07 J The Coalition of Spirit-Filled Churches

Military & VA Chaplains Please Read

A Tip for Viewing this Page: If any of our content - especially videos - does not load correctly, please do a hard refresh of your broswer. Unsure how to do this? Click [HERE] for easy instructions.

VERY IMPORTANT: This page has 3 sections. A – Political Activities Guidance; B – Information about the Annual Federal Conference; and C – Dave’s Federal Chaplains Blog.


We received this 35-slide PPT turned into a PDF 3 or 4 years ago. It is guidance for political activities for Active, Guard, and Reserve. There are differing regulations.

It is by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. It may be useful.




The Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches' (CSC) Federal Chaplains Conference will, once again, be immediately before the start of the Military Chaplain's Association (MCA) Conference. The CSC Conference will be July 30 - August 1, 2024, and it will be right before the MCA Conference, meeting in Gettysburg, PA at the Aspire Hotel/Eisenhower Conference Center.

To register for the MCA, a link will be coming soon.

To reserve a room at Aspire Hotel/Eisenhower Conference Center, a link will be coming soon.




23 MAY 2024

A Change to the DODI 1304.28.


11 DECEMBER 2023

A great resource for chaplains, coming from the Air Guard.

ANG Command Primer on Chaplain Corps Management [PDF]

05 DECEMBER 2023

This just-released report of the DoD IG addresses Diversity Management, Sexual Assault, and Prohibited Activities (like participation in extremist groups) for military personnel. I would think that most military chaplains would want to familiarize themselves with the content.

Annual Report to Congress Pursuant to FY 2021 NDAA, Section 554 [PDF]

30 NOVEMBER 2023

Some DoD-Approved Suicide Prevention and Postvention Resources:

Defense Suicide Prevention Office Homepage

American Association of Suicidology Homepage

Postvention Toolkit from the Defense Suicide Prevention Office

Postvention Toolkit for a Military Suicide Loss [PDF]


Chaplains can play a unique and valuable role in the treatment of alcohol dependence, a condition that has physical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions. To best fulfill this role, chaplains need to have a broad understanding of the nature of alcohol problems and current strategies for effectively interacting...

To read more, follow the link below. You will need to sign up for a free www.academia.edu account.

The Role of Military and Veterans Affairs Chaplains in the Treatment of Alcohol Problems


An interesting article from a Rabbi.

Pistol Packing Padres: Rethinking Regulations Prohibiting Armed Military Chaplains [PDF]

02 AUGUST 2023

This was a very important presentation to the Military Chaplains Association 2023 meeting. Several Chiefs or their designated representatives were present. This presentation is useful in communicating— even at the unit levels— that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is not “just” for land. It has very real and intense religious underpinning

Religious Issues in The Russian Invasion of Ukraine [PDF]

25 JULY 2023

I have been contacted by Tom Lough, the composer of "Ever Faithful to the Call," a hymn for Veterans Day worship use, and have been invited to send it to you for consideration. The hymn can be found at www.everfaithfultothecall.com and can be downloaded free for nonprofit use.

The hymn has already been approved by the United Methodist Church. See https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/suggestions-for-observing-veterans-day-november-11-in-worship. Then scroll down to the section on Hymns. You will see the second hymn listed as "Ever Faithful to the Call."

Please review this hymn and, if appropriate, list it as approved for Veterans Day worship use on our denominational web site. If it becomes listed, please also consider informing the churches about its availability in time to be considered for worship use in November.

Thank you,

06 OCTOBER 2022

This YouTube video may be of great assistance to Veterans impacted by natural disasters.

02 OCTOBER 2022

A long-term study on the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: A Historical Perspective from the Joint Chiefs of Staff [PDF]


Wesley Theological Seminary is once again offering their Doctor of Ministry Program for military chaplains with 100% tuition scholarships.

The opening course meets on Wesley's Washington, D.C. campus the first week of March 2023 and includes two additional on-campus weeks later int he program

All other coursework will completed online.

Twenty-five chaplains will be admitted to the program. Deadline to apply is October 15, 2022.

View the courese in the program at:

Military Chaplaincy: Wesley Theological Seminary: Doctor of Ministry ∙ March 2023

To apply, visit:

Military Chaplaincy: Wesley Theological Seminary: Doctor of Ministry ∙ March 2023

For more information, contact Special Assitant to the President/Adjunct Professor, Dr. James Driscoll, CH (COL-Ret), US Army at jdriscoll@wesleyseminary.edu or the admissions office at 202-885-8659

14 JULY 2022

TAMPA FL – On May 18, 2022, attorneys Arthur Schulcz of Chaplains Counsel, PLLC, Brandon Johnson of Defending the Republic, and Andrew Meyer of the Finn Law Group filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, initiating a class action on behalf of 31 Military Chaplains from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard challenging Secretary of Defense Austin’s COVID-19 vaccine Mandate and the Secretary’s directive not to grant any religious accommodations. On June 28, 2022, the Military Chaplains filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to prohibit the Military Defendants from discharging or disciplining Military Chaplains for failure to comply with these orders.

Update: Hearing Scheduled July 20th

Alvarado v Austin

10 MAY 2022

DoD and VA chaplains, if you are working with people seeking to upgrade their DD214 Discharge Status, here is the latest:

How To Upgrade Your Military Discharge

30 MARCH 2022

A good, free 97-page book on PTSD in the Military and VA and the screening for such.

Moral Injury in Veterans/Active Duty Military with PTSD [PDF]

13 MARCH 2022

A dear saint whom I have come to know over the years, Ken Hansen, has compiled a listing of free resources available to military chaplains if they ask. You may view/download it below.


10 MARCH 2022

#VetResources: Check-In videos provide resources for mental health, coping strategies

19 FEBRUARY 2022

I am aware of a good number of folks who are refusing to take COVID vaccinations due to their conscience and/or sincere religious convictions because these vaccines were TESTED on cell lines developed many years ago from cells that were derived from abortions. [Incidentally a good number of over-the-counter medicines were also tested on the same cell lines – well-known products like acetaminophen, albuterol, aspirin, ibuprofen, Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Tums, Lipitor, Senokot, Motrin, Maalox, Ex-Lax, Benadryl, Sudafed, Preparation H, Claritin, Prilosec, .and many, many others.]

Nevertheless, it is being reported that a new vaccine product is coming out that did not have such testing!

New Novavax Shot Could Appeal to Pro-Life Christian Skeptics

I am hoping and praying that this might put some very good peoples’ minds at ease.

19 FEBRUARY 2022

Dear Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors,

I realize that a few of you have a fairly robust practice of counseling service-members, veterans, and family members of the same. As such, you might be looking for resources to help you. I have recently come across a page that lists FREE religiously-integrated manuals/handbooks for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). While CPT is but one tool, one approach to psychotherapy, I find it absolutely fascinating that they have produced a series of religiously-integrated distinct faith group manuals for CBT.

You may want to take a look at them.

Religiously-Integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (RCBT) Manuals and Workbooks

14 FEBRUARY 2022

Army chaplains: New guidance from OCCH.

Proponent Implementing Guidance [PDF]

10 FEBRUARY 2022

Religious Freedom instructions in the US Air Force.


08 FEBRUARY 2022

Guidance from the Veterans Health Administration re Accommodations


February 7, 2022

Reasonable Accommodation Processing for COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

The health and safety of Veterans and staff continue to be our highest priority during the pandemic. Despite use of highly protective masks, distancing, and other safety measures, we have been experiencing greater outbreaks of hospital-acquired infections in both our inpatient units and community living centers in association with the increased prevalence of the Omicron variant.

As future variants are expected to emerge, such as the recently appearing BA.2 variant of Omicron, we must do everything we can to protect the Veterans we serve and our co-workers in patient care positions. Recently confirmed by CDC medical studies, vaccination remains the best defense against COVID-19, including variants like Delta and Omicron.

Employees requesting an accommodation to being vaccinated against COVID-19 will have their request treated as a request for “reasonable accommodation” and reviewed accordingly.

During recent surges in COVID-19 cases from Delta and Omicron variants, VA paused the processing of reasonable accommodation requests to ensure Veterans could receive the care they needed with necessary staffing. Today, we are resuming the processing of COVID-19 vaccine reasonable accommodations requests with a focus on ensuring employees’ rights while optimizing Veteran care and safety.

We will process these requests in a timely manner, generally in the order they were received. Typically, the time frame for processing a request is 30 calendar days from the initiation of the review process by the management official or supervisor. Please note that an employee’s approved accommodation request may result in reassignment to areas within the VA where it is safe for unvaccinated staff to work.

VA has listed specific positions within VA Form 10230a (Undue Hardship Review) where the standard accommodation of masking, maintaining physical distance, testing, and following other required safety protocols is either not possible or does not sufficiently mitigate the safety risk posed to patients and/or other staff members. While we will try to accommodate approved reasonable accommodation reassignment, positions cannot be guaranteed.

We will continue to be transparent with staff and Veterans as reasonable accommodation requests are reviewed and processed. Management officials or supervisors will notify staff regarding whether reasonable accommodation requests are approved or denied, as well as potential next steps.

Thank you for everything you continue to do to serve Veterans and protect fellow team members through the pandemic.

Steven L. Lieberman, M.D.
Deputy Under Secretary for Health,
Performing the Delegable Duties of the Under Secretary for Health

04 FEBRUARY 2022

As an Endorser of chaplains, I hear so much false and fraudulent information about the COVID vaccines. I am pleased that the media are fact-checking!

How the falsehood of athletes dying of coronavirus vaccines spread

14 JANUARY 2022

HeartMath Education And Resilience Training (H.E.A.R.T.)

13 JANUARY 2022

VA, Civil Air Patrol chaplain corps to support families of Veterans at national cemeteries

09 JANUARY 2022

COVID-19 vaccine myths debunked

01 JANUARY 2022

Another good piece on this topic. It may be helpful to some chaplains.

Opinion: Most evangelical objections to vaccines have nothing to do with Christianity

23 DECEMBER 2021

The Army [and Navy and Air Force] chaplaincy does not look like the Army.

I was an Army rabbi. The chaplaincy’s white, Christian leadership must diversify.

Worth the read!

I am pleased to report that The Coalition’s chaplains do look like the military. We have been told that we are the most diverse Christian endorsing group.

21 DECEMBER 2021

Chaplains need to familiarize themselves with this…

Handling Protest, Extremist, and Criminal Gang Activities Among Members of the Armed Forces [PDF]

19 DECEMBER 2021

Troops find religious exemption for COVID-19 vaccines unattainable

03 DECEMBER 2021

An awareness of this old Army FM might be helpful to some chaplains.

FM 100-1 of 1981 [PDF]

25 NOVEMBER 2021

Chaplains, please watch what you communicate when on smartphones.

Apple iPhones can be hacked with spyware even if you don’t click on a link, Amnesty International says

18 NOVEMBER 2021

Official from the Department of the Army Regarding Vaccine Refusers.

Flagging and Bars to Continued Service of Soldiers Who Refuse the COVID-19 Vaccination Order [PDF]

14 NOVEMBER 2021

An excellent article published in a recent edition (November/December 2021) of The Officer Review by the Military Order of World Wars.

The US Faces Threats of Political Violance [PDF]

07 NOVEMBER 2021

Save the Date! January 14, 2022

For those who would like to learn more about neuroscience and PTSD:

A neuroscientist will be discussing the changes to the brain and some ways that leaders can help. The webinar is open to all through FB Live

PTSD webinar

07 NOVEMBER 2021

Be careful what you do and say on your smartphone and computer. The Chinese are listening. Probably others are too!

Chinese hacking contest reveals weaknesses in iPhones, Windows
and other tech we use every day

03 NOVEMBER 2021

An interesting article by an Army chaplain about his perception of chaplain roles.

What are Chaplains For? Five Suggestions on How to Best Utilize the Chaplain

25 OCTOBER 2021

More COVID vaccination information for your use.

Helping patients with ethical concerns about COVID-19 vaccines in light of fetal cell lines used in some COVID-19 vaccines [PDF]

15 OCTOBER 2021

Another vaccine religious accommodation request template.

Religious Exemption Example [PDF]

15 OCTOBER 2021

US Navy Lists Consequences for Sailors Who Refuse COVID Vaccinations

12 OCTOBER 2021

Don’t Let Religious Liberty Claims Mask Bad Faith Arguments

02 OCTOBER 2021

Some sad statistics.

Active-Duty Suicide Rate Hit Record High in 2020 - Defense One

I don't think that the ASIST program -- which is very pricey in terms of materials, cost per participant, costs to train trainers/presenters, and costs to KEEP them certified to train and presenting -- is working. I understand that the VA and various non-profit organizations are working diligently to produce low-cost/no-cost prevention programs that are more effective.


The following link contains CURRENT Army Reserve Doctrine and Practices RE: Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program (CVP)

Current Army Reserve Doctrine and Practices RE: Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program (CVP)


From Todd Gangl, a long-time friend and colleague:

"Just wanted to let you know that The Military Ready Stepfamily has started offering free, live, online training specifically for chaplains and chapel staff to assist them in ministering to and counseling today's military stepfamilies. The link below leads to our training sign-up page on our website where chaplains can sign up for both our basic "Understanding Today's Military Stepfamily" and our advanced "The Brady's Lied-Helping to Build Realistic Expectations in Military Stepfamilies" training. Each training is 45 minutes and comes with some really great free resources for the chaplains and chapel programs. We would be honored if you could pass this link along to your chaplains as a possible resource for them to help in building readiness and resilience in military stepfamilies. Thanks for your time and the Lord's richest blessings be with you as you serve Him!"

The Military Ready Stepfamily: Upcoming Live, Online Training & In Person Seminars

Anything Todd does is quality and is worth the time invested!


Dear Army Chaplains,

A former soldier who is now a composer and musician has written this for Army chaplains in hopes that they will use this for Veterans’ Day. You can find it here: Ever Faithful to the Call. It is free for your use.

I hope you enjoy!


As the information continues to be released and various approaches to religious exemption from the COVID Vaccines attempt to be explored, I think it might be important to have an awareness of the facts about the testing using fetal cell information and technology. This article, If Any Drug Tested on HEK-293 is Immoral, Goodbye Modern Medicine, published earlier this year, makes the point that if one is to reject medicines that have been tested or influenced by fetal cell information, then most of the medications in pharmacies today will have to be rejected. That is pretty sobering and limiting if people are to be consistent in their beliefs.

Additionally, here is another robust article on the topic: Hospital staff must swear off Tylenol, Tums to get religious vaccine exemption



There are a lot of lies and disinformation floating around these days. Don’t get sucked in!

The Marines Are Copying the Air Force's Efforts to Counter Online Disinformation


This peer-reviewed journal article may be helpful for some of you exploring with service-members the acceptance or rejection of the COVID vaccines:

Mandating the COVID-19 Vaccine for U.S. Service Members:
An Exploration of Ethical Arguments

30 AUGUST 2021

Army Office of the Chief of Chaplains Guidance on COVID along with FORSCOM Supplemental Guidance

Immunization Religious Accommodation Requests [PDF]

Sample Immunization Religious Accommodation Interview Questionnaire [PDF]

26 AUGUST 2021

Guidance on Religious Accommodations From the Marines:


23 AUGUST 2021

With Pfizer’s full FDA approval for the COVID vaccine, I have asked a senior person or two about exemption from taking it for religious reasons.

I have been told that they will be chaptered out for failure to meet standard military expectations unless they have the 4-star over their command grant their exception.


19 AUGUST 2021

Navy resource guide from AD Navy Chaplain, CDR Ryan Bareng:

MCTP 3-30D Referenced and Related Publications (and more) Links [PDF]

10 AUGUST 2021

More on the vaccines as of 10 August 2021.

The following come from Army guidance on the topic -- source does not want to be named:

  1. ETHICS: Religious Ethicists state it is ethically acceptable to receive the vaccine.

    1. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were found to be ethically uncontroversial by the pro-life policy organization the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Further, the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, a committee within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has stated: “neither Pfizer nor Moderna used an abortion-derived cell line in the development or production of the vaccine.

    2. The non-replicating viral vector vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson did require the use of fetal cell cultures, specifically PER.C6, in order to produce and manufacture the vaccine. The Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission have both stated that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine that required fetal cell lines for production or manufacture is morally acceptable (COVID-19 Fetal Cell handout, North Dakota Health). See also, The US Catholic College of Bishops (USCCB) The ultimate Catholic coronavirus vaccine morality explainer.

