Archive for Articles

September USACCRA President’s Message

by Scottie Lloyd, President, USACCRA

Often September is the month of beginnings, activities that pace our lives. Schools start and houses of worship increase commemorations and celebrations. For the USACCRA membership we return to getting together after four years and COVID. It’s a part of our life’s pace. The suspense for registration is 23 September. Please make those reservations now. You are needed as never before and desired by may folks to be seen. Go to chaplainregiment.org for details and registration and remember, hotel reservations are a second separate step from registering for the event.

Last month I asked for help with donations to help the Association revive its outreach to active serving chaplains and assistants and DREs passing through the Institute of Religious Leadership (school house). Praise God and my gratitude for 10 people, so far, who responded with a total of $850 towards this goal. Plans are being made to find the appropriate awards for top honor graduates. At least three of our current board members have committed to being our official presence at these graduations and telling the Association’s story.

Another recent opportunity to extend that story is CH(COL-R) Karen Diefendorf, who will serve at the Chief’s request as a “grey beard” for this year’s Senior leader Religious Conference. As our USACCRA 3rd VP for local chapters, she will tell our story to all the 06 and 05 chaplains serving the Corps currently. Thanks to the chief for her selection and to Karen for supporting the Corps and the Association. And speaking of selection, did you know CH Diefendorf was recently chosen by the Military Chaplains Association for special honors for how she has continued her ministry after ‘retirement’ from the Corps?

This message of ours is taking shape on a totally revamped website by SFC-R Chuck Heard. Look for a whole new site, easier use, and greater content. Members are reminded that we are always looking for good articles on a variety of Chaplain Corps related issues. Contact me (srlloyd@msn.com) if you have ideas and/or manuscripts to submit. There is no format to follow and length is hopefully no more that three or four double-spaced pages.

     Looking to the future, the 250th anniversary of the Chaplain Corps, the U.S. Army, and the Nation is quickly coming in 2025-2027. The USACCRA is scheduled to gather next in 2024. We can be the kickoff event to what will be a series of huge celebrations in the Corps, Army, and Nation commemorating many major moments pivotal in our history. Mark your calendars now for two years from now. We will announce the location of our 2024 gathering in Tucson. The date will be worked and announced after coordination with several folks. Be prepared to possibly meet at a time other than in the fall of the year. Adjustment is necessary to truly live up to the Association’s purpose and goals to support all the Chaplain Corps, actively serving, retired, and all components. We are a team. We are the Regiment. We are the Chaplain Corps.

Pro deo et patria my friends.

 

Scottie Lloyd

U.S. Chaplain Corps: Past, Present, and Future

By Scottie Lloyd, USACCRA President

Happy birthday USACCRA family. We celebrate 29 July 1775 as the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps established by the Continental Congress authorizing one chaplain for each regiment of the Continental Army. We were a small group, but we grew as the nation and the Army grew peaking at 2700 chaplains alone (all three compos but not counting our critical Religious Affairs Specialists (RAS), Directors of Education (DRE), and Civilian workforce) in 2012. The size expands and contracts per Army needs but one thing remains the same, specially trained people committed to upholding the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution-the Freedom of Worship. The RAS officially joined in December 1909 as a separate Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and DREs joined in 1948.

The USACCRA attempts to remember, celebrate, and expand upon that heritage. As our organization’s constitution states,

“Our vision is to provide a National professional organization with Local Chapters made up of present, retired and former members of the Chaplain Corps Regiment, their families, and friends of the Regiment-dedicated to communicating the pride, heritage and history of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps, and committed to continuing service in Ministry, and to promoting and supporting the Corps’ future.” (USACCRA Constitution, Preamble)

Hence our mission,

“is to unite under one Regimental Flag all those who have served, or are now serving, in the Active Army, the Army Reserves, and the Army National Guard to promote and support the image, heritage and traditions of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps.” (USACCRA Constitution, Preamble)

The skies the limit on how we accomplish this. A variety of activities have been engaged since 10 March 2009 when the USACCRA was established. As we grow with the Corps we change as well in pursuit of that mission.

We need to share not only our stories of the past and present, but also share the future stories yet to be celebrated. This requires extended conversations and meals and libations, hospitality room visits and excursion trip chats. This future planning of where we head and how we get there as the USACCRA needs every member and interested person on hand. For those capable of coming let us assemble in Tucson, AZ, 25-28 October 2022 for this planning (See chaplainregiment.org for details and registration). For those who can’t make it to Arizona, we need your ideas, comments, questions, compliments, and complaints sent by email, text, snail mail, and more. The USACCRA in looking to a new future of how we fulfill our original mission and intent.

