A local story repeated at the Stars and Stripes covers Willard Keith Staneart, who served as an Army chaplain during Vietnam. Faced with the potential of an overwhelming attack by the Viet Cong, Staneart spoke with his battalion commander:
“He said, ‘Chaplain, every one of these young men are like my own sons. Their parents and their spouses are dependent on my getting them home safely,'” Staneart said. “He says, ‘I’ve failed. They’re all going to die tonight.'”
The commander asked Staneart to go around, pray with and counsel the men.
“I took a Bible, went Read more
The US military has approved the awarding of a Silver Star to Father Aloysius Schmitt, a Catholic chaplain who was aboard the USS Oklahoma when it was struck and capsized during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. More than 400 Sailors perished. Chaplain (LTjg) Schmitt is reported to have helped several men through their only means of escape — a porthole — and when it appeared he might get stuck in the porthole, declined the opportunity to escape himself, allowing others to live.
The Oklahoma was righted in 1943, and Read more
In an interestingly timed piece, the US Air Force highlighted Catholic Chaplain (Capt) Emmanuel Enoh, who hails from Nigeria but was drawn to missionary work — and the US Air Force:
“The patient was suffering from her experiences in the Iraq war,” recalled Enoh. “She just wanted to talk about her experiences, so we spent the whole night talking. I couldn’t relate to her experiences, but by being there and letting her talk, it gave her comfort. That experience drew me to serve as a military chaplain.’”
The article seems to almost painfully go out of its way to qualify the service Chaplain Enoh provides: Read more
The US Naval Academy has an interesting arrangement in which a civilian pastor is officially part of the chapel staff to minister to faculty and midshipmen. That position is now filled by Bart Physioc:
Physioc fills a unique position in a congregation that encompasses active duty and retired military, civilians and staff. Because Navy chaplains have responsibilities that limit their ability to pastor the whole church, Physioc helps cover visitations and ministers to and disciples the members.
He isn’t new to the military, however. It turns out Pastor Physioc is actually retired US Army Chaplain (Col) Physioc, with 25 years of service that ended just in 2014.
Chaplain Physioc wasn’t Read more
The US Army chaplaincy has a bit of history:
On the heels of the Army’s birthday, the Chaplain Corps was established as an integral part of the Continental Army on July 29, 1775…
“Second only to the Infantry, Read more
At the behest of the Chief of Naval Operations, the US Navy Chaplaincy has begun a summer campaign hashtagged “#CharacterMatters.” According to the Chaplaincy’s release on the subject, CNO Adm John Richardson
challenged us to “actively strengthen our shipmates’ integrity,” so that the entire Navy team, as an institution, behaves in a way that is “consistent with the values that we profess.”
It’s a fascinating opportunity — and one that could be easily missed. For example, it Read more
As previously announced, on May 23rd Chaplain (LtCol) Khallid Shabazz took over as the Division Chaplain for the 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis McChord:
Shabazz…became the Army’s first Islamic chaplain at the division level at a Change of Stole ceremony…officiated by Maj. Gen. Thomas James Jr., 7th Infantry Division commanding general.
The “changing of the stole” appears to be strictly a US Army chaplaincy tradition, as Read more
As reported by the Navy, aptly named US Navy CAPT Steve Moses took over the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center at the end of March. (Last year, it was CAPT Moses who said requiring US Sailors and their families to mirror Islamic customs during Ramadan “support[s] religious freedom.”)
The Navy Chief of Chaplains, Chaplain (RAdm) Margaret Kibben, was the guest speaker, and she had the notable quote for the day [emphasis added]:
She challenged Capt. Moses to, “Wear the mantle, and do so with authority, with the responsibility that has been granted to you by the One who is the author of all these things.”
Had Chaplain Kibben been a white male Southern Baptist (as Read more