    3. Moreover, please see the statement from the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) Explainer: COVID-19 raises concern about abortive fetal cells in medicine.

      "Christians are not morally culpable if they use treatments and vaccines that were developed using such cells, even if the cells originated in aborted fetal tissue. As David Prentice, vice president and research director of the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, says, 'We would prefer they not use the controversial cell line even in the testing, because there are other alternatives. But that testing on the side doesn’t affect me in terms of the recipient of the drug.' Ethicist Christopher O. Tollefsen also adds, 'Because researchers may ethically use the HEK cell lines to develop vaccines, people can of course ethically use a vaccine should it be developed from the HEK cell lines."


    1. RA requests for COVID vaccines are no different from any other medical RA request. The sole approval authority is the Surgeon General’s office (OTSG). When asked about RA for Immunizations, regardless of the Immunization type, we ask that the field Cc: OCCH so we can track trends. Public health and safety will trump RA in most cases. To reiterate, Immunizations are similar to normal RA. They have the same path to the GCMCA, except for the additional medical provider piece as laid out in 600-20, 5-4 (Immunizations) and 5-6 (Religious Accommodations). The medical is rolled into the packet.

    2. Our current Service Level Policy (AR 600-20) states that there are Religious Accommodations for Immunizations, and are also explained in AR 40-562. This packet process is similar to uniform and grooming requests, but adds a medical component and panel with a medical commanders memo. OCCH guidance on RA immunization requests are historically few but increasing. Our recommendation is to follow the standard practice and procedures for Immunization requests as outlined in AR 600-20/Annex P, and AR 40–562 and for the GCMCA to forward the packet to the TSG directly.

    3. Unlike the normal RA path, the packet bypasses DAG1, OCCH and OTJAG; instead, it goes directly from the GCMCA (usually DIV, or CORPS if a separate BDE) to the Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG). The OTSG approves all medical (including immunization) RA requests. They have in house legal counsel. They have shared with OCCH for review, though it has been rare. Due to our unique total Army purview, we request OCCH is Cc’d for our SA and trend awareness.

  3. TREND ANALYSIS: Per OTSG, zero (0) immunization waivers for religious accommodations (regardless of immunization type) have been granted. Only immunization waivers due to health issues have been granted. Below are commanders' punitive authorizations IRT the eventual refusal of Soldiers to take immunizations when RA requests are denied.

    1. Minimum force necessary involuntary immunization [AR600-20, 5-4g(2) (c), “… In performing this duty, unit personnel will only use the amount of force necessary to assist medical personnel in administering the immunization.”]

    2. UCMJ [ART 92 – Failure to Obey Lawful Order] [AR 600-20, 5-4g(2) (a) 4 – “…if the Soldier continues to refuse to be immunized that he or she will be legally ordered to do so, and that failure to obey the order may result in UCMJ and/or administrative action for failure to obey a lawful order.” (UCMJ, Art. 92)]

    3. Court Martial/Separation – [AR600-20, Appendix P-2, a. (7) – “…If TSG disapproves the request for accommodation, the Soldier will be given the opportunity to accept the treatment. If the Soldier refuses, the MTF commander will refer the matter to the Soldier’s SPCMCA for appropriate action.”] SPCMCA is normally the BDE Commander as the Special Courts Martial Convening authority.

      Most likely, there will not be the CNN moment of A) listed above. authorizes the commander to chapter out a Soldier who continues to refuse the lawful order. Immunization would be treated as medical treatment. The SPCMCA listed in C) above is normally the BDE Commander as the Special Courts Martial Convening Authority, as opposed to the one-star GCMCA. This individual would take the OTSG board recommendation detailed in AR 600-20, 5-4 and then exercise UCMJ authority. Essentially, all that is saying is that the Army powers down the UCMJ authority to the BDE Commander-equivalent to conduct the UCMJ referenced in #2. If the Soldier is dead-set on refusal, the SPCMCA is authorized to skip the Article 15 altogether and go straight to a chapter. It could very well be an honorable discharge and send the Soldier on his way.

      Feel free to reach out to OCCH for any particular guidance on the chaplain interview and recommendation within the process, or to give the packet a look before submitting. An OCCH review is not required before submitting, but our vantage point can be helpful, and it also allows us to track trends.

05 AUGUST 2021

Marta Schultz is a USAR chaplain endorsed by the CSC. She has developed and uses a template for soldiers expressing sincere beliefs that God does not want them to take the COVID vaccine. See below.

Note: Chaplain Marta Schultz has written an excellent memorandum. However, I must go on record as stating that I disagree with her point 2b. that the vaccinations have a high potential for injury. The data does not support that. In fact, the CDC reports that such serious adverse events are "rare." So while there is always the potential for harm from this and all vaccines and medications, the actual track record is that these harms are rare for the COVID vaccines. Please see CDC: Selected Adverse Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccination for more information.


04 AUGUST 2021

This is the VA’s newly-published handbook of Chaplain Regulations.

VHA Spiritual Care Directive [PDF]

03 AUGUST 2021

A really good piece by Harvard Business Review on How to Spot Competent and Incompetent Leaders. In my mind, much of this applies to the 3 Chaplain Corps.

How to Spot an Incompetent Leader

26 JULY 2021

Veterans Affairs to mandate COVID vaccine for health care personnel,
first such mandate for federal agency

22 JULY 2021

An extraordinary behind-the-scenes story of a chaplain at Dover AFB.

Afghan war’s end quiets chaplain's litany of funeral prayers (apnews.com)

21 JULY 2021

Dear Military Spouses,
This is an excellent email list to subscribe to keep you informed on career and educational opportunities for you and your family!

Access Financial Resources, Career Coaching and More [Summer 2021]

Grateful for your service, too!

15 JULY 2021

The Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches is a member organization of the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF). Today, NCMAF solicited the member endorsing bodies for information to pass along to the DoD regarding service-members desiring to be exempted from taking COVID vaccines. Here it their letter and The Coalition’s response.

ExCom Vaccine Letter [PDF]

CSC Letter [PDF]

06 MAY 2021

I was an Army rabbi. The chaplaincy’s white, Christian leadership must diversify.

06 MAY 2021

Here is an interesting article that speaks of chaplaincy in general and its intersection of the spiritual with mental health. I would be curious as to how many military chaplains feel that they have at least a basic competency in pastoral counseling from seminary, denominational preparation, etc. to serve their units. Rhetorical question.

Why Chaplains Are in High Demand in an Increasingly Secular America

18 APRIL 2021

The 'Amazing Grace' of chaplains in the pandemic (Opinion) - CNN

This may be especially useful for VA Chaplains.

It is available on Amazon: Vidatak EZ Spiritual Care Patient Communication Board

12 APRIL 2021

A video guide for resilience for the military child.

09 APRIL 2021

For Military Chaplains' Situational Awareness:

Navy disciplines officer for calling enlisted sailors hatchet-wielding perverts (taskandpurpose.com)

01 APRIL 2021

Get off Their Backs! A JNCO’s Guide to Avoiding Micromanagement

This is very spot-on of what I see as both a micro-management problem AND a loss of critical thinking skills in today's military. Interestingly, it is from the Brits.

21 MARCH 2021

This very troubling piece needs to be read by all miliary chaplains.

The National Guard welcomes and promotes women. That is, until they report a sexual assault.

Additionally, if any of you run into “snags” or threats or blockages after helping someone report sexual assault or harassment, please notify us immediately. Over the years we have intervened on behalf of one of our chaplains and another chaplain who was not one of ours. This is serious and I normally start with an O-6 and work up from there.

18 MARCH 2021

The VA has just produced a FREE suicide prevention tool!

VA suicide prevention tool puts lifesaving information in R.E.A.C.H

19 MARCH 2021

This is a fascinating, very recent ruling that might affect chaplains who conduct prayer breakfasts and other events where they or other officers or senior enlisteds urge, influence, compel service-members to attend such religious functions as “invited” or “voluntold” by the senior military authorities. See Wk6 (aboutblaw.com). The case involved a local public high school football coach (taxpayer-funded) who was fired for praying on the field immediately after games. He was making a bit of a show of his faith and inviting the players to join him. Some attorneys have already connected it with the times senior NCOs and senior officers have tried to use their position of secular authority to promote their particular brand of Christianity in the exercise of their official duties. We need to be “as wise as serpents, but as innocent as doves.” Besides, I do not recollect anywhere in Scripture where Jesus compelled people to come to his teachings and services... People came because they wanted to be there...

24 FEBRUARY 2021

The Navy’s take on the new Secretary of Defense’s guidance on extremism. It is worth reviewing by all military chaplains!

Extremism 1: Navy Discussion Guide Extremism in the Ranks Stand-Down [PDF]

Extremism 2: Extremism in the Ranks Stand-Down Supplementary Training Slides [PDF]

Extremism 3: Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III addresses extremism

Extremism 4: References [PDF]

18 FEBRUARY 2021

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — VA Community Clergy Training Events:Moral Injury & Suicide Prevention for Veteran Care [PDF]

17 FEBRUARY 2021

Some good information!

Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide (2019):
VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines

16 FEBRUARY 2021

The Navy has just published this:

On 1 July 2020, the Navy stood up Task Force One Navy (TF1N), leveraging our COE governance structure, to identify and make recommendations to dismantle barriers to equality while creating sustainable opportunities, ultimately achieving our desired end-state of warfighting excellence (Appendix B, C).

“We needed to seize this moment to engage in conversations about race, diversity and inclusion within our force more than ever before.”


15 FEBRUARY 2021

[All chaplains endorsed with The Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches are eligible for a complimentary subscription as part of their endorsement.]

The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling is doing a 75th Anniversary Celebration! Personally, I have appreciated The Journal since my college days when I first discovered it in the college library, around 1980. I have since served on their Editorial Committee (1996 – 2008) and now the Board of Managers (2009 – Present). I deeply love this journal which is the oldest peer-reviewed journal of our discipline. They write:

Please help JPCP celebrate our 75th anniversary! We would like for our readers to provide a testimonial about the ways that Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling or any of our other publications helped them. We plan to use these testimonials (in a format such as "quote about JPC&C" --Kenisha L., ACPE member & JPC&C reader for over 15 years) in our social posts and other media to let people know about The Journal of Pastoral Care Publications and its supporting organizations.
We are asking that you either send our request out to your readers by email or newsletter. We are using a platform provided by Neumann University. The tool we are using to gather testimonials and provide feedback / input. It is: Online Survey

By the way, all chaplains endorsed with The Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches are eligible for a complimentary subscription as part of their endorsement. Just click here: Members' Area .

08 FEBRUARY 2021

Good information for Navy Chaplains.



28 JANUARY 2021

Dear Chaplains,

As you likely know, racism is alive and well in most institutions, including the military. And so are a number of other “isms,” but I want to focus on this right now.

Here is an eye-opening survey on racism in the military that was produced back in 2017, but is just now seeing the light of day. I think it is worthy of your time.

In the midst of all the chaos in DC this month, folks may have missed this story by Reuters.

Exclusive: Long-withheld Pentagon survey shows widespread racial discrimination, harassment | Reuters


The Pentagon tried to bury a survey about widespread racism in the ranks (taskandpurpose.com)

View the actual survey as well as its report and analysis at:

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — 2017 Workplace and Equal Opportunity Survey of Active Duty Members: Executive Report [PDF]

27 JANUARY 2021

I think it might be good for all chaplains to hear this!

Extremism In The Military And How To Root It Out

26 JANUARY 2021

Dear CSC Chaplains,


Regardless of your own beliefs or those of your sponsoring church, do not denigrate folks – no matter what. I don’t see Jesus speaking ill of anyone, except the hypocritical judgmental religious authorities of his day. I don’t see Jesus rejecting anyone coming to him for help, so why should we? Please be kind and empathetic. It does not mean that you have to agree or that you have to perform any rite. But listen and care.


Chaplain’s Facebook post denigrating transgender troops under investigation by Army

19 JANUARY 2021

Dear CSC Chaplains,

I know that this posting might be considered controversial. Please consider it for informational purposes only.

Dave Ramsey has produced some good basic, easy to use materials for folks to get out of debt. He has created a huge department within the genre targeting the military for specialized marketing. The materials he often sells to the military via military units, chaplains, chapel communities, etc. seems to me to be fairly basic yet VERY pricey for what you get. He clearly has carved-out quite a niche for himself, and some chaplains consider his products indispensible.

Of late, Financial Peace University and Dave have been in the news. It seems that despite a COVID spike at his Nashville-area headquarters, he discourages people from wearing masks as they ”create fear.” He held a thousand person Christmas Boots, Barbecue and Booze soiree at a nearby Nashville-area venue where the town officials asked that they not gather in such numbers, ignore social distancing, and wear masks. They responded that it was a private affair and that the town’s authorities, therefore, had no jurisdiction. See Caterers at finance guru Dave Ramsey's holiday party told not to wear masks, complaint says (nbcnews.com) and Dave Ramsey, Christian personal finance guru, defies COVID-19 to keep staff at desks (religionnews.com). Personally, this bothers me on several levels.

This morning, it was brought to my attention that a professor of history at Messiah College has a blog where he identifies contemporary events and issues that conscientious Christians might want to consider. In this particular blog he points out the fear, paranoia, professional boundary-crossings that contribute to what some call a very hostile workplace. If you use FPU materials or are considering doing so, you may want to read these articles. Why Dave Ramsey and his financial advice empire is an embarrassment to evangelical Christianity | the way of improvement leads home.


13 JANUARY 2021

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Share Your Voice / Know Your Limits [PDF]

12 JANUARY 2021

A call for papers! Any writers out there?

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Joint Chiefs of Staff: Message to the Joint Force [PDF]

07 JANUARY 2021

A call for papers! Any writers out there?

The Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy: Moral Injury Care: Practices and Collaboration

29 DECEMBER 2020

Useful Military Chaplain Journals (recent and vintage).

The U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Journals

20 DECEMBER 2020

Hot off the presses:

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — DOD Board on Diversity and Inclusion Report [PDF]

13 DECEMBER 2020

In the past week, I have heard from military chaplains who are ministering in units that have gay service-members who suicided. I do not know the whys or back stories. I have heard that the chaplains’ predecessors were “restricted,” and refused to care for or even speak with openly LGBT service-members and families. That so tugs at my heart. I know that Jesus was approached by many people and he always heard them and cared for them. He never ever rejected people; people rejected Him. I am aware that 90% plus of our chaplains are permitted by their sponsoring churches to be “unrestricted,” namely to be able to counsel and support, facilitate retreats, and otherwise care for all folks who come through their doors or seek their help. [Note: that does not mean that our chaplains have to agree with or do any religious rites with anyone whom they serve. But we are to care for all. As I remind our churches and our chaplains: the chaplaincy is not the church and the church is not the chaplaincy.]

Sometimes our chaplains wish to discreetly let their units know that they are open to ministering to EVERYONE, and that they and their offices are safe places for LGBT to be. I have found a place on Google where there are such signs and symbols that you can download and print-off for the office:

Google Images: Safe Zone Images


12 DECEMBER 2020

Dear Lord have mercy!

[And this character has made multi-millions of $$ selling "his" most basic of financial advice in the form of courses to chaplains, chapels, and churches to teach to the average Joe and Jane. PT Barnum was soooo right!]

Dave Ramsey, Christian personal finance guru, defies COVID-19 to keep staff at desks

If you are a chaplain buying these materials, please make sure you let them sit somewhere a couple weeks, preferably in sunlight, before handling....

09 DECEMBER 2020

The Army has a problem. And it is not just FT Hood.

Excerpts (p 46 of 136) of the report:

"Group interviews of 28 Chaplains revealed further evidence of unreported SHARP violations. Without breaching privileges or confidences, the interview of Chaplains related that many had met with victims seeking spiritual help and counsel who have unburdened themselves in describing sexual assaults and sexual harassments. According to the Chaplains to the best of their knowledge many of these victims did not report their experiences for fear of retaliation and being stigmatized."

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Report of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee [PDF]

And it is not just the Army. I am aware of several cases of sexual assault in the Navy, and the victim was blamed and moved. The perpetrator(s) were deemed mission essential.