I want you to know that your Board of Directors listen to you and are working hard. A simple way to help us help you is updating our roster. If your contact information (address, phone, email, spouse, religious affiliation) has changed in the last 10 years then give us the latest info so we can contact you what’s happening. We cannot solely rely on an open website to keep the family together and informed. Membership issues go to 2nd VP Pete Sniffin (Pete.sniffin@yahoo.com). Dues paying goes to Treasurer Dennis Madtes (madtesdw@aol.com). Ideas for the future can go to any board member but you can start with the Secretary, Mark Roeder (MRoeder1127@gmail.com) or your President, Scottie Lloyd (srlloyd@msn.com).

We are family and have been ever since 29 July 1775. Let’s hear from you. Let’s see you in Tucson. The mission to serve God and country continues.

 

Blessings and Happy Birthday,

 

Scottie Lloyd

When you don’t know exactly what to say…

By Dr. John Brinsfield

“ …do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matthew 10: 19-20 (NIV)

 

Presumably every chaplain and specialist has encountered a situation that demanded their attention but that also had no precedent in their pastoral experience or training. I was no exception.

In 1976 I was serving as the Protestant chaplain for the Turkish-US Logistics Detachment #4 in Sinop, Turkey. It was a small post, across the Black Sea from the Crimean peninsula of the U.S.S.R. I ministered, along with a Roman Catholic chaplain, to about 200 soldiers and civilians whose mission was highly classified.

Relations between the United States and the Republic of Turkey were tenuous because Turkey and Greece were fighting over territory in Cyprus, and because the Ford Administration had frozen Turkish assets in U.S. banks as an incentive to a peaceful resolution between two NATO members. In Sinop we did not know from one day to the next if our unit would be expelled from Turkey. It was no time for additional problems.

One day in the Spring a Turkish man came to our gate asking for a priest and an American doctor to come to his home. He said he thought a spell had been placed on his daughter. She had become paralyzed, he said, and must have an evil spirit. She had not moved from her bed in two days.

Our Catholic priest was away, visiting another detachment, so our commander sent me, a Methodist, with our post doctor to see if we could help. My chaplain assistant brought some candles, a brass cross, a Bible, a robe, and a prayer book for me, equipment we thought must be necessary for an exorcism which neither of us had ever witnessed or even discussed. We also had an interpreter who brought his dictionary.

The house was a small farmhouse with one room that was packed with Turkish people, presumably relatives. They all wanted to see what the Americans would do.

My assistant unpacked our exorcism kit while I put on my robe and lit the candles. Our doctor realized that he could not do a true exam on a young woman with Muslim rules in place, so he got his blood pressure pump out as a minimum.

The young lady was lying on an elongated window sill, fully dressed in her farm clothes, boots and all. She was unresponsive to any vocal commands, but the doctor said her blood pressure was normal for someone asleep. Our doctor told the father that he could do nothing further without a blood test at our little lab.

Then it was my turn. I bowed my head in prayer and asked God what in the world I should say? I recalled at that moment that Muslim people believed in the immutable will of God, so I said in a loud voice, “It is Allah’s will that she be happy !!” Our translator repeated this message to her parents, and then we solemnly left the farmhouse.

I was really happy to get back to our compound without further complications. Our little MP platoon was never more appreciated.

Two days later I heard from our interpreter that the young lady had made an amazing recovery. As soon as her father agreed that she could get married and leave the farm, she was fine. Just a little hungry.

The Turks treated us well after that incident. They donated Christmas trees for our chapel in December and came to our Christmas Eve service to listen to the carols. It was, at least, peace on our part of the earth. Thanks be to God.

 

John Brinsfield

Presidents’ News for April 8, 2022

  April is a sacred month this year with Ramadan (Islam), Passover (Judaism), Ridvan (Baha’i), Vaisakhi (Sikh), Ram Navani and Vaisakha Sankranti (Hindu), and Hoy Week and Easter (Christianity). What links these special moments together is hope. God insures hope for humanity. Despite wars, climatic changes, diseases, and more, God refuses to give up on his creation. Do you feel the love?

