Military & VA Chaplains Please Read

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27 JUNE 2019

There are no Breaking News Announcements at this time.

Conference over, but be thinking about next year!

Our 18-21 August 2019 Gathering
(Please note there have been some changes made beyond our control. Please read carefully.)

As has been our custom over the past several years, we have an Endorser’s Dinner and Networking time in conjunction with the Military Chaplains Association annual “National Institute” event of continuing education. This year, it is to be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Greystone, 200 Stoneridge Drive, Columbia, SC 29210. To make your lodging reservations (MUST BE MADE BY JULY 28!), please click on the hotel link above. The event registration is at Military Chaplains Association 2019 Annual Institute.

While the Military Chaplains Association’s “National Institute” continuing education event begins on the 19th, we will be gathering for the Endorser’s Dinner on 18 August at 1800 hours, venue to be determined. Please plan to arrive on that date. From the 19th—21st I am planning to spend time with each of you to discuss any needs and concerns that you may have personally and professionally. And just a reminder, we do expect that you will make every effort to attend. We expect to have personal face-to-face interactions with each of you at least every 3 or 4 years. If we have not seen you within that time-frame, we really do need to have you join us. The military will often grant not only time off to attend, but will also often pay travel and per diem. For a scan of the authorizing letter with additional information, please click HERE and download it.

REGISTER NOW at Military Chaplains Association 2019 Annual Institute. And please let me know you have done so by email at In addition to our one-on-one times, the program of events may be found at MCA Program 2019.

Please call or email with any questions. I look forward to our time together!


Dave's Occasional Blog

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: 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 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 -

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 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 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

If you are interested in setting up a vendor's table please contact me at Scottie Lloyd, 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'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 (

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].

  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

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 (, 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 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 ( 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: To have your address added to the list, email your deployment location, mailing address, and a short message to

Also there is an organization that sends goodies to chaplains as part of their outreach to the military, “Chaplains Wings,” at


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 or

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 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]