20 NOVEMBER 2020

I am concrned that many of you do not know what a microaggresstion is. This may be a helpful article.

What is a microaggression? 14 things people think are fine to say at work — but are actually racist, sexist, or offensive

18 NOVEMBER 2020

An interesting podcast:

How Did 10 Army Bases Get Named for Traitors?

13 NOVEMBER 2020

A little late but some instruction from the Navy Chief of Chaplains.

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Chief of Chaplains Instruction 1110.1J [PDF]

12 NOVEMBER 2020

There is a real antagonism in this country towards religion, and in particular non-Christian religions. This might be a helpful document in promoting tolerance.

A Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty for Everyone [PDF]

07 NOVEMBER 2020

Many of the courses are based in the UK, but hey, they are free!

50 Free Online Courses for Your COVID-19 Self Isolation

03 NOVEMBER 2020

From the National VA Chaplaincy Agency
(Curated by our very own VA Chaplain Oledia Bell)

List of for Diversity and Inclusion Recommendations and viewings

A library of online resources: Anti-racism library curated by LeanIn.Org

Book: White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo

New York times: Op ed by Michelle Alexander author of The New Jim Crow - Mass Incarceration in the age of colorblindness

YouTube: Phil Vischer (Veggie Tales producer) - Candid conversation on race

Reconciliation ideas: “Be wary of things that are purely symbolic”: How to join the conversation on race

YouTube: Uncomfortable conversations with a Black Man (Episode 1)
Uncomfortable conversations with a Black Man (Episode 2)

02 NOVEMBER 2020

A recent survey found that 48% of seniors used video calls for the first time this year, to stay in touch with friends and family during the pandemic. With this in mind, I thought people would benefit from a guide to webcam safety.

Webcam Security: How To Make Sure Nobody Spies On You

02 NOVEMBER 2020

An AMAZINGLY candid and personal 5-min video by Air Force GEN C.Q. Brown, calling out racism. Perhaps some of you can use it and the article with it in your ministries.

‘My story is not unique’—Mexican-American airman calls out racism in the military

16 OCTOBER 2020

Good leadership lessons!

Honest Mistakes and Better Soldiers

13 OCTOBER 2020

New VA Chaplain Rules.


11 OCTOBER 2020

Before you build that chapel…

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Multi-belief/Multi-faith Spaces:
Theoretical Proposals for a Neutral and Operational Design [PDF]

01 OCTOBER 2020

The new Army FM 7-22, has an extended chapter, Chapter 10, on spirituality in leadership, spiritual assessment/fitness, and various accommodations.



Updated VA Chaplaincy Regulations

VA HANDBOOK 5005/135 [PDF]


Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling Vol. 74, No. 3, September, 2020 is now available online!

If you are a CSC member, you can access the full Journal by loggin in HERE



Essential reading for all military chaplains



Army Reserve Political Activities [PDF]


We all need a little help now and then. Even generals and admirals...

‘I sought help when I needed it’: Joint Chiefs vice chairman speaks out on mental health


Dear military chaplains and colleagues:

What the payroll tax deferment means, and why you shouldn’t spend that extra money


The Resilient Leaders Project from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology

The Seattle School of Theology & Phychology Report: Resilience [PDF]


2020 Religious Advisement Resources, Doctrine Smart Book, World Religions & Advisement Smart Book, & Religious Supplies Ordering

Ecclesiastical Supplies (FSC 9925): Ordering 101 [PDF]

Doctrine Smart Book [PDF]




World Religions and Advisement Smart Book: 2020 [PDF]


Why toxic senior leaders survive — and sometimes thrive — in the military


It is well past time!

DoD Set to Roll Out New Policy Targeting Pregnancy Discrimination in the Military


'Sailors Using the N-Word': Navy Leaders Hear Painful Cases of Racism


A great response to a woman who felt compelled to bad-mouth the role of MRFF, and who clearly does not understand that chaplains are there to serve all -- not convert all. This article is by a retired AF chaplain.

Rabbi Joel Schwartzman is a retired Chaplain, Colonel, from the U.S. Air Force chaplaincy, having served over twenty three years. He served two Denver synagogues from 2000 to 2011, one as an Associate rabbi for a year, and Congregation B'nai Chaim for a decade as senior rabbi and now serves as Emeritus.

Rabbi Schwartzman reminds me of why many folks become chaplains.

Christian love wasn’t meant to be weaponized:
A retired Air Force chaplain and rabbi’s message


A pretty good piece on Army chaplains and chaplain recruiting. (Even shows a woman chaplain -- normally absent from recruiting media.)

All of the Army’s chaplains are trained at Fort Jackson, but finding recruits isn’t easy

26 AUGUST 2020

How to Foster Psychological Safety in Virtual Meetings

21 AUGUST 2020

The 2020 Navy Chaplain Corps Reading List


21 AUGUST 2020

'Tis the Political Season

Army Regulations on Political Activities [PDF]

20 AUGUST 2020

It has come to my attention that in this heated political season, and especially during this era where the country appears more divided than it has been in recent history, some retired chaplains and other military officers have gotten themselves involved in some bizarre [and even potentially violent] political conspiracy theories and groups. I am attaching an information paper produced last year by the FBI about some of the more outrageous groups that are around for your situational awareness.

FBI Conspiracy Theories Domestic Extremism [PDF]

18 AUGUST 2020

Army Chaplain Training and Leader Development Guidance.

Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Chief of Chaplains (CCH) Training and Leader Development Guidance (TLDG) [PDF]

Army Regulation 600–20 [PDF]

15 AUGUST 2020

Attention All CSC Army Chaplains: Regarding the Use of the Growing Through Diversity Video

The first week of this month, I watched Growing Through Adversity. Personally, I found it an easy-to-watch, generally interesting video. However, I do have a few observations and some concerns. First, on a positive note, I truly did enjoy Chaplain Solhjem and Chaplain Green being very open about their personal struggles with Army life and family life. It was refreshing to see how candid and transparent they were and present with their families as they navigated though challenging times and their careers.

However, there were/are a number of concerns with the 65-minute video. The video only showed heterosexual Christian couples. They were presented as the norm and healthy and good. There were no non-Christian couples shown, no Asian ethnicity couples, nor Arab ethnicity folks. I believe there was one Latino person shown. The rest are blacks, whites, and celebrities. I am not real clear why the celebrities were shown, as none had Army backgrounds. Perhaps the producers were appealing to the celebrities as potential points of interest.

A group of endorsers met by Zoom Tuesday, having had a chance to see the video, in order to discuss it among ourselves. One concern with the use of video is that some chaplains were required by their Chaplain Chains to view the video by yesterday and report back about how – not if – they plan to use it in their ministry. This expectation seemed to be heavy-handed by the endorsers. Additionally, most were annoyed by what appears to be the underlying premise of the video: Heterosexual Christian couples and families are the preference/norm of the Army.

Among those endorsers on the Zoom meeting, they said that they were NOT going to encourage their chaplains to use it. A few, including myself, said that their chaplains could choose to refuse to use the video in their ministry WITH THEIR ENDORSER'S TOTAL SUPPORT in refusing to do so. We agreed to send our individual letters of concerns to the Chief. I sent my letter to the Chief earlier, on the 6th. He called the next day and he was very gracious as we listened carefully to one another. We spoke more (with a better connection) on Monday.

Yesterday, an emergency email was sent from the Chief of Chaplains Office to endorsers (I assume all got one) explaining that being Christian heteronormative was not their intent in promoting the video, and that more videos were planned in the future to include positive messages for LGBT service-members and their families as well as single parent families, etc. The OCCH reports that COVID is responsible for slowing down their plans and recordings. There is a promise that more inclusive videos are coming, complete with women chaplains, LGBT chaplains, more chaplains of color (there were no Asian-Americans or Mideastern-Americans that I saw in the video, and only one Latino), along with inclusion of non-Christian chaplains. There were no non-Christian religions represented in this first video. The Chief has told me that he hopes that the series might be useful for recruiting.

The bottom-line is that as CSC Chaplains, you are free to use this video or not, as you see appropriate given your audiences.


06 AUGUST 2020

Let’s learn to be sensitive and aware, if we are not already.

Everyday words and phrases that have racist connotations

05 AUGUST 2020

According to the Pew Research Center, the United States will not have a single racial or ethnic majority by 2055. Increasing diversity will provide opportunities to create large-scale social change for leaders prepared to collaborate across differences. This kind of collaborative problem solving will also require a different set of leadership skills.

This recorded webinar explores leadership strategies that advance racial equity and inclusion in foundations and their partners, including the ability to see the larger system, foster reflection and more generative conversations, and shift the collective focus from reactive problem-solving to co-creating proactive solutions.

And it is free to take. Just register and learn!

Diversity and Inclusion: Walking the Talk


03 AUGUST 2020

An article of very useful resources for both federal and civilian chaplains.

Newsletter of the Center for Spirituality, Theology & Health August 2020 [PDF]

31 JULY 2020

In July 2017, I attended the Military Ethics Conference in DC. A book has come out of the conference publishing the various papers presented. This is a large PDF file and of likely interest to military historians and ethicists.

The Strategic Ethical Impact of World War I on the Global Profession of Arms [PDF]

28 JULY 2020

Maintaining Strong Relationships: Virtual Resources Available to Military Couples

27 JULY 2020

For chaplains dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 deaths.

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — COVID-19 Articles Fast Tracked Articles [PDF]

25 JULY 2020

I came across this paper on “Public Prayer in the Chaplain Corps and the Challenge of Pluralism” on the internet and found it interesting. I do not know the chaplain who wrote it nor the occasion for its writing or even when it was written.

Public Prayer in the Chaplain Corps and the Challenge of Pluralism [PDF]

21 JULY 2020

For Army folks on Annual Training:

Army Guard and Reservists Latest on COVID for you all,

Frago 7 to HQDA EXORD 210-20

a. (3.D.26.) [ADD] If a Soldiers becomes COVID positive during annual training the Soldiers commander may apply fir a 12301(H) order through their force provider per AR 600-77 authorizing the required isolation period IOT recover and return to duty once their authorized allotted annual training days have been exhausted.

21 JULY 2020

COVID has tripled in the military in the last 6 weeks. Might be time to re-think those inside in-person services….

Rise in Virus Cases Near Bases in U.S. and Abroad Poses Test for Military

20 JULY 2020

VA health care first to have Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services codes for chaplain care


11 JULY 2020

While looking for something else, I discovered a good read from 2013. It is a 39-page document (with a 2-page forward). It is freely available (with attribution) in the public domain at:

For God and Country: Growing Religious Fundamentalism in the US Military

About a 75-minute read, it seems as applicable today as it was seven years ago.

For God and Country: Religious Fundamentalism in the US Military

ABSTRACT: Tension over what constitutes proper religious expression within the United States military has significantly intensified over the past decade. This paper examines and analyzes recent reports and several prominent cases, revealing how religiously motivated behavior has increased over the years and remains either tacitly or overtly endorsed by senior military leaders. In light of increasing religious fundamentalism within the ranks, coupled with a lack of social and political will to affect change, the cultural reticence to hold commanders accountable for inappropriate behavior remains an obstacle. The paper concludes with actionable recommendations.


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

- Excerpt, First Amendment United States Constitution


Go ye therefore and teach all nations. Matthew 28:19

- The Holy Bible (KJV)


Jefferson and Madison did not bequeath us a “Christian nation.” The United States has never had an established church, and our Constitution grants no special preference to Christianity. In fact, there is only one reference to religion in the Constitution proper: Article VI bans “religious tests” for federal office. The Constitution contains no mention of God.

- Rev. Barry Lynn, Ex. Dir. Americans United for Separation of Church and State


It is the job of an evangelical Christian chaplain to evangelize. It’s protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of free exercise of religion.

- Tom Minnery, Senior Vice President Focus on the Family

07 JULY 2020

Chaplains DO NOT Tolerate Discrimination and Harassment!

From the recent FaceBook Posts of a dear friend active duty Army Chaplain (LTC) Glenn Palmer. Glenn, a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister, is on his terminal assignment at the Army Chaplains School and has been a friend and mentor to several of our chaplains as they went through the Basic Course. He has been a real warrior for truth and justice -- and it has cost him in terms of promotion. There are some real, conniving evil-doer “chaplains” in the Chaplain Corp and others are complicit in turning a blind eye to activities that ought to be reported and prosecuted to the fullest extent. I have been made aware of some of these activities and to the best of my ability I have reported what I was allowed to report and I have helped introduce chaplains and others to one another so that events may be investigated. In some of these cases, chaplains who were caught retired on the spot. In others chaplains and other have been and are being investigated. I applaud Chaplain Palmer, for his integrity and courage. Without further introductions, I will copy his postings and allow them to speak to you:

My Fellow Americans,

Sexual harassment and assault in the military is especially evil because it's perpetrated by those who are supposed to lay down their lives for you and "have your back". People say "report it and use the system but often the "system" IS the problem. Vanessa Guillen is dead because the "system" failed. I belong to a branch of the Army which fails epically in this area. My career ended at Lt. Col because I advocated and stood up for a sexual harassment victim who suffers significant moral injury. The Chaplain Corps is 85% white, male conservative/evangelical and as one of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention leaders on post said to me after thanking me for advocating, "you Chaplains are a culture of misogyny who victim shame and victim blame". That sadly, is an earned reputation!!!”

Some comments on this post and some responses to them:

  • [A Woman Chaplain] Not long ago I had a female in my office who had been told by a male chaplain not to report her sexual assault because she should instead celebrate how it affirms the gift of beauty God gave her and validates her attractiveness to men. When she reported it to SHARP anyway, they told her not to talk to her chaplain anymore (which is why she came to me). We as chaplains should be a safe place for this kind of stuff instead of the opposite!

    • [Chaplain Palmer] One of my peers recently made COL. He was vocally and loudly threatened by one of our female civilian contractors with an EO complaint if he didn't stop being a sexist ass.

    • [Another Woman Chaplain] We have to find a way to expose the ones like this or they will keep causing harm.

    • [Chaplain Palmer] Sadly, those beliefs are still held by many Chaplains. We need more mainline Chaplains.

    • [Myself] We need more mainline chaplains AND non-mainline chaplains who are committed to real chaplaincy, providing pastoral care to all -- regardless or race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, you name it! We need to jettison these government-paid missionaries in uniform only there to do their denomination's bidding! Some of these folks are not only protectors of evil predators; they're the perpetrators!

In a follow-up post Chaplain Palmer wrote:

My Fellow Americans,

Female Soldiers are more at risk of sexual harassment and abuse from their own than they are from being shot at by the enemy. Let that sink in!! I have spent my career as a Chaplain providing pastoral care and advocacy for these survivors. On more than one occasion I have closed the door and gotten in the face of a leader and threatened to "end your f***ing career if one more female Soldier complains to me about your unwanted attention". I had great leaders supporting me (Fellow Chaplains, Not so much), especially a female Command Sgt. Major in Korea. Please support in spirit and financially Protect Our Defenders. They are telling the "sacred stories" of survivors and calling for reform with the Military Justice Improvement Act.”
  • [A Chaplain responded] Glenn, I appreciate all that you do, and all that you post. My greatest concern about SHARP is the idea that the Army can train its way out of sexual assault. Too often that Army behaves as if soldiers just don't know that sexual assault or sexual harassment is wrong, and if we just find the right PowerPoint presentation, these incidents will cease. I worked with plenty of leaders who really were committed to doing the right thing, but there are too many predators who are knowingly harassing and/or assaulting peers. Not to mention the bias that anyone who can run, do a lot of push-ups, wears the uniform well and shows up on time could not possibly be a predator.


Dear Coalition Chaplains, if any of you are being harassed or observe others, ESPECIALLY chaplains, harassing folks, please speak up! If you wish to speak with me, feel free to reach out!!! We have made friends with several law firms and advocacy groups for real chaplaincy, by real chaplains. If we need to connect you, we will! This kind of evil must not be neglected or allowed to flourish. Not only is it wicked, the corruption on which it is built will destroy the Chaplain Corps and its relevancy.


