Excitement: Where Does One Begin?

June is one of my favorite months. It has the feel of new beginnings and excitement: school break, summer vacations, growing gardens, past memories, present possibilities, and future fortunes. One of these events that encompass it all is our Gathering in Columbia, SC for the 250th anniversary of the Chaplain Corps. (22-25 Oct 2024)

Old friends are coming. I chatted with former Chief of Chaplains CH(MG-Ret) Norris Einertson the other day. He is 94 next month. He’s excited and hoping to be with us along with another USACCRA member at age 97! To be sure young folks are coming too. This is an event for all ages actively serving and veterans, military and civilian, private to general.

Exciting speakers are coming. Army Vice Chief of Staff Retired General Daniel Allyn will regale us Tuesday evening. CH(MG) William Green, Jr. and RSGM Meghan Simmons will meet, greet, and inform us during the week about chaplaincy today and tomorrow. Ray Kapaun, nephew of Medal of Honor Chaplain Kapaun (Korean War), will speak and sing (he has cut two CDs.) introducing the documentary film, “Fighting Spirit: A Combat Chaplain Journey.” This presentation and movie will tie in with one of our station visits on Thursday at the Institute of Religious Leadership (IRL-‘The School House”) where the Museum Director has a special display on key UMTs and Corps history. Our past and present Corps historians will share with us. Our new Honorary Regimental UMT, Retired RSGM Pamela Wilson and CH(COL-Ret) David Smith will be with us.

Anniversaries galore will be recognized: the Army Chaplain Corps 250th birthday; the 80th year commemorating ‘privileged communication’; the Director of Education’s 75th anniversary; and Female Chaplain’s 50th year in the Corps. We are looking for more!

Entertainment includes military music, a Caribbean steel band, singing, and films. Add great food and fellowship for a perfect combination and celebration.

Solemn but best of all will be the memorial service. Honoring the dead is one of the three core tasks of our calling in the Chaplaincy. The list of venerable servants is distinguished and long. We do them honor to be present in a solemn salute and farewell. Retired RSGM Ralph Martinez and our Honorary Regimental UMT will be carefully crafting and conducting our service this year leading us in this memorable moment.

Add to this wonderful week receptions, devotions, presentations, elections, an IRL tour and time to talk. What makes two years of preparations successful will be your presence. Registration is open. Two actions; register and make hotel reservations. Both are done quickly and
easily at our website, chaplainregiment.org. See you there.

Scottie Lloyd
USACCRA President