Barely six weeks after the Continental Congress established the Army and the first branch of the Army, the infantry, a second branch was established upon orders by General George Washington, according to Chaplain (Col.) Gary Moore, Fort Stewart's installation chaplain.
The Army Chaplains Corps was established July 29, 1775 and for 234 years, approximately 25,000 Army Chaplains have served more than 25 million Soldiers and Family Members, living up to the motto on its branch insignia, "Pro Deo et Patria," which means, "For God and Country."
"George Washington said, 'We need chaplains,' Washington was concerned about both the morale and morals of the Soldiers and believed the Army should provide paid religious leaders to meet Soldiers' spiritual needs," said Chap. Moore
Qualified and sent by their religious bodies, trained by the U.S. Army, and led by the God that they serve, Army Chaplains are expected to exercise dynamic and influential spiritual leadership, without violating their faith or conscience. Army Chaplains are the 'soul and conscience' of our nation's Army.
Whether leading worship, patrolling the motor pool, or visiting the hospital, Army Chaplains are always at the front line of the Soldiers' life. Additionally, Army Chaplains serve on a Commander's special staff in order to ensure that their spiritual gifts and leadership are integrated in the daily exercise of command decisions.
If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would be in Alaska celebrating the birth of the US Army chaplaincy while my husband was deployed I would have probably laughed in your face. Funny how God works - because today Molly and I went to a birthday party (with no cake I might add) for the chaplaincy. It is amazing to think of all the men and women who have followed what God called them to do and have served in the US Army. While it was a long journey to get us here I am thankful each day for Jon obeying the call he felt. Hard to believe that chaplains have been around since the first military battles in the US (and really the Old Testament - see Deut 20) and we have never sent any soldiers over without some form of religious support.
Thanks chaplains for all you do!