06 JULY 2020

The Best Online Resources for COVID Quarantine and Isolation Period

05 JULY 2020

June 30, 2020 [PDF]

06 JULY 2020

The Best Online Resources for COVID Quarantine and Isolation Period

05 JULY 2020

June 30, 2020 [PDF]

02 JULY 2020

Discrimination in the Navy. Please feel free to file any reports and reference me as a supporter. I have heard far too many stories - mostly Navy and Army.

Task Force One Navy Established to Combat Discrimination in the Navy

01 JULY 2020

For Navy Chaplains:




28 JUNE 2020

A good 11-minute video dealing with racism and the Navy.

I would love to see something like this produced by the three Chaplain Corps. And expanded, to include sexism and LGBTQ prejudice and harassment.

26 JUNE 2020

Well it looks like the AF Chaplain Corps is catching up with the rest of the Air Force in taking care of all service-members. It is just a matter of time the Army and Navy Chaplain Corps will too.

This does not mean that all chaplains can or must do all things for all service-members. But all chaplains can care and all can show dignity and respect to all…

SUBJECT: The Racial Equality Assessment Team [PDF]

25 JUNE 2020

Powerful words from the Secretary of Defense.

SUBJECT: Message to the Force - Feedback on Diversity and Inclusion in the Military [PDF]

23 JUNE 2020

Are you a new Army chaplain or chaplain candidate and you are wondering what to take to Chaplain Officers Basic Leadership Course?

17 JUNE 2020

“... most white Christians miss and misunderstand the lived experience of black Christians. We’ve been tracking this gap for years, including the higher degree to which black Christians perceive police brutality, experience the effects of racism and believe the effects of slavery continue to this day. We encourage leaders, especially white leaders, to use this research to broaden your perspective and the perspectives of those whom you lead. Feel the weight of these gaps. You can start by downloading the report Where Do We Go >From Here?, a digital resource we’ve made available at no cost."

Free digital download from Barna!

13 JUNE 2020

A great and timely resource!

COVID-19: Global Reflections on Faith, Health, and Justice

10 JUNE 2020

It is always good to know the proper vocabulary.

An LGBTQIA+ Vocabulary | A NEW CLGS Resource for Faith Communities

08 JUNE 2020

Regarding Political Activity of AD Service-Members Poster:

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Political Activity of Active Duty Service-Members Poster [JPEG]

06 JUNE 2020

The following quote is addressed to Navy service-members, but I would presume the guidance is true for ALL Active Duty service members:

"Political Activity

"Sailors may generally express their personal views about public issues and political candidates on internet sites, including liking or following accounts of a political party or partisan candidate, campaign, group or cause. If the site explicitly or indirectly identifies Sailors as on active duty (e.g., a title on LinkedIn or a Facebook profile photo), then the content needs to CLEARLY and prominently state that the views expressed are the Sailor’s own and not those of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

"Sailors may NOT engage in any partisan political activity — such as posting direct links to a political party, campaign, group or cause on social media — which is considered equivalent to distributing literature on behalf of those entities, and is prohibited. Similarly, as a leader, you cannot suggest that others like, friend or follow a political party, campaign, group or cause."

Additional information is available in the Department of Defense Directive on Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces:

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Department of Defense Directive on Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces [PDF]


"Navy leaders must not officially endorse or appear to endorse any non-federal entity, event, product, service or enterprise, including membership drives for organizations and fundraising activities. No Sailor may solicit gifts or prizes for command events in any capacity — on duty, off duty or in a personal capacity."

The quote above is from page 4 of the 2019 Navy Social Media Handbook PDF. To download the entire handbook, click [HERE]

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — 2019 Navy Social Media Handbook PAGE 4 [PDF]


04 JUNE 2020

Great leadership qualities as articulated by retired Marine General and former Secretary of Defense, James Mattis.

James Mattis’s Leadership Philosophy

03 JUNE 2020

Terrific article celebrating VA Chaplains!

VA Chaplains add new mission: tech support to keep Veterans connected

28 MAY 2020

Identity theft and other fraud is experiencing a massive spike due to criminals taking advantage of people's fear about COVID19. It's always important to know the status of your credit, but now, accessing your credit is more important than normal. Annual Credit Report .com is the only source for free credit reports authorized by federal law. They are now offering free weekly (vice annually) online credit reports from all three of the credit reporting agencies through April 2021. There is also good information regarding your credit reports on the site.


28 MAY 2020

Army Chaplaincy Guidelines for Social Media. (The principles are probably good for all military chaplains!)

Chaplain Corps’ Official Use of Social Media to Advise and Provide Religious/Spiritual Content [PDF]

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Additional guidelines for displaying UMT internet content [PDF]

21 MAY 2020

My hopes and prayers for the future of military chaplaincy. (Worth 9 mins of your time!)

20 MAY 2020

Some great suggestions and advice for congregations and chapels seeking to return to in-person services. From the ELCA:

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Considerations for Returning to In-person Worship [PDF]

20 MAY 2020

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Death, Grief and Funerals in the COVID Age [PDF]

17 MAY 2020

An interesting article by Brandeis University Sociology Professor Wendy Cadge in The Atlantic this morning.

The Rise of the Chaplains: Their grandparents may have gone to church. But today, many Americans turn elsewhere to meet their spiritual needs.

"There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of the role of chaplains. They are not licensed or institutionally regulated by the state, which means that anyone can call themselves a chaplain and seek work or volunteer opportunities. Most organizations require the candidates they hire to undergo specific training, however, including a master’s degree in a relevant field, supervised clinical training, and the support or endorsement of the prospective chaplain’s religious group."

At some point, military chaplaincy needs to move beyond a mere "occupation" to an actual profession by adding a Code of Ethics and uniform standards of practice -- and then enforcing them. Clearly, we're not there yet!

09 MAY 2020

An interesting research paper about the theodicy and attitudes among VA chaplains.


09 MAY 2020

Hey you homeschooling military heroes! Some FREE great resources! For your use or for referring others!




And add these too!


CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Online Tutoring to Support Academic Success and Mission Readiness [PDF]

07 MAY 2020

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Ministry During Pandemic:
From Awareness to Implementation [PDF]

06 MAY 2020

The Road to Resilience podcast by Chaplain David Fleenor, Director of Chaplaincy at Mt Sinai (and a good colleague of mine). Recorded during the Pandemic.

"The Edge of the Unknown" from Road to Resilience podcast by Mount Sinai Health System

05 MAY 2020

Virtual VBS!

Rethinking your summer VBS plans?

I have not seen or evaluated it. Just came across this as a possibility.

05 MAY 2020

For all you new-to-broadcasting celebrity chaplains! Pointers!

05 MAY 2020

While this is explicitly Army Confidentiality training, much of it is based on DOD regulations -- and is applicable to all DoD chaplains.

I URGE ALL chaplains to view it.


05 MAY 2020

The Army OCCH has published guidance for the Chaplain Corps.

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Chaplain Corps’ Official Use of Social Media to Advise and Provide Religious/Spiritual Content [PDF]

27 APRIL 2020

A fascinating take on modern military chaplaincy and some chaplains…

The Military Chaplaincy and Its Proper Place

25 APRIL 2020

For Chaplains and Mental Health Counselors. Evolving and Expanding Domestic Abuse

A whole new form of coercion/torture and control is emerging/evolving from the isolation and sheltering-in-place that the Pandemic has brought on: Revenge porn. While it has always been around, with predators’ lack of normal access to their victims, the predators are now turning to threats of posting photos of their controlees online -- abuse by posting intimate-images. Some victims report contemplation of suicide.

This is a fascinating article by the BBC. I urge chaplains and counselors to read and familiarize themselves so that they can better prepare to minister to victims. And there likely needs to be more legislation in this area to protect people and identify perpetrators…

I marvel at the evil and pathology of some who walk among us.

Coronavirus: 'Revenge porn' surge hits helpline

24 APRIL 2020

Chaplains’ Pages on Official Government Websites

Well chaplains are doing some amazing and creative things with Zoom, FB, Microsoft Teams, ECamm Live, etc. However, I am hearing of some mixed reviews from different audiences. The issues is mostly about the PLACEMENT of these videos for public consumption. I think the wisest thing is for the Chaplain Corps to realize -- and for the Chief to put out a policy -- that on an official command page there ought NOT to be a chaplain’s section or column (unless it addresses an important command-focused non-specifically-religious topic like suicide prevention and couples retreats and such), and instead have a link to a separate Chaplain’s Page or an Installation Chapel and/or Religious Ministry Teams page and then the chaplains post all they want. (Although they should not be going after other chaplains or religions they find wrong/evil, etc.) The public (taxpayers) are going through installation FB pages and looking for offenses. There are a lot of agnostics, atheists, and no religious preference service-members these days and they are growing weary and impatient with command-sponsored evangelism aimed and even blasted at them. Some of these videos are pretty generic/spiritual. Some are boring (in my opinion). And there is currently one with a really-old looking chaplain and it is clearly designed to promote Jesus and the Christian faith – which is fine in the right setting. My guess is that each Installation Chaplain will need to connect with installation PAOs and get these pages up and running to present a consistent professional presentation to the world.

Additionally, it is important to remember that while it is the Commander’s Religious Program , we need to be savvy enough to keep the Commander out of trouble and out of the negative limelight of the press. Chaplains’ comments and videos should be no problem on the Chapel’s FB or other social media pages.

We need to be wise as serpents, but as innocent as doves…


16 APRIL 2020

COVID-19 Relief for Army Reserve Soldiers & Families

15 APRIL 2020

A FREE helpful resource document for chaplains and other ministers serving during the Pandemic:

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Ministry During Pandemic: From Awareness to Implementation [PDF]

13 APRIL 2020

How to Set Up a FaceBook Live Broadcast for Chapel Services.

Keeping your faith community connected through the COVID-19 outbreak.

11 APRIL 2020

Dear Pastors and Chaplains doing VIRTUAL services:

This 4-part series, How to Church Online, has some good information!

How to Church Online: Intro/Overview

How to Church Online: Pt. 1

How to Church Online: Pt. 2

How to Church Online: Pt. 3

24 APRIL 2020

Chaplains’ Pages on Official Government Websites

Well chaplains are doing some amazing and creative things with Zoom, FB, Microsoft Teams, ECamm Live, etc. However, I am hearing of some mixed reviews from different audiences. The issues is mostly about the PLACEMENT of these videos for public consumption. I think the wisest thing is for the Chaplain Corps to realize -- and for the Chief to put out a policy -- that on an official command page there ought NOT to be a chaplain’s section or column (unless it addresses an important command-focused non-specifically-religious topic like suicide prevention and couples retreats and such), and instead have a link to a separate Chaplain’s Page or an Installation Chapel and/or Religious Ministry Teams page and then the chaplains post all they want. (Although they should not be going after other chaplains or religions they find wrong/evil, etc.) The public (taxpayers) are going through installation FB pages and looking for offenses. There are a lot of agnostics, atheists, and no religious preference service-members these days and they are growing weary and impatient with command-sponsored evangelism aimed and even blasted at them. Some of these videos are pretty generic/spiritual. Some are boring (in my opinion). And there is currently one with a really-old looking chaplain and it is clearly designed to promote Jesus and the Christian faith – which is fine in the right setting. My guess is that each Installation Chaplain will need to connect with installation PAOs and get these pages up and running to present a consistent professional presentation to the world. We need to be wise as serpents, but as innocent as doves…


10 APRIL 2020

Below is the McChrystal Group's full #playbook for leaders, teams, and organizations navigating through the current #COVID environment.

GEN Stan McChrystal, US Army (Retired) "Operating in Crisis: A Leader's Guide." The free download was originally posted on LinkedIn.

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Operating in Crisis: A Leader's Guide [PDF]

10 APRIL 2020

COVID-19 Chaplaincy Resources from the Seventh Day Adventists


10 APRIL 2020

A great FREE Homiletics Webinar in May.

(And some of you could benefit from it!)

You need to register ahead of time…

Festival of Homiletics

07 APRIL 2020

For those Federal Chaplains who may have Federal Student Loans: Some helpful information!

Federal Student Aid: Borrower FAQ

03 APRIL 2020

For Navy Chaplains

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — COVID-19 Pay & Entitlements Explained [PDF]

03 APRIL 2020



02 APRIL 2020

A wonderful opportunity for VA and DoD Chaplains!

Mental Health Integration for Chaplain Services

02 APRIL 2020

Funerals in the Age of Coronavirus

This is a morbid topic but it is important, I feel, to prepare chaplains to minister to all people under a variety of less-than-ideal circumstances. The following 15.5 minute YouTube video is by professional mortician and YouTube celebrity, Caitlyn Doughty. She discusses funerals, expectations, and safety in the midst of the Pandemic. There is a lot to consider in dealing with survivors of Coronavirus victims, from the survivors’ perspectives, the funeral homes’ perspectives, society’s and governmental needs, etc. In my opinion, it is worth your time and consideration…. Maybe a conversation starter among your peers?

02 APRIL 2020

Helpful hints for using Zoom, from the Episcopalians.

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Zoom Instructions, Hints, and Tips [PDF]

01 APRIL 2020

The VA Chaplaincy has produced some very good infection control guidelines for the pandemic. These are guidelines that may be helpful for all chaplains ministering in a common area/chapel.

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — Appendix K: Chaplain Services [PDF]

01 APRIL 2020

Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19

30 MARCH 2020

Chaplains, if you are hunkered down somewhere, PLEASE take a look at some excellent mostly-free resources to assist your ministry during the Coronapocalypse.

Chaplaincy Innovation Lab shares resources for chaplains encountering coronavirus

29 MARCH 2020

Disaster Mental Health Training Courses

I have come across these Disaster Mental Health Online Courses. They are on the American Psychological Association’s website, so I presume that they all have substance and merit. I checked several of them, and they offer CEUs, and several have costs. All that said, they may be useful in your practice at this time. They offer CEUs for those, like myself, needing to collect such every year.

So while we are all hunkered down, these might be helpful for a refresher and/or professional development.

25 MARCH 2020

COVID-ready communication skills: A playbook of VitalTalk Tips

CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL DOCUMENT — COVID-ready communication skills: A playbook of VitalTalk Tips [Google Docs]

25 MARCH 2020

From the Military Chaplains Association Newsletter

Executive Director's Newsgram Note:

An important and time sensitive item for members below.

In response to an email I received from the Religion Reporter of the Washington Post, Ms. Julie Zauzmer, who would like to talk with chaplains about their experience providing pastoral care to someone with coronavirus. Her article from March 24 at the link.

"Take it very seriously": Pastor at Arkansas church where 34 people came down with coronavirus sends a warning

If you are a VA or military healthcare chaplain, or if you are retired military and are now a healthcare chaplain in a civilian setting, acute care, a nursing home or hospice, this is an opportunity to share your experience about this remarkable and unusual time we are living in.

The email address for Ms. Zauzmer is julie.zauzmer@washpost.com. Having read her Religion Newletters which were published twice a week over the past few years it has been my experience that she has done a very creditable job in reporting the issues in her articles fairly and accurately. She would like to have these conversations with chaplains in the next day or so in order to get an article about this topic published shortly. Again, this is your opportunity to share your stories of chaplaincy ministry in a national forum.

As a side note in closing, this opportunity highlights in a compressed form what MCA does best: The request from the Washington Post reporter allows you to share your experiences with the Washington Post, which highlights communication (with the general public) and education (with the general public).

As I close this week's column it appears that the number of COVID-19 victims are rising across the country, and it is my prayer that regardless of where you exercise your chaplaincy ministry that you are able to do so both safely and effectively. From my perspective, while it is never enjoyable to think that we are ineffective, it is far worse if we end up not practicing universal precautions and contracting this new disease. So please, by all means, be as safe as you can be in the days to come.

24 MARCH 2020

Army Chaplains and COVID-19

Tuesday Evening, 24 March 2020

Dear Federal Chaplains,

I write tonight focusing on Army chaplains. I am sending it to ALL of you who are Federal because when I created the groups of listings of emails, I did not sort it to service branch or VA or Federal Bureau of Prisons, per se (although some of you fit multiple categories with multiple endorsements). So some of this email may not apply specifically to you at this time. On the other hand, you might find its contents of interest.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been in conversation with the Army, Navy, and Air Force Chiefs of Chaplains. At this time, I am aware of only the Army Chief of Chaplains having made the definitive decision to cease business as usual when it comes to ministry of presence and unit to unit visitation and retreats. I am also aware of that only the Army, to date, has taken the position that large worship services (more than 10 in an enclosed space) and seating and social distancing (at least 6’ away) is being required. Several chaplains have responded that this was not being practiced at their installation, and that they have neither seen the order nor heard of its existence. So today, I reached back to the Army Chief and this was his response. I have copy and pasted. He also asked me to provide him the names of installations where this was NOT being observed as he is aware of pockets where there is some lack of clarity and special situations. So far, I have provided him the names of three such installations that are known to me.



