish,” as well as excessive adjectives. Criticizing his own service’s communications efforts, RADM Kirby said:
We’ve never met an adjective or adverb we didn’t like.
We don’t “exploit operations in the electromagnetic spectrum.” We fully exploit them. We don’t integrate functions; we seamlessly integrate them…
Jennifer Erickson, an academy spokeswoman, said in an email that the Naval Academy Chapel is a religious venue that has been used for Protestant and Catholic services since its dedication in 1908.
“The chapel contains permanent Christian architectural features that make it inappropriate for non-Christian or non-religious wedding ceremonies,” Erickson wrote in response to questions about the request. “For requests involving non-Christian and non-religious wedding ceremonies, the Naval Academy offers alternative venues, such as the non-denominational chapel and the Naval Academy Club.”
Because the Christian chapel has unmatched “grandeur” — including the crypt of famed seaman John Paul Jones — the humanists complain that nothing else will do. The non-theists apparently admire theistic architecture.
Heap’s goal is not assured. He fits the requirements…The only thing he does not have is an endorsement from a religious organization approved by the Navy.
And there’s the rub: Heap is a Humanist…The Humanist Society — like all organizations that represent nonbelievers — is not among the Department of Defense’s list of approximately 200 groups allowed to endorse chaplains.
During the multiple course dinner, Marines can call out each other for infractions, whether comical or serious. Marines guilty of infractions are “fined” and must then pay and small fee, usually about three dollars, and drink from the “grog”, a mixture of liquids, the elements of which are a mystery. The evening continues with amusing skits enacted by predetermined groups.
An official Navy release notes the travels of US Navy Chaplain (Cmdr) Daniel Mode, who is assigned to the carrier USS George Washington but visits other ships via the Navy’s “holy helo.”
Destroyers often do not have chaplains permanently stationed on board and rely on command lay leaders to perform worship services. Lay leaders are volunteers appointed by the commanding officer who Continue reading →
The Chief of Navy Chaplains, Chaplain (RAdm) Mark L. Tidd, recently visited the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. With regard to the current environment, he made a point of saying chaplains can help in the fight against sexual assault.
Tidd’s training and conversations with Nimitz’ chaplains and leaders included sexual assault prevention and awareness guidance. According to Tidd, a chaplain’s confidential counseling can play a crucial part in the lives of sexual assault victims.
“A chaplain can confidentially help a victim determine how to proceed [and decide] whether to make a restricted report or an unrestricted report that can lead to an opportunity to bring people to justice,” said Tidd.
The article makes a side comment that would likely register with few:
Two Air Force JAGs, Major Ken Artz and 1Lt Peter Smyczek wrote a fascinating article that supported General Mark Welsh’s assertion that the accepted culture is part of the sexual assault problem in the military. Entitled “Sexual Assaults in the Military: Porn is Part of the Problem,” their piece began with a simple statement [emphasis added]:
If our military is to lower its rate of sex crimes, it must limit its members’ consumption of pornography and educate them about its risks.
The JAGs point out that the Air Force must address the underlying behaviors that lead to sexual assault — not merely attack the Continue reading →
In a May 26 letter to the editor at the Marine Corps Times, Navy Commander Robert Spencer replied to an April 15 letter from US Air Force Capt Matthew Phelps, an outspoken military homosexual who had complained of the lack of recognition for his marriage.
In the middle of the ongoing discussion about US military troops and their use of social media comes an interesting piece at the Marine Corps Times, where former military JAGs make the case that the Marines may not be able to police troops’ use of certain websites, despite their implication they may try to do so.
The impetus behind the discussion are generally certain Facebook pages that were denigrating toward female Marines. Said General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps:
In a May 29 letter to Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., Gen. Jim Amos denounced Facebook pages and other social media Continue reading →
This wasn’t the military, though. It was a grade school.
South Bristol Elementary School eighth-graders will launch their handmade skiffs next month without the traditional “blessing of the fleet” after a letter from…Americans United for Separation of Church and State informed the school that student involvement with the historic maritime ceremony violated the First Amendment.
The US Navy and various small towns conduct “blessings of the fleet” in accordance with centuries of maritime tradition. Indeed, the US Navy just performed theirs.