The Four Chaplains

[Updated 2021] Thirty-five years ago I raised my hand, took the oath of office, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, Chaplain Candidate, in the US Army Reserve. That summer, as a student in the Chaplain Officer Basic Course at Fort Monmouth, NJ, I first heard the story of the Four Chaplains: George Fox, Alexander Goode,…

When Chaplains Protest

[Originally posted in 2016. I wrote this when I was debating resigning. I finally did so at the end of February 2019, inspired by these examples.] You don’t often hear of military chaplains engaged in political protest or resigning in disagreement with policy. But it does happen. Charles Liteky, recipient of the Medal of Honor…

Whither Chaplaincy?

Note:  This reflection is a personal response to things I’ve recently read and conversations I’ve participated in. And I’ve made some revisions in response to some of the comments I’ve received. Chaplaincy is ministry.  It is ministry in a specialized setting: hospital, military, college, prison, etc. But it is ministry. It is pastoral. I find…

A Buddhist Chaplain

They were talking about Buddhist chaplains when I did my Chaplain Officer Basic Course back in 1986 and 1990. The Army finally has one on active duty: CH (CPT) Somya Malasri. CH Thomas Dyer has served in the National Guard since 2009.