From the Office of the Chief of Chaplains:

All Army Chapels in Europe, Korea and the Continental United States are adhering to the National Command Authority declaration of Health Prevention Level C. This is published guidance at all commands across the Army. This means there will be no public gatherings and people must adhere to safe physical distancing of 6-10 ft. Exceptions for mission essential requirements for Religious Support come through Army channels to my office for concurrence and visibility before senior officials grant the exception.

All Strong Bonds training events are cancelled until further notice.

Chaplain Corps members will continue to Advise Leaders at all levels on matters pertaining to religious support, ethics and morals. Chaplain Corps members will look for creative and innovative ways to operate under the current conditions to provide religious support to Soldiers, Families and DA Civilians. Conduct counseling, crisis intervention, pastoral care and religious support planning through virtual or other means with local Commander guidance.

20 MARCH 2020

Coronavirus resources for chaplains, pastors, and congregations:

Also, communication resources available that could offer a substitute for face-to-face meetings, as follows:

19 MARCH 2020

Chaplains [and maybe pastors, too!]:

It is time for some much-needed renovation and innovation! Let's make worship services and the Word credible, REAL, and fresh!!!!

As your new divine worship services and processes develop and evolve, please talk about them! I want to hear about them and I suspect others do too!

18 MARCH 2020

Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling Vol. 74, No. 1, March, 2020 is now available online!

If you are a CSC member, you can access the full Journal by loggin in HERE


22 FEBRUARY 2020

This is a small book and is likely worth your time as a chaplain in ministering to grieving folks:


11 FEBRUARY 2020

For the well-informed Navy Chaplain:


10 FEBRUARY 2020

The Navy's Plan for Religious Ministry, Version 2.0


09 FEBRUARY 2020

This is a very interesting, openly-published dissertation. Some of you may find it helpful.


31 JANUARY 2020

Please do not let this happen to you. I know that we are all excited about our relationship with the Lord (or should be!), but all Federal chaplains are also government actors. As such, in non-chapel settings and in advertising various programs, we are not to imply a superiority or preference of one religion over another, or no religion, as that becomes the Establishment of Religion – and is Unconstitutional. If something that you are about to do seems potentially questionable or controversial, PLEASE first run it by a senior chaplain, or reach-out to our office for an opinion.

The folks involved in this scenario, were not CSC Chaplains.


Navy chaplain’s ‘Lead Like Jesus’ message roils command staffs

27 JANUARY 2020

My what I tangled web we weave when we practice to conceive.
An interesting article for military chaplains for themselves and those whom they counsel:

Navy Warns Mail-In DNA Kits Could Bring 'Unwelcome' Family News

21 JANUARY 2020

Good information for chaplains [and others] about social media from the Army:

ARMY SOCIAL MEDIA: Policies and Resources

16 JANUARY 2020

Of interest to VA chaplains:

VA announces proposed rule regarding equal treatment of faith-based organizations
in VA-supported social service programs

08 JANUARY 2020

If you know of any visually-impaired veterans:

Free Braille and Talking Book Program for Veterans
The gift of reading returned to Veterans with visual impairments

30 DECEMBER 2019

More Religious Accommodations

Pagan Nevada Guard Soldier Gets Waiver to Grow Beard; More May Follow

20 DECEMBER 2019

Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling Vol. 73, No. 4, December, 2019 is now available online!

If you are a CSC member, you can access the full Journal by loggin in HERE


12 DECEMBER 2019

Women VA Chaplains: A Conference for you!


08 DECEMBER 2019

A couple of retired Active Duty Army Chaplains (COL), one of which is a professor at a seminary now and also a former full-time endorser, asked me 5 questions as an endorser. I think they are considering writing a text to help prepare seminarians interested in chaplaincy. I spent several hours on the questionnaire and it occurred to me that some of you might benefit from reading it. So, here it is!


05 DECEMBER 2019

A huge listing of resources for military and veterans.

Financial assistance for military & veteran families

05 DECEMBER 2019

Veterans need VHIC for in-person Commissary, Military Exchange, MWR access

01 DECEMBER 2019

This organization comes highly recommended.

It is run by a retired Army Sergeant Major Chaplain Assistant.

Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc.

26 NOVEMBER 2019

A point paper for military whistleblowers.

Military Whistleblower Complaint [PDF]

21 NOVEMBER 2019

An interesting just-published book from Columbia Law School.

Whose Faith Matters? The Fight for Religious Liberty Beyond the Christian Right [PDF]

14 NOVEMBER 2019

The Army is now (November 2019) paying incentives for recruiting chaplains and chaplain candidates. For more information, see below.

Regular Army (Active Duty) COMPO 1 Incentives [PDF]

13 NOVEMBER 2019

I saw this article today from the civilian sector about women not doing well in performance reviews: Another Roadblock for Women: Performance Reviews.

It made me reflect upon a number of discrepancies that I am seeing with an alarming increase in the military. Namely male chaplains, when given the opportunity to either directly or indirectly offer feedback or input to women chaplains’ report cards and performance, tend to look for and report weaknesses and exaggerate them. I suspect that some of this is unintentional, yet it is still there and harmful. And I have little doubt that some of this is intentional and malicious: I have heard some male chaplains make the claim that their theology is that women are not to preach or be in authority over men -- and so anything they can do to thwart this, to include creating barriers and hardships for women, they do so as “that is God’s will.” Some claim that their endorsers will not allow them to co-officiate services with women. I even have seen on several occasions when discriminating male chaplains are put in charge of a service that they see to it that women are NOT given a chance to preach or lead in the service and, worse, they turn around and report on these women’s’ report cards that the women chaplains are not conducting religious services. Very, very dirty and underhanded! If any chaplain reading this blog knows of such occurrences, I would love to be able to document and address it with the appropriate Chief’s Office. If a clergyperson cannot be pluralistic, they ought not be allowed to minister in a pluralistic setting….


12 NOVEMBER 2019

I have known the Honorable Allen B. Clark (Army LTC, Retired) since the mid 1990s. He has quite a testimony about his life after losing his legs in Viet Nam. While I have not read this just-published book, I highly suspect that it is excellent and may be helpful to you in your minister to service-members.




28 OCTOBER 2019

Expeditionary Religious Support Gear Compendium 2020


27 OCTOBER 2019

Below you will find an Army packet of forms; samples and templates for use in working with applicants for religious accommodation. Please click on the folder to view and/or download each form.

Religious Accommodation Packet

23 OCTOBER 2019

Interesting article. Sadly, I think it applies to chaplains too.

The Four Classes of Military Officers (Or Office Workers): Clever, Diligent, Stupid and Lazy

16 OCTOBER 2019

Chaplains: If your spouse requires a license to practice their trade, when you PCS to a new state the military can help pay the costs.

Military Spouse Benefits: Get Reimbursed for Licensure When You PCS

11 OCTOBER 2019

US employers see vets as lacking emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills,
according to a major study

08 OCTOBER 2019

Navy Correspondence Manual and an update.

Department of the Navy Correspondence Manual [PDF]


07 OCTOBER 2019

Religious Accommodation in the Army. A good presentation.

Supplement to: Religious Accommodation in the Army: Advising the Command [PDF]

03 OCTOBER 2019

The following is an excellent Commander's Brief About Army Chaplains.

A Commander’s Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your Chaplain [PDF]

01 OCTOBER 2019

Cool New Military Chaplains' Tool by our very own Chaplain (CPT) Rob Wilkerson (USAR). Worth a look! (Think of it as a chaplains’ “command climate” survey tool!

335th SC(T) UMT SMART Tool: Soldier Morale And Resilience Traceability


An excellent resource for Army service-members from a CSC Army chaplain, Rob Wilkerson.



While this document is about Air Force culture, it is useful for informational purposes for all 3 Chaplain Corps. Please review it.



Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling Vol. 73, No. 3, September 1, 2019 is now available online!

If you are a CSC member, you can access the full Journal by loggin in HERE





September is Suicide Prevention Month.

VA and Military Chaplains, please take a look at some wonderful FREE resources in that VA webpage and use them in your contexts!


VA recognizes September as Suicide Prevention Month


Dear Military and VA Chaplains,

Please review this document from the recent Joint DoD-VA Suicide Prevention Conference. September is Suicide Awareness Month. People suicide for a variety of reasons. I just know that the people who I have known who have suicided leave me with a sense of great loss.

Be good to yourself and others today.


Collective Messaging: Changing the National Narrative about Suicide [PDF]

29 AUGUST 2019

Great set of slides from the VA Chaplaincy on the topic of Suicide Prevention.

CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — Chaplain Roles in Suicide Prevention, Intervention & Postvention [PDF]

13 AUGUST 2019

Navy Instructions just published.


30 JULY 2019

Military chaplains: Looking for housing? Here is a good resource just found.

Apartment Guide: Find Military Housing

27 JULY 2019

Important information for Army RC C4 changes.

CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — Chaplain Captain Career Course, Reserve Component (C4 RC) [PDF]

22 JULY 2019

I just listened to an amazing TED Talk. It explains a lot about the people in the world around me: Why Liberals see things one way, FERVENTLY; and why Conservatives see things just the opposite, just as FERVENTLY. My dear Christian friends and colleagues – PARTICULARLY those of you who KNOW that you have THE proper understanding of Biblical principles and mandates and the ways of God – this explains y-o-u and the harm that you and many other Christians (like you who preceded you) have imposed on your world in the name of Christ and righteousness. I do hope that all who read my postings will spend just 16 minutes of your life to get a better understanding of yourselves as well as how and why you think and act as you do.

Why do we believe things that aren't true? | Philip Fernbach | TEDxMileHigh

22 JULY 2019

This is a GREAT blog for service-members spouses!

Life-Giver: Breathe Life into your Service Marriage

18 JULY 2019

A good resources for chaplains who may have aging parents and need some ideas for caregiving from a distance…

Strategies for Long-Distance Caregivers from Simmons University

12 JULY 2019

A good publication for all Army chaplains to download and become familiar.

CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — Religious Support and Internal Advisement [PDF]

03 JULY 2019

Spiritual and Pastoral Care in the Veterans Health Administration


01 JULY 2019

As an update to the 16 February 2019 posting, below, on terms and information resources with which to become familiar in rendering chaplaincy and counseling care to members of the LGBT plus community, one advocacy group, Modern Military Association of America, has developed a competency curriculum complete with testing and “Rainbow Shield Certification” as culturally competent to provide care to LGBT plus folks and their families. I believe that this is all free. If you are interested, please visit:

Rainbow Shield Certification:
Online LGBTQ cultural competency training for military and veteran service providers

"Who can become certified?
"Any individual who serves or advocates for the LGBTQ and HIV+ military and veteran community can seek certification. This includes, but is not limited to, educators, health care providers, military leaders, Veteran Service Officers (VSOs), social workers, homeless and domestic violence shelter providers, lawyers and paralegals, policymakers and administrators."

23 JUNE 2019

The latest "Chaplains' Bible" for Air Force Chaplains.


22 JUNE 2019

A good reminder for all military chaplains!


18 JUNE 2019

Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling Vol. 73, No. 2, June 1, 2019 is now available online.


15 JUNE 2019

A remarkably candid article.

"As part of an ongoing effort to attract and retain women in the Coast Guard, the service has eliminated gender-specific pronouns from members' promotion packages and professional evaluations."

Coast Guard Strips Gender-Specific Pronouns from Evals, Promotion Board Packages

14 JUNE 2019

Occasionally we have chaplains who have service-members who ask them to testify in legal proceedings about things they have talked about. This is what I highly recommend they use as a release form.

Release of Confidentiality [PDF]

13 JUNE 2019

This is too good not to post. For chaplains teaching/explaining consent to E-1s to O-10s!

Rape And Consent Explained In 7 Simple Comics By Alli Kirkham [FULL ARTICLE]

13 JUNE 2019

I normally will not tolerate ads on The Coalition’s website, but this is different. This is a free offer courtesy of LinkedIn:

LinkedIn offering eligible members of the military community one year of free access to LinkedIn Premium and LinkedIn Learning [OFFER INFO]

07 JUNE 2019

An example of what NOT to do!

Marine colonel calls suicide ‘shameful,' cites ‘godless age’
and calls on Marines to ‘read some scripture’

05 JUNE 2019

Are you and all of your exiting service-members aware of this great free resource????

Secretary Wilkie talks Veterans experience, welcome kit [FULL STORY]

29 May 2019

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
No politics in uniform. Ever. Even “cutesy” or “gimmicky” politics (Navy reviewing wearing of Trump patches aboard ship) in uniform is forbidden.

I knew a Navy chaplain once (not one of ours!) who was going to “hold a prayer service” in front of the White House, in dress uniform. I urged him not to. He did so anyway and is now an ex-chaplain. See Chaplain facing court-martial for wearing uniform at D.C. protest.

28 May 2019

To all military chaplains, I would like to introduce the CLASP [Chaplain-Led Assistance in Suicide Prevention] program by CSC’s very own Chaplain (CPT) Rob Wilkerson, USAR. It is getting a great deal of attention because of its excellence and its price (free!). I urge all of you to take a look at it by registering and signing-in for FREE accounts! Take a look at Intro to CLASP and then sign-up at Register for CLASP Site Membership AND obtain the Unit Ministry Team SMART Tool.

21 May 2019

Ever wonder what O-2 and O-3 Army chaplains are expected to know and do? Here it is!

Individual Critical Task List - Chaplain Basic Officer Leader Course Officer, AOC: 56A, Rank: CPT, Duty Pos: VAH [PDF]

20 May 2019

I have been observing [and quietly documenting] harassment and bias against women military chaplains for some time. This article talks about a failure among Navy leadership to maintain good order and discipline within the Submarine “community.” And I want to quickly add that it is not limited to the Submariners of the Navy (although it is especially common within that community as many do not want that community successfully integrated with women sailors), nor is it isolated to the Navy either. Such disgusting harassment and bias is in all three of the services that produce chaplains. If there are any investigative journalists who want to discuss this further, feel free to reach-out and contact me.

– David Plummer, Executive Director

Sailors Created 'Rape List' Aboard Navy's 2nd Sub to Integrate Women

17 May 2019

The military chaplaincy, it seems to me, spends a great deal of money on the training and certification of its chaplains (to be trainers and facilitators), and on purchasing curriculum on a number of topics from private FOR-PROFIT, third-party entities. That said, coincidentally , I notice that a number of these third parties go out of their way to recruit and hire retiring chaplains to be their marketers and promoters/lobbyists for their wares to the military . Hmmm. And what is worse, the federal government, namely the VA, has produced some EXCELLENT webinars and trainings for clergy on the topics of suicide prevention and awareness, depression, PTSD, moral injury. Please take a moment to read the attached PDF. And there are a good many other materials available without cost [taxpayers have ALREADY paid for them!] for the click or two of a button. From a recent email (please get on their list!):

“The first edition of the renewed Community Clergy Training Program newsletter is attached. Due to its professional orientation, it is now called the Community Clergy Training Program Digest. This edition is the first of two Digests that relate research and practice related to the relationships among PTSD, moral injury and suicide. The second will be published in August.

"Beginning in FY2020, the Digest will be published twice annually. Specific dates will be communicated as FY2020 approaches.

"The CCTP remains committed to increasing your knowledge of critical issues related to Veteran care. If you have comments or information that would be helpful to us to that end, please email us: jim.goalder@gmail.com. We are always seeking your input on how to better serve your needs to the benefit of our Veterans.”

The Community Clergy Training Program Digest, Issue 1/May 2019 [PDF]

16 April 2019

A lot of folks think the National Day of Prayer is interfaith. It is not. From a Christian attorney friend's Facebook post:

For those who think the "National Day of Prayer Task Force" is in any way official or that events sponsored by nationaldayofprayer.org are "official" or "government-sponsored" --- they aren't. You might want to hold on to this to show your commanders. Repeat as needed. And maybe even give a few thoughts to sponsoring an actually **interfaith** "day of prayer" event.
ICYMI, here's what 36 U.S. Code § 119 actually says about a "National Day of Prayer": "The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals." (Pub. L. 105–225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1258.)
"May turn to God in prayer and meditation." Not "shall." No matter what a "conservative evangelical" commander --- or politician --- might think.

