President’s January Message: 2024 Way Ahead

Every organization needs to experience a transformation. President Thomas Jefferson applied that to our federal government saying, “we need a revolution about every 20 years.” Anyone who has ever served in the Army knows that the word “transformation” is a favorite hint that change is coming. I’ve been retired from the Army Chaplaincy for 11 years and the uniforms have changed (blues out-pinks and greens in), labels have changed (schoolhouse-Institute for Religious Leadership), and installation names have changed (Ft. Hood-Ft. Cavazos). For the Chaplaincy the core mission and its supporting elements remain the same for all ages. We bring God to people and people to God. We do this by nurturing the living, caring for the wounded, and honoring the dead. How we do this is our never-ending transformation piece. In today’s battlefield ministry we use teleministry and Artificial Intelligence (AI) but the same messages and compassion.

What’s true for the Chaplain Corps Family is true for its national professional association. We transform to keep abreast of the Corps we support. About five years ago the Association Board of Directors shifted from only in-person meetings with costly reimbursements to meetings in virtue. That was a transforming act and saved a lot of money and increased our capability to do more work on your behalf.

During the last two years your board has been working an intentional three-year strategy to transform the Association to its original mission and intent. We are a total U.S. Army Unit Ministry Team (UMT) Family that comprises anyone who has or is serving the Army Chaplain Corps. Our Family is both those currently serving and veterans, all compos, all ranks, Directors of Education, spouses, all faith groups, and Department of the Army Civilians who have served with the Chaplain Corps. Even if someone served a few years and got out they served and are family. We renewed honoring our top graduates at the IRL courses. We helped the issue of honoring Corps veteran dead by validating information and posting obituaries for both members and anyone from the Corps with back channeling the Chief’s office for chose of condolence. This is the first time veterans have been so honored. The website continues to improve with a variety of articles from members. We’ve developed new relationships with the Military Chaplain’s Association (MCA) to assist our UMTS. We have established solid connections with the Chief’s office, the IRL, the National Guard and Reserves. We have changed the Honorary UMT of the Corps guard for a newer generation. We are working on a project that hopefully will re-instate the ‘company store’ with Chaplain Corps ‘bling’. We are supporting our lower enlisted to attend the Regimental Ball. New chapters are being explored. As a result, membership is rising, and finances are better. We have updated both the constitution and by-laws for the first time since 2007 for better process and procedures. Our next biennial gathering is honored to be the kickoff event for the Corps’ 250th anniversary. We lead and the Corps supports then in 2025 (actual anniversary year) the Corps leads, and we support the celebrations. We are Family.

This third year of transformation strategy (2024) includes advancing several projects in development: country store, possible scholarships for family members, new chapters, and website improvements. There is so much more we need and want to do, but we first stand transformed so we can walk, then run. Thank you for making this transformation possible. And don’t forget our 22-25 Oct 2024 Gathering. We need every member and interested person there to march forward into a new day and a better Association and Corps.

Pro Deo et Patria

Scottie Lloyd

USACCRA President