Also, some more information on the subject:
The National Day of Prayer and the sectarian group that uses its name

06 April 2019

Some helpful thoughts on suicide prevention from the Air National Guard.


05 April 2019

For those military chaplains who may be involved in community mass casualty response. Some possible ideas.

EMS Chaplaincy: Evidence-based professional practice

22 March 2019

Table of Contents Alert: Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling- Volume: 73, Number: 1 (March 2019)


19 March 2019

For the last few years, the military and this endorsing agency increasingly have been receiving complaints that the 3 Armed Services' chaplains accessions boards have been weeding-out quality women applicants, intentionally making promotions few or non-existent for women, and, in general, making the chaplaincies a difficult-if-not-hostile context for women chaplains. Apparently, women and others have been contacting Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) to formally inquire as to some data and follow-on questions. (See Question 5 on DACOWITS’ RFIs for March 2019 [PDF]) Here are the responses from the 3 Armed Services:

US Army [PDF]

US Navy [PDF]

US Air Force [PDF]

Also, a former Marine and attorney friend crunched these numbers and came up with the following chart:


17 March 2019

Navy Chaplains take note:

Department of the Navy Strategic Plan for Religious Ministry [PDF]

13 March 2019

The Army Chaplain Corps Vision, Mission, and Objectives:

CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — The Army Chaplain Corps Vision [PDF]

12 March 2019

This is a clinical article on the topic of suicide in the military. It also has a great bibliography!

Suicide Prevention in the Military: A Mechanistic Perspective [PDF]

11 March 2019

This FREE book ought to be required reading of ALL Army chaplains. [And I suspect that much of it is true for all the Armed Services.] You may download it at Life as a Private: Stories of Service from the Junior Ranks of Today's Army. Get to know your junior enlisteds and what they are thinking. Among the key findings:

  • The soldiers interviewed emphasized that they can tell which leaders really care about them, and that this is a key component of what makes a good leader.

  • For the soldiers in this report, the best leaders are those who lead from the front and who respect their soldiers' time and contributions.

  • Upon enlistment, the soldiers interviewed had little in common besides youth.

  • The soldiers in these interviews had a varied range of experience with the military before deciding to enlist.

  • It was not uncommon for soldiers, upon arrival at their new base and job, to remark that military life was not as strict as they anticipated; many soldiers entered the Army thinking that it would be a mere continuation of boot camp.

  • The Army is a transformative institution, and soldiers are changed by their military experience.

  • For those who write policy for the Army, it is important to understand what soldiers care about and what frustrates them.


09 March 2019

Army Chaplains: A terrific resource for doing military funerals.

CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — Honor the Fallen: A Chaplain’s Guide [PDF]

08 March 2019

Army Chaplains, please familiarize yourself with the attached PowerPoint on Religious Accommodation:

CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — Religious Accommodation in the Army: Advising the Command [PowerPoint]

02 March 2019

Air Force Chaplains Please Note:

CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — Policy Memo: Religious Resolution Team Guidance [PDF]

25 February 2019

CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — Coalition Chaplains at APC 2019 [PDF]

24 February 2019

CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — Coalition Chaplains at CPSP 2019 [PDF]

22 February 2019

Attention Navy Chaplains

This is the latest edition of the official Religious Needs Assessment tool. This will be helpful if you are planning to deploy and you need to know the religious demographics of the sailors you serve and need to plan for their spiritual care.


16 February 2019

It has been brought to my attention that many/most chaplains do not know the terms, definitions, and acronyms of folks who are LGBT or who regularly live and interact with LGBT folks. As such, I think sensitive and well-informed chaplains might want to familiarize themselves with such terms and concepts. I have had referred to me websites that are helpful with that and you may find them below:

LGBTQIA Resource Center Glossary - UC Davis

LGBTQIA+ Information - https://lgbtqiainfo.weebly.com

14 February 2019

Attention Army (and other) Chaplains Who Lead Strong Bonds

A good number of CSC Chaplains are NOT restricted by their churches to minister to LGBT couples. As such, they are in high demand at many installations as there are few chaplains who are willing and able [by their endorsement] to minister to all people. The following document was developed by a Chaplain (MAJ) [whom I have de-identified] to facilitate clear communication between himself and the units that ask him, as an unrestricted chaplain, to facilitate their Strong Bonds events. I think that it is good and it might be useful to you to avoid questions and concerns and misunderstandings. Feel free to take the document and to modify it and make it your own!

CLICK HERE FOR DOCUMENT — Memorandum for Record Strong Bonds [DOC]

02 February 2019

Here is the current Army Chaplain Officer Basic Leadership Course “Smartbook”:

CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — SMARTBOOK, Chaplain Basic Officer Leader Course [PDF]

31 January 2019

A new and updated ATP 1-05.03, "Religious Support and External Advisement" has hit the street. I encourage all Army chaplains to download it and read it.


27 January 2019

A revised and updated FM 1-05 is now published and available from the Army Publishing Directorate.


08 January 2019

A great academic article on Chaplaincy, Spiritual Care, and Moral Injury: Considerations Regarding Screening and Treatment

19 December 2018

The Army has just re-launched their U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Journal. Also at the site one can find archived digital copies of the Military Chaplains Review. Great professional reading!

The U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Journal**

**When visiting this site, you may encounter a browser error advising you that the site is not secure or that the site's security certificate is invalid. You may also be advised that this may be a spoofed site. This is, in fact, the correct site for the United States Army Chaplain Center & School and this link does direct you to their new Journal page. Until USACHCS updates their security certificate you will have to approve a security exception on your browser by choosing "I understand the risks" or "Continue to this website" from the warning window. Hopefully, USACHCS will resolve this issue shortly.

09 December 2018

A fairly recent update to Air Force Regulations on Chaplains Professional Development.

CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — Air Force Guidance Memorandum to AFI 52-102, Volume 1, Chaplain Professional Development [PDF]

07 December 2018

The following is a link to a conference at Duquesne University in November 2018 on “Moral Injury and the Role of Community in the Veteran’s Homecoming.”

There are about 7.5 hours of clips recording the 8 parts of the conference.

Please click [HERE] to check it out.

05 December 2018

Female Chaplains, a researcher is looking for female vets to take a survey. Please consider taking it and passing it along through your channels.

Please click [HERE] to take the survey.


28 November 2018

A special edition of The Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling has just been published with a special emphasis on RESEARCH. Research in Pastoral Care and Counseling

CSC Chaplains, log in [HERE] to read and/or download. If you do not yet have a log-in, go ahead and create one. (I will approve you! It is part of your benefits of endorsement with us.)


20 November 2018

Air Force Chaplains Please Note:

Air Force Grants Beard Waiver to Muslim Airman

20 November 2018

Great Resources for Chaplains:

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

And if you’d like to use the treatment methods described in the piece, check out a nonprofit that Whiteside founded called Now Matters Now. The site teaches basic DBT skills and provides a sample Motto-style card [PDF] anyone can download and send to someone in need.

For a longer, but very folksy, non-clinical article on suicide prevention, check out The Best Way To Save People From Suicide.

19 November 2018

The Army Guard is hiring...


16 November 2018

Army Chaplains, please note.

CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — Army Directive 2018-23 (Improving the Effectiveness of Essential and Important Army Programs: Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, Equal Opportunity, Suicide Prevention, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, and Resilience) [PDF]

15 November 2018

Recent updates to Army and Navy Religious Accommodations Guidance.


CLICK IMAGE FOR DOCUMENT — ARMY DIRECTIVE 2018-19 (Approval, Disapproval, and Elevation of Requests for Religious Accommodation) [PDF]

15 November 2018

Good information for military and VA chaplains.

Beyond PTSD to “Moral Injury”

14 November 2018

Recently I have come across a really good page of resources from the Defense Logistics Agency.

Defense Logistics Agency Chaplain Links

25 October 2018

Chaplains, you have a role!


24 October 2018

Want to learn to speak military? Here is a great start!


18 October 2018

A lot of good wisdom and advice for chaplains here:

Task & Purpose: Eisenhower On ‘Leading From Within’ And The Art Of Collaborative Leadership

10 October 2018

Chaplain Olga Westfall is a CSC chaplain with both the VA Medical Center in Atlanta and with the Air Force Reserve. She was recently featured in an In Touch Ministries interview. She is also a strong advocate for chaplaincy in the Ukraine, having spent her childhood there. She has a message for any chaplain who would like to become involved there:

“Good day fellow Chaplains! My name is Olga Westfall and I am a US Air Force Reserve Chaplain and full time staff Chaplain at the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC). I have been endorsed by the Coalition of the Spirit-filled Churches for 15 years and I have been blessed to work under Rev. David Plummer. I was born and grew up in Ukraine, which became independent from the Soviet Union on August 24, 1991. However, when Ukraine, in 2014, decided to be truly independent, Russia annexed part of its land (Crimean Peninsula) and started a war against Ukraine in its eastern industrial part.
"Although this conflict brought a lot of suffering to Ukrainians, with 11,000 killed, 23,000 wounded, it also gave birth to Chaplaincy. Many church leaders and pastors received a call from God to go to care for those who defend them in the battle and return home wounded.
"My friend from Ukraine, Yaroslav Malko, president of Global Christian Support, created in Ukraine a network of professional Chaplains. He provides training for them and various conferences. Ukrainian Chaplains and volunteers were fundamental in helping to support their troops and preserve their country from the aggressor. Many of the Chaplains who work with Yaroslav serve on the front lines of the combat zone of eastern Ukraine as well as in the hospitals ministering to the wounded soldiers, their families and civilians.
"It would be great if any of you could come to Ukraine and share your experience with the Ukrainian Chaplains or just visit soldiers and tour the beautiful country of Ukraine. I will be traveling in Mid-May to Ukraine for about 10 days and if someone would like to join me, please feel free to write me at olga.westfall@va.gov. I also would be happy to answer any of your questions.
"If you would like to come to Ukraine at another time or would like to speak with Yaroslav directly, please feel free to send him an e-mail at gcsministry@gmail.com or contact by phone (viber) +38 050 635 7135. He has a vast experience in working with group and would provide for you a memorable and special experience.
"God bless!”

9 October 2018

News Navy Chaplains can use:


01 October 2018

A great resource! The Joint Services’ Internet Library


19 September 2018

Navy Chaplains, the newly updated Suicide Prevention Program Instruction:


Also Navy Chaplains, please review the updated NAVY COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM instruction as well. There are elements that involve chaplains:


14 September 2018


14 September 2018

So, you think you are culturally competent...

Find out! For race/ethnicity, special populations, gender, age, in research and education, and "just in general".

Culture, Language and Health Literacy

12 September 2018

As most military chaplains know, one must safeguard their DoD-issued CAC Card at all times.

Here is a PDF reminder. Apparently there is a new phone app that can capture ID information if give the opportunity to take picture or scan of the card.

Also, we do ask for a copy of the CAC of current military members who are applying for endorsement. However, in that we are doing so for the purpose of avoiding an unnecessary criminal background investigation report to be run AND we are a DoD-recognized and vetted entity for the endorsement of chaplains. We have legitimate need and use. If we do ask for such a copy, FEEL FREE to black out or cover-up the bar code on the card.



11 September 2018

Dear Chaplains,

Please read the letter From A Concerned Active Duty U.S. Army Captain.

When I read such letters on the MRFF website, it gives me great pause and concern for the military chaplaincy. Such chaplains violate the very intent of the military chaplaincy. We are “to perform or provide for the Free Exercise of Religion for All.” We are NOT try to establish our own religion’s (or church’s) beachhead to defeat all other religions or perceived threats to our particular faith. If you see your ministry in the military as “beachhead ministry,” as apparently these men do, we really need to talk. Please call me and let us reason together. Oh, and if these sort of things are going on at your installation, I expect you to be courageous men and women of God to report it — either directly or indirectly — so that your conscience is not violated by inaction (if not complicity). This is the sort of thing that is not only unethical and collusional but will ultimately destroy the chaplaincy as a corps — turning it into simply a large system of religious contractors for specific faiths. If it survives at all.


01 September 2018

Chaplains, be very careful as to who is reaching out to you and for what reason(s).

Chief U.S. spy catcher says China using LinkedIn to recruit Americans

I should state that this very website is getting “pinged” daily by both China and Russia. Additionally in the last month, AOL has temporarily shut down my access to my personal email account 3 times due to repeated failed attempts to log on. PLEASE be careful as to what you put in your civilian emails and you may want to make sure your password is difficult to guess.


31 August 2018

More fresh “gouge” for Navy Chaplains.


30 August 2018

Background Check Change Could Put Troops' Clearances at Risk

29 August 2018

The movie INDIVISIBLE is coming to theaters in October. It is about the Army life, deployment, and marriage of Chaplain Darren Turner. While I have not seen the movie (only the trailer that I’ve posted), I have known and worked in the past with Chaplain Turner. He strikes me as a real person, honest and forthright, and a good chaplain. I look forward to seeing the movie.

I suspect that many of you chaplains reading this blog also have profound stories that need to be written down and the stories and lessons learned shared with the public. Please consider this my challenge and encouragement for YOU to do so!



29 August 2018

Attention Navy Chaplains: Hot off the press!


28 August 2018

Sadly, this is also true of many chaplains, especially if the seminary from which they graduated stressed evangelism and church growth over pastoral care and counseling.

Mental health is a topic that a lot of churches and pastors feel uncomfortable addressing.

Clergy Not Prepared to Meet Congregations' Mental Health Needs

20 August 2018

“The court suggested that there may be some gray areas regarding the establishment clause, but the need for soldiers to be afforded the free exercise of religion took precedence. It is also important to note that the court described the environment as a 'pluralistic military community'. Both of these concepts, together, constitute the primary legal basis for the existence of the chaplaincy today: a chaplain's primary purpose is to ensure that, in the pluralistic military community, all soldiers have the opportunity to practice their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. Unfortunately, this stated purpose for the chaplaincy is also its Achilles' heel. Some years after the court case, Chaplain Drazin issued a warning about what he considered to be the greatest threat to the chaplaincy. 'The chaplaincy could be destroyed… by its own members if they were insensitive to soldiers' free exercise rights.' He felt that 'free exercise was the raison d'etre of the chaplaincy, without which it had neither rationale nor constitutional basis'.” 28

While this document is several years old and was the publication by a friend and colleague, CH (COL) Barbara Sherer, (US Army, Retired), it is still very applicable today:


12 August 2018

Seeing this website, I think, for the first time. Worth a browse!

The Chaplain Kit

11 August 2018

This report, just out, ought to be mandatory reading at the 3 chaplain schools, along with a reasoned response as to how that information is going to inform their approach to chaplaincy.

Why America’s ‘nones’ don’t identify with a religion

10 August 2018

From the Army War College podquests:

The shadow of the First Amendment certainly hovers over the chaplaincy…

09 August 2018

From a FaceBook posting from Army Chaplain Michael Thomas, posted August 8 at 6:12 PM:

Looking through Computer... found my "Senior Chaplain Guidance" for bi-weekly Field Grade Chaplain meetings... as I read it, it caused me to grin... and miss the days of old.

Do the right thing.

Take care of your business and I will stay out of your business.

Close the loop… If I task you let me know when it is complete. Silence is not golden…it is suspicious.

Be true to your religious convictions. Cooperation without compromise. In the Process BE KIND.

Dignity and respect, not only in person, but also in phone/email communications. (remember, emails are often perceived w/ a tone.) Email is a great way to pass information, but a VERY Poor way to communicate. Get up from your desk and go talk in person, or pick up the phone.

As I make decisions I will consult my NCOIC and Deputy.

In this meeting:
Think 4 weeks out…let me know what you have planned.
If there is something that gains your cdrs passion/strong attention, let me know. Every so often, provide a best practice. The experience and brain power here is astounding.

Those in this room realize it now, or you would not be here…you serve both your unit commander and the Garrison CDR by providing general religious support. If your BN chaplains forget, have them bring you their PCS orders…look at either the first or last paragraph.

If you are having problems (worship coverage etc, let us know). My team is not here to whack on you, but to support you.
In the same breath, we are also the senior chaplain sections members on the installation…we will coach you too.

Meet the suspense! Be professional! Do proper military staff work!!

Business rules… if is a calendar item, please cc Admin Assistant in your email. She runs my calendar.

You are senior chaplains…train your subordinates. Do not sit back and just watch them fail. Each of us wants to leave a legacy…in a small part these men and women will be part of your legacy.

My staff’s mission is to support you in your mission. I see your mission as providing and performing religious support for Soldiers/families. With the resources available, we will support.

Write your own OER. By this I mean, give you raters something to rave about. Do not suck up to your bosses saying, Maam/Sir, I need you to take care of me” if you are doing nothing or little to support their mission. Definitely actions speak much louder than words.

If you want to know what I look for, it is ‘towel ministry’. When I see my team caring for others, serving them and not DEMANDING respect or favors from others, that impresses me. Each of you has the ball…it’s up to you to make the play and get it down the field.

Everyone has an "Official Record" which gets you promoted, schools etc. Your unofficial record [street record] is when DACH Calls me and ask about you personally. My job as COL is to make sure the system promotes, assigns the right person for the right job. I want to say great things about folks, but my job is to be honest with DACH. I will be an advocate for you if you will let me. But I owe the Army a honest appraisal when asked. [Former Sr Chaplain]


This is excellent advice/wisdom. My only suggestion would be to add something like: "Always be honest with all. Have the courage to exercise candor and integrity in all circumstances. Do not claim to honor pluralism while practicing any form of discrimination: sexism, racism, and/or bias towards folks who have differing views of sexual orientation, theology, etc. In so doing, you are not honoring God; you are dishonoring yourself."


30 July 2018

The following information is requested to be passed on to your active and retired Army chaplains (active, reserve, guard) for their interest and assistance. The 9th Biennial Reunion of the USA Chaplain Corps Regimental Association is gathering next November 7-10 at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Washington, DC. Also, the Military Chaplains Association is meeting approximately the same time at the same location. This is the first time both of the largest and most active chaplain associations have met in one place. This is a rare opportunity for endorsers and all chaplains to take advantage of being able to meet with so many colleagues.

Please refer to the website for details and registration at https://chaplainregiment.org.

If you are interested in setting up a vendor's table please contact me at Scottie Lloyd, srlloyd@msn.com or call 909-553-5193. Thank you for your assistance and blessings to all.

Scottie Lloyd

26 July 2018

Just a kind reminder as things seem to be heating up between the President and the Pentagon: The White House Is Making National Security Decisions Without Telling The Pentagon. Please periodically review the attached PDF from the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness.


22 July 2018

Fellow endorser, Bill Cork, asked in the Facebook Army Chaplaincy group:

"War College 'White Board' asked how well the Army is developing strategic leaders. Take a look at the responses. Then ask yourself — How well is the Army Chaplaincy doing it? Do we know what strategic leaders are? Do we know how to develop them?"

Here is my response to him (posted 22 July). I share it as I hope our military chaplains can hear my heart and know my concerns about where I see today’s military chaplaincy.


Strategic leaders? I'd be ecstatic to see the chaplaincy develop leaders who were/are able to think critically. We have more than enough order/process followers. We have a few who are able to plan for THEIR (or their denomination's) end-result and then think thru reverse engineering to achieve it. But there are very few visionary leaders who are actually planning for the future of chaplaincy -- and specifically to produce a chaplaincy that performs or provides for the Free Exercise of Religion for all service-members. I cannot think of any leaders who are talking about this presently as even an issue -- at least openly. This may be because we do not have authentic buy-in to the concepts of pluralism and genuine chaplaincy from the faith groups [at least from many/most of the faith groups and their endorsing bodies]. And unless we soon start, I am afraid it is just a matter of time before: 1. We see a major restructuring of chaplaincy (more contractors and fewer actual chaplains); and /or 2. A chaplaincy that is measured, evaluated, and managed via another branch (e.g., HR Command, etc.). The reasoning for it is the Chaplaincies (AF and Navy included) have a hard time navigating the political and religious agendas of the chaplains and their faith groups currently represented in the three Services' Chaplain Corps. Someone(s) wearing stars may decide that a secular branch ("without a dog in the fight") may be the way to go in managing a hard-to-lead branch with radically differing agendas. And sadly, in my opinion, they may be correct. Something to ponder after a 100 years (of the existence of Army Chaplain School)...


02 July 2018


02 July 2018

Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling

The Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches is a proud sponsor of the Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling (JPC&C). Did you know that a benefit of your endorsement and partnership with us is free online access to JPC&C?

Check out their latest volume by logging into the website under the Members Area tab on this website.

01 July 2018

Calling ALL Military Chaplains!


01 July 2018

Interesting Reading for Navy Chaplains Assigned to the Marines


30 June 2018

Great article complete with Pre-Deployment, Deployment, and Post-Deployment tools!

Plan My Deployment: A Must-Have Tool for Deploying and Coming Home

28 June 2018

Missing Person Tables

A missing man table featured during a 2009 ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base.

See military.wikia.com's entry on Missing Man Tables

Often these tables also contain sacred scriptures. As chaplains seeking to minister to all people of all faiths, it is important that we allow everyone their ability to pause and insert their own holy book onto that table. A good way is to use a blank fancy book. EBay has them for around $13, delivered.


12 June 2018

Want to help save a life? The VA and PsychArmor Institute Offer Online Suicide Prevention Training. It takes just 25 minutes and the cost is FREE!


11 June 2018

A good article to begin conversations about suicide:

How To Talk About Suicide In A Way That’s Actually Helpful

11 June 2018

A great source of idea-starters for prayers by military Chaplains:

The Chaplain Kit: Prayers

04 June 2018

All chaplains should take a look at this.

Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military [PDF]

29 May 2018

Conference Website (https://www.ncmaf.net)

Women In Ministry Training Agenda [PDF]


The Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches' authorization letter [PDF].

09 May 2018

Good news for Military Spouses!

Trump Order Aims to Improve Government's MilSpouse Hiring Practices

04 May 2018

A good running blog for Military and VA Chaplains:

The American Homefront Project

01 May 2018

A word of caution to chaplains:

The National Day of Prayer [this year, May 4, 2018] is a special day and a prayer observance for distinctly Christians to join together for prayer. If you, as military and civilian chaplains, do promote and participate in it, it is only fair to be clear as to what it is and is not about in any of your advertisements.

Please see: National Day of Prayer Statement of Faith.

Blessings and Peace,

01 May 2018

Dear Navy and Marine Chaplains,

I just came across this guidance for the Navy and Marine lay Leaders program, from the Chief of Chaplains.


09 April 2018

Dear Military and VA Chaplain Colleagues,

I read this just now on Todd Starnes. I have been hearing about such displays for the past couple of years. This really is an EASY FIX. Merely place a blank book on the table to symbolize all holy books on the POW-MIA display. That would cover it. And the government would not be accused of establishing or preferring one holy book or religion over another. Government chaplains care for and serve all people of all faiths -- or no faith -- at taxpayers' expense. Right?

Navy Investigates Bible on "Missing Man Table" Tribute

05 April 2018

Attention Chaplains and other Clergy, Counselors too!

FB Messenger is NOT private! If you call me via this technology, I will likely not answer. AND keep all confidential messages off of private chats. They are not private.

Yes, Facebook is scanning your messages for abuse

05 March 2018

US Army Chaplain School 100th Anniversary Celebration!

28 February 2018

Lessons in leadership from the Harvard Business Review:

Strategies for Learning from Failure

14 February 2018

Chaplains, you have a role. Please read carefully.


13 February 2018

Principles of Religious Liberty


11 February 2018

I saw this and could not help but see a parable of what mean-spirited "chaplains" are doing to one another, to different-looking chaplains, and to the chaplaincy in general...

Video coming soon... in the meantime, head over to YouTube (link below) to view!

For The Birds (1080p) (Pixar Short Films)


10 February 2018

Military Chaplains: No using personal email for official business!


31 January 2018

Updated Air Force Regulations affecting Chaplains:


08 December 2017

Army Chief of Chaplains' Training and Leader Development Guidance for Fiscal Year 2018 [PDF]

02 December 2017

In the past year, we have had Army chaplains called into question about information that came out in pastoral conversations and even “regular conversations/communications,” with pastoral/clergy undertones. The chaplains were subjected to formal investigations as a result of complaints. Our official positions in the event of such a complaint/nomination of investigation are:

  1. Notify The Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches’ Office immediately [877.CSC.CHAP or Chaplaincy@Spirit-filled.org].

  2. Get free military defense legal advice immediately! Do NOT go into an investigative interview without a military attorney present to represent you to protect you from unjust or inappropriate questions.

  3. ALL communications with a chaplain [when the person knows you are clergy or a chaplain] are PRIVILEGED!!! They are JUST AS privileged and sacred to us as a faith group as it would be for a person stepping into a Catholic Confession Booth to speak with a Roman Catholic priest. DO NOT -- UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES -- divulge the conversation or even topics of conversation with anyone else without their clear written permission to do so. We recommend the following PRIVILEDGED COMMUNICATION RELEASE FORM (constructed with the direct consultation of an Army JAG attorney):


18 October 2017

02 October 2017

For Navy Chaplains. Resources for Religious Accommodation and Conscientious Objector Processes:

Chief of Chaplains Letter [PDF]

Religious Accommodation Interview Checklist [PDF]

Religious Accommodation Memorandum Template [PDF]

Chaplain’s Guidance for Interviewing a Prospective Conscientious Objector [PDF]

30 September 2017

I have been out of the country for the past week. I have just returned back to the USA. While overseas, I heard that there was a racial incident at the Air Force Academy Prep School. I heard that the 3-Star General in charge of the Air Force Academy responded by swiftly calling a mandatory formation of all staff and all cadets. Here are some of his comments: USAFA Superintendent: Treat others with dignity and respect or 'get out'.

Specifically he addressed the “Power of Diversity” in an EXCELLENT 12-minute clip posted on YouTube: Lt Gen Jay Silveria on Air Force Cadets: Racist need to get out.. Please click on that link and listen to his presentation and the follow-on interview.

"If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect then you need to get out. If you can't treat someone from another gender, whether that is a man or woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can't treat someone from another race or different color skin with dignity or respect, then you need to get out," said Lt. General J.D. Silveria.

Sadly, I know of military chaplains who, first, need to hear this message, and, take it very seriously. Second, they need to have the integrity to be honest with themselves and the military and repent – and/or, get out! They give lip-service and offer pseudo-commitment to the core values of diversity and pluralism. But do not be fooled. Some of these chaplains truly are racists, sexists, and are intolerant of non-heterosexuals, and of others who are not of their faith. And these “others” include their fellow chaplains whose careers they stealthily sabotage in any manner they believe they can, without harming their own.

Bravo [Zulu] General Silveria! I pray that your passionate message of the Power of Diversity impacts all the Armed Forces and all the branches within in the Armed Forces, especially the Chaplain Corps who are charged with being truth-tellers and with caring for all!!!

02 September 2017

This powerpoint contains excellent information about “Ministry During Chaos: Operating Safely in a CBRNE Environment.” Caution, it contains some actual nauseating photos, but I think it is important for military chaplains to pick up some pointers, God forbid(!) should you ever have to minister in such circumstances. This powerpoint is courtesy of the Army National Guard Chaplaincy:

Ministry During Chaos: Operating Safely in a CBRNE Environment [PPT]

23 August 2017

A must read for all military chaplains and other personnel:

The Secretary of Defense's Ethical Standards for All Hands [PDF]

I especially appreciate the line that we are "NEVER abusing our position nor looking the other way when we see something wrong."

22 August 2017

I have just come across an excellent resource for helping introverts and others communicate their feelings. And perhaps it may be useful in sensitizing extroverts and others as to how they may inadvertently be missing various communication cues. It can be found at Introvert Doodles. The one on grief is especially helpful: I'm Grieving and I Want You to Know

19 August 2017

Navy Chaplains, some invaluable information about FITREPS.

Fitness Reports: Area Wide Training Chaplain and RP [PDF]

18 August 2017

While this is neither Army-specific nor Chaplain-specific, this is a great and helpful booklet about Violent Extremism. I would encourage all military chaplains to familiarize themselves with its contents.

Violent Extremism Awareness Primer [PDF]

11 August 2017

Required reading for Army Chaplains regarding relationships between soldiers. Just published!

Department of the Army Pamphlet 600–35 [PDF]

08 August 2017

Navy Chaplains assigned to the Marines:
Please familiarize yourself with the new Marine Corps Order MCO 1730.6F [PDF]

21 July 2017

As many folks do not know, chaplaincy is about caring and ministering unconditionally, to all. From my own Christian tradition, I would say it is about loving and caring for ALL people the way Jesus did.

Congregational ministry is not like chaplaincy. And chaplaincy is not like a lot of denominationally-distinct congregational ministry. In fact, about the only time chaplaincy is like congregational ministry is when the chaplain preaches and conducts worship services. And that, in the military, is a very small amount of the chaplain's time. The rest is spent in pastoral care and counseling to those who seek it. Chaplains are trained to be easily approached to talk about anything with folks and to withhold their own judgement; to help that counselee who is seeking their assistance to be the best person they can be in confoming to the counselee's needs and faith -- NOT the chaplain's. Military chaplains are also expected to be "staff officers" and to train and teach various military policies that may or may not conform to the chaplain's beliefs.

This article was published today in Huffington Post, a publication that seeks to go to areas which are uncomfortable to many. I urge you to read it. It will likely make you a bit uncomfortable -- and hopefully will challenge you to think beyond the obvious.

28 June 2017

20 June 2017

From Journal of Pastoral Care Facebook

Journal of Pastoral Care Publications, Inc. The Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling Vol. 71, No. 2, June 1, 2017 is now available online at jpcc.sagepub.com

Members of JPCP Member Associations (ACPE, CASC/ACSS, CPSP, CSC, NAJC, and NIBIC) should access articles from the password protected section of their association websites.

Here is the Table of Contents.

Editorial: Fake Awareness by Terry R. Bard


  • Art, Objects, and Beautiful Stories: A “New” Approach to Spiritual Care by Aaron P. B. Smith, Julia E. Read

  • Emotional Sequelae of Elective Abortion: The Role of Guilt and Shame by Donna Krupkin Whitney

  • Contemplative Listening in Moral Issues: Moral Counseling Redefined in Principles and Method by Jack de Groot, Maria E.C. van Hoek

  • Contemplative Listening: A Rhetorical-Critical Approach To Facilitate Internal Dialog by Hans Evers

  • An Exploration of Current Approaches to and Facilities for Spiritual Care Provision in the Republic of Ireland Fiona Timmins, Sílvia Caldeira, Maryanne Murphy, Nicolas Pujol, Greg Sheaf, Elizabeth Weathers, Jacqueline Whelan, Bernadette Flanagan

  • Personal Reflections

  • The Freedom of the Octogenarian to Find Grace and Humor in the Lasting Personal Strength Gained Through CAPPE* Education Maureen Soukoreff

  • Superman Goes to the Emergency Room by Joseph Baroody

  • In the Media

  • Moonlight by Linda Noonan

  • Poetry

  • Scene from a Lapel Cross: Bad Day by Richard Alan Hadley

  • Book Reviews

  • Rachael Crabb, Sonya Reeder & Diana Calvin, Listening In: Building Faith and Friendship Thorough Conversations That Matter reviewed by Dr Yoke Lye Lim Kwong

  • Jonathan Benz with Kristina Robb-Dover, The Recovery-Minded Church reviewed by Dorothea Crites

  • Continuing Education Quiz

16 June 2017

Today, I met at the Society for Pastoral Theology’s annual meeting, Army Chaplain Joshua Morris. He presented on. “The Army Chaplain as Counselor: An Exploration of Self-Reflexivity and Denominational Particularities.” While it is distinctively Army, I think all military chaplains can benefit.

A PDF of his presentation is open access and may be found HERE

27 May 2017

At the APC's annual meeting at the Marriott Marquis in Houston, TX, if you are a CSC endorsee, please join us for dinner.

17 May 2017

Federal Chaplains and Social Media and Political Activity, Revisited [PDF]

I just came across this monograph from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. Please read and heed!


12 May 2017

I recently have found an update of an old classic, and here it is: The Armed Forces Officer [PDF].

08 May 2017

This short article was delivered at the Military Chaplains Association conference in Arlington, VA this past October and I heard it live from Prof. Robert Tuttle of George Washington University (https://www.law.gwu.edu/robert-w-tuttle), an expert on Constitutional law with a specialization of Church and State issues. I urge all military chaplains to become familiar with this article: Ethics and Religious Counseling in a Pluralistic Environment [PDF]. The whole edition and past editions can be found at https://www.mca-usa.org/magazine/. Also, the MCA is an excellent professional organization that all military and VA chaplains should join, in my opinion.


06 May 2017

I just found a 12-page information PRECIOUS GEM of good banking security advice and cybersecurity pointers as well as regulations, warnings, and precautions in this age of tablets, smartphones, and computers. I urge all to download and read it!

A Bank Customer’s Guide to Cybersecurity [PDF]

03 May 2017

I am very pleased to see the Navy chaplaincy in a highly proactive stance. The DoD just released a mandated-by-Congress Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military and ways to address it. On page 21 of that report, it states that chaplains are fairly well-trusted as professionals to care for the victims, according to the victims. Then just today, a story was released (http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=99341) that, “in a unique approach to assist sexual assault victims, the Navy Chief of Chaplains initiated a pilot for a personal resiliency retreat modeled after those offered by the Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO)... In the last year, the Chaplain Corps designed a new retreat program for survivors of sexual assault. It's called 'Hope to Healing' (H2H), said Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, Chief of Chaplains.” Now THAT is being proactive!

20 April 2017

As I have mentioned before on FB and on this blog, military chaplaincy is NOT about being a “government-paid pastor or missionary in uniform.” Rather as the Department of Defense phrases it, it is about being a representative of one’s own faith community to the military who “is willing to support directly and indirectly the Free Exercise of Religion by all members of the Military Services, their family members, and other persons authorized to be served by the military chaplaincies” (Department of Defense Instruction 1304.28, Para 6.1.2).

As such, it is interesting and significant that the Department of Defense recently updated their Memorandum on Faith and Belief Codes. Namely, they are “adding new faith and belief groups to standardize and better identify religious preferences recognized by the Military Services. The [Pentagon’s Office of] AFCB asserts that these changes to identify the expanded faiths and beliefs will better assist the Department and the Military Services religious support planning by:

  • Accurately tracking more faith and belief systems, providing more accurate demographic data for religious groups;
  • Enabling better planning for religious support to the force; and
  • Providing a better assessment of the capabilities and requirements of each Military Service’s Chaplain Corps.”

The Department of Defense is to be commended, in my opinion, for updating its listing and seeking to honor its commitment to serve all. The memorandum may be found here.

The Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches expects all of its chaplains to be willing and able to comply with this DoD memorandum and to assist, as best they can in a respectful and dignified manner, all who seek their assistance to worship in the manner they are accustomed or to gather for like-minded gatherers to observe their religion/worldview.

10 April 2017

Deploying chaplains: Please be aware that if you are deploying or are already deployed and would like to be supported with goodie bags and boxes for your personnel, we have a place on our website where you can post your USPS address and people will mail you moral support items. Addresses can be viewed here: https://www.spirit-filled.org/deployed.html. To have your address added to the list, email your deployment location, mailing address, and a short message to chaplaincy@spirit-filled.org.

Also there is an organization that sends goodies to chaplains as part of their outreach to the military, “Chaplains Wings,” at https://www.facebook.com/chaplainswingsmn.


09 April 2017

This year's Palm Sunday week has been so horrific in the world. With the use of chemical weapons in Syria on families, the American and Russian responses to those chemical weapon attacks, Isis' bombings of Coptic Christian churches in Egypt, I join Pope Francis in asking God, "to convert the hearts of those who spread terror, violence and death..." and I would add, "And Lord please give wisdom and favor and Your protection to our President, his advisors, and our military forces seeking to help bring peace and stability to very troubled parts of the world."

Please join me in prayers.

31 March 2017

I am not sure that the Navy is there quite yet, but at least it is talking about gender equity, and raising questions headed in the right direction:

Naval War College Examines Military Gender Equity

30 March 2017

A good article on Navy Chaplaincy:

21st century Talent Management, Top Priority for Navy Chaplain Corps Leaders

08 March 2017

I know that others may see this as evil, wrong, bad, wrong-headed, etc. But here goes: Military chaplains and chaplaincy are/is not just about Christians. It is about performing and providing for the free exercise of religion, or non-religion, per the Constitution for all service-members and their families. Military chaplains can be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist at this time in our great nation’s history. And now, within the military chaplaincy, a certain Muslim Army chaplain has risen in rank and responsibility to become a Division Chaplain. Some will fuss and some will curse. Some may assure us that God will remove His hand of protection from the Army. But the fact remains that the US Army has determined that this chaplain was of a superior quality and is able to lead a Division-level spiritual care team to excellence. So here is the story:

Army Puts Muslim in Charge of Division's Spiritual Needs

06 March 2017

I have been cruising around the internet and I came across a website by an Army chaplain that is LOADED with good Army chaplaincy resources. Great work Chaplain Calvert!


05 March 2017

Interesting February Newsletter by the Navy Chief of Chaplains Office.

Rise of the Nones Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated [PDF]

03 March 2017

The VA has just released an initial study of veterans exposed to burn pits. Almost 100K veterans have registered. If you are a veteran of a war zone and have been exposed to burn pits or their smoke, please register yourself at Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. It takes about 40 minutes to complete the questionnaire. You can do it in one sitting or save it and come back later.

Please take this VERY seriously. We have one chaplain who recently retired with health issues who was just told this week by the VA that his health issues are deemed “Gulf War Disease,” and that his condition is terminal. He reports that they actually said that his body was a “chemicals dump.”

27 February 2017

This piece makes a great follow-on to my blog entry of 11 February. When you read it, please add "Personal Blogs Along With" to "Twitter and Facebook are politicizing the military."

Twitter and Facebook are politicizing the military

22 February 2017

Deploying Folks: Free goodies!

Deployment Freebies and Resources for Military Families

11 February 2017

This week a couple things were brought to my attention.

First, I was sent a document that proved that the Air Force Chief of Chaplains was cleared of wrong-doing when he attended a Christian-activists organization, the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberties, awards event for a retiring US Congressman who had been very helpful to them in Congress with their efforts to promote their causes and issues. [I had not heard of this document and thought that he was still under the formal investigation.] The Chief of Chaplains, along with several other active duty military chaplains, attended in uniform and offered a prayer as part of that award event’s program. At that time (31 July), I posted a concern about that act performed in uniform on both my personal FaceBook page and this blog and referred to that story reported in the Air Force Times as a “cautionary tale” to chaplains and others military members. After all, his and their participation in what some considered a political event obviously caused conflict of interest questions and perhaps endorsement of an activist organization questions sufficient for the Air Force Inspector General’s Office being asked to investigate – and they did and dismissed the case as not breaking any regulations.

Second, I was asked by and active duty Air Force officer (non-chaplain) to retract my comments as being legally mistaken about chaplains and other service-members not being able to attend in uniform at such events -- and even participate with leading public prayer. I was asked to communicate this to Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches chaplains so that they could know that they were free to exercise such rights. This was my response:

I am still uncomfortable with the prospect of military members – especially chaplains – appearing in uniform at activist organization events, even if “just to pray.”  I am very okay with them appearing at churches to do so, at community events to do so (voluntarily, of course), at patriotic events to do so, opening or closing sessions of legislative bodies, etc.   So, though it may be legal in the eyes of the military, participating in an activist organization (even if it is a well-meaning religious or other non-profit organization) still automatically alienates a segment of the population that the chaplain serves.  By definition, every activist organization is advocating and lobbying and attempting to educate and persuade the public and elected officials to vote or be motivated to do something.  And they are having to advocate such against other people who feel and believe just as strongly on the other end of the issue.  And, ultimately, the chaplain may lose the ability to do his or her ministry to at least one segment of the population.

For example, as a military member yourself, how would you feel about having to talk with your unit chaplain (for assistance in one of the many non-religious things that a chaplain has to do) when you know for a fact that the chaplain has been supportive of a cause in uniform that you feel very strongly negatively about.  For instance, last week you saw on the internet that your chaplain offered an invocation in uniform at the awards dinner for retiring politicians honored by The Religious Institute (a multi-faith activist non-profit organization that advocates “for sexual health, education, and justice in faith communities and society”).  I am fairly certain you would feel very uncomfortable if you were forced to see him for mere administrative functions, knowing what he supports – and in uniform no less!  The uniform, in my mind, lends one to think that the military was even approving of the event.  So, those are “the rubs” for me.  From my perspective, while a chaplain certainly should be a person of personal conviction, for the benefit of the people who s/he serves, it is best to not alienate those very people.

For a great story of a chaplain from WWII, who really understood this principle, read about the life of Chaplain Henry Gerecke who was the chaplain to the 21 Nazis on trial at Nuremburg.  An amazing story of a chaplain who is one of my heroes.

So that is about it. I realize that there are many good and wise folks who will strenuously disagree with me. They will insist that chaplains have their rights and that they need to exercise them -- and be outspoken as best they can. For me, it is far more than exercising my rights. It is about my caring for others and seeing to it that others are cared for. That is how I see a chaplain’s calling. I believe the Apostle Paul said something like “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:19-22, New King James Version). Unlike pastors and other civilian clergy, military chaplains’ primary role (for which they have been hired) is to perform or provide for the free exercise of religion for all entrusted to their care and spiritual oversight. Perhaps chaplains can waive some of their “rights” [and/or be discreet] for a greater good, at least while actively serving in uniform.

01 January 2017

The following comic strip is HIGHLY controversial and many are offended by both the language and content and themes it explores. Nevertheless, I think it is important for military chaplains to know what is on the minds of the servicemembers that they serve. This comic strip is by and targeted to marines, but I think it is readily identifiable by all in uniform.

Terminal Lance Comics

31 July 2016

ATTN: Military Chaplains. In this season of heated partisan politics and high-spirited emotions about various hot-button issues, PLEASE take a look at this Department of Defense Talking Points on Political Activities powerpoint, before any more chaplains [see Chaplains violated policy by appearing at event in uniform, according to IG complaint] get into trouble.

Department of Defense Talking Points on Political Activities Powerpoint

And, by the way, there are very good reasons why the DoD has put these regulations into place.

30 July 2016

Some of you have asked if I have a personal presence on FaceBook. I do. I can be found under David Plummer or Chaplaincy@Spirit-filled.org or https://www.facebook.com/david.plummer.180.

Feel free to send me a friend request if you are sincere and a chaplain, especially, a chaplain with The Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches.


24 January 2016

The past several months I have been dealing with several active duty O-3 (Captains in the Army or Lieutenants in the Navy) military chaplains who are highly motivated and creative, caring, and willing to launch-out to do the right things to help those who cannot easily help themselves (because they are low-ranking enlisted or widows of career service-members and have little or no "clout"). Yet, these chaplains are not being supported or encouraged to do so by their senior chaplains -- who are afraid of their junior chaplains making a mistake (and possibly making THEM look bad). In fact, they are being discouraged and even professionally threatened! This perfectionist mentality, a no-risk-taking, and a do-not-rock-the-boat mindset is presently pervasive in the military chaplaincy to a degree that I have not seen in 24 years of endorsing. And there is even a fear to report such to endorsers or to allow their endorsers take action to address real needs in the chaplaincy. This risk-aversion imposed by mid-level and senior chaplains is more than unfortunate -- it is contrary to one of the reasons that the military gives chaplains rank and authority to get the right things done!

I saw this clip from the business world this snowed-in morning, and thought to myself that the chaplaincy could learn much from the business community. The first 5 minutes is worth the time for military chaplains, junior and senior, in my opinion.

What ALL Military Chaplains Should Read and Bookmark For Regular Review

All CSC chaplains are expected to maintain a high level of professional chaplaincy statutes awareness. Please familiarize yourself with your service’s Chaplain Service Regulations and Orders.

Addendum of 11 September 2013, Effective Immediately

It has been brought to our attention that a number of our colleague endorsers and their endorsing offices recently have issued public statements that they reserve the right to withdraw the endorsements of their chaplains if their chaplains conduct services with other chaplains who are LGBT-friendly or who are providing affirming pastoral counseling and other services to LGBT service members and their families. Be that as it may, we want to remind Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches' chaplains of item 3 on page 8 of 10 of the application that all of our chaplains should have agreed upon and signed:

3. I understand that, if commissioned or appointed as a chaplain, I will be working with chaplains of other denominations and faith groups, sometimes differing widely with my own views, beliefs, practices, and sexual orientation. While I will not be asked to compromise my own conscience and beliefs, it is essential, by the very nature of chaplaincy, that I consider their ordination and ministry as valid as my own in the U. S. military and/or civilian institutions. I understand that an attitude of superiority or adversarial acts and non-cooperation towards pastoral caregivers and adherents of other faiths, practices, race, gender, or sexual orientation will not be tolerated and is grounds for the immediate withdrawal of my endorsement credential. I have read and I agree to abide they the CSC's Statements of "Faith," "Authorization," and "Record." Further, I realize that I must be willing to hold "General Protestant" worship services as well as those services specifically exercising all my own particular beliefs and practices.

In professionally-endorsed pastoral care, we disapprove of such separatism and we consider it not only disappointing, but destructive to collegial relationships and the very institution of chaplaincy.


August 18, 2013

With the repeal of DADT two years ago and then the recent ruling against DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 by the US Supreme Court, we have recently been contacted by a growing number of chaplains for guidance on what to do when they are asked to do weddings, conduct retreats, offer various liturgical services, etc., when Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgendered (LGBT) military members or their loved ones are involved.

The response to those requests have been on The Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches' website for almost two years, but you have to know where to look. We seek to make it clearer with this new button and accompanying page.

We are not a denomination. As such, apart from a very basic statement of neo-Pentecostal faith (or an openness to the same), we do not get into denominational, our groups', or even a single congregation's doctrine, tradition, culture, politics, or policies and practices. We are not legally configured to dictate or impose various policies on our member churches — or their chaplains. Thus, we simply state that you need to follow the doctrine and practice of your ordaining body — which is formally affiliated with us. (See "2011 CSC Policy on Political Statements and Endorsing Agency Policies" on https://www.spirit-filled.org/chapnews.html.) So basically whatever your ordaining community accepts or directs, as members of The Coalition, we will accept. The other piece here is that we do not want you to violate your conscience, either. If you feel you are being pressured to do so, we need to hear about it. We WILL support you as you are following the expectations of your ordaining church.

Last, we expect you to be respectful of and show care and genuine empathy to ALL who approach you for ministry. If you cannot perform a service that you are being asked to do, that is okay, but we expect you to refer that person or couple or family to another chaplain or clergy who can. If chaplains are not approachable, they have very limited usefulness to the very people — or institution — to whom they are charged with serving.

We hope this is helpful and makes sense. We welcome dialog on this topic or anything.


Implications of the Repeal of DOMA

We understand that the Army Chaplain Corps is engaged in discussions of the implications of the repeal of DOMA at all levels. Recently the attached document was sent out for discussion and feed back.


Great Resources for Military Chaplains from a CSC Army Chaplain

These resources are available for you; do not be afraid to use them! It can’t possibly hurt to try. No issue is too small to ask for guidance.

Resources for the Army Reservist & their Family

Resources for Military Chaplains to Care for
Humanists, Freethinkers, and Agnostics

Military chaplains are to perform or provide for the "Free Exercise of Religion," [and sincerely-held secular worldviews and values] of ALL in their care per Department of Defense regulations and expectations. The endorsing supporter organization of humanist military folks reports that very few chaplains are providing for the care of their community’s military personnel. Their endorsing organization reports that most military chaplains are not even aware of resources to care for these personnel. We are posting a link to a page on their website where they have posted free resources for providing care to humanists and other secular folks. Such is not the CSC’s cup of tea, but it is important that all chaplains honor their word to be there for all — even those with whom they disagree.


The U.S. Armed Forces Blended Retirement System
The U.S. Armed Forces Blended Retirement System At a Glance [PDF]