  As an association when we gather in person (as we will do Oct 25-28 in Tucson, AZ) I feel a reflection of that love in the presence of my friends across the years. COVID copped our last opportunity to meet but hope springs eternal with God. We come together to share stories, gain knowledge, see sights, encourage colleagues, and just have fun. Running with the theme of “Continuing in Service”, active and retired find a common ground where the Corps’ past and present meld into a stronger future for the Chaplain Corps. This event every two years is an important way for us to support God’s mission for Army folks. Registration is on this website. Every possible member present is the goal. See you in Tucson.

  Our website is constantly changing to provide better information. We are updating material, shifting the template, adding data, and archiving old articles to produce a faster, cleaner, easier source of membership and corps happenings. Please let us know how we can keep improving.
More to follow so keep checking this website. And don’t be surprised if we give you a call. We want to know how you’re doing, seek your input, and hope for your active participation as we reflect God’s love through hope in support of the Army Chaplain Corps.

Article for Membership by Pete Sniffin (2VP for Membership)

What is a Professional Association?

A professional association is an organization that gathers, edifies and bonds the members of a particular vocation or career field. Associations serve the broader interests of a vocation by advocating for that vocation, developing and disseminating professional informational and educational resources of the vocation, as well as providing a fraternal dynamic for members of the vocation to increase networking and fellowship opportunities. Professional associations can have a global, national or local reach. For example, the World Reformed Fellowship or the International Ministerial Association are examples of global ecclesiastical bodies. The American Bar Association, the American Medical Association or the Military Chaplain Association are examples of national professional bodies, whereas a local ministerial association in a neighboring community is an example of a local vocational or professional body. The U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Regimental Association (USACCRA) is the professional association for all those individuals, past and present, who have served in the career fields of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps; Chaplains, Chaplain Assistants / Religious Affairs Specialists and Directors of Religious Education. USACCRA’s professional membership includes all components of the Army; Active Duty, the U.S. Army Reserve and the Army National Guard.

What Does USACCRA Do?

Just as the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps has the three doctrinal imperative of Nurture, Care and Honor; the USACCRA has three professional imperatives. Those professional imperative are Promote, Honor and Support. The USACCRA serves the Chaplain Corps by promoting and publicizing its work in order to professionally advocate and advertise for the branch. The USACCRA serves the Chaplain Corps by honoring the distinguished achievements of members of the Army Chaplain Corps during both their military career and their follow-on callings, as well as remembering our members when they pass away. Finally, the USACCRA supports the Chaplain Corps by providing members with social, charitable and educational opportunities, as well as fellowship opportunities in local chapters and during annual national conferences. The association also provides support through ongoing ministry to Veterans, Soldiers and Army Families, as well as by providing key support to the Chaplain Corps Museum.

Why Should YOU Join USACCRA?

Membership in a professional association is actually so common in the Army, that members of the Army often take such membership for granted. For example, a vast majority of members of the Army community are members of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). AUSA is the Army’s collective professional association and it provides a voice for the Army with national leadership, as well as provides forums for professional, educational and fraternal activities. Member of other branches also routinely join professional associations like the Field Artillery Association, the Judge Advocates Association or the National Infantry Association to name a few. The USACCRA is YOUR branch’s professional association. While USACCRA has always had its three association imperatives, in recent years it has emphasized the fraternal dynamic and placed significant time and energy in maintaining the network of Chaplain Corps Alumni through local chapters and national conferences. Moving forward, the USACCRA seeks to maintain the strength of its networks while reenergizing the other collective ways and means by which it can and will support the branch through advocacy and educational initiatives. Joining USACCRA will place you on the crest of the wave that carries the professional, educational and fraternal interests of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps into its future. The Chaplain Corps needs a vibrant USACCRA to promote its interests, and the USACCRA needs you and your energy to promote the outstanding future of our branch.

How Can YOU Support USACCRA Membership?

The primary way YOU can support the professional association of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps is to ensure you are a member of USACCRA TODAY. You can join as an annual member or as life member. Life membership is more expensive up front, but it demonstrates your dedicated commitment to the professionalism of our branch and is the less expensive option over time in lieu of paying for an annual membership over multiple years. You can join USACCRA at the following link: Become A Member :: The United States Army Chaplain Corps Regimental Association (chaplainregiment.org) Please see Dennis Madtes’s article for the dues amounts by rank. We look forward to YOU following into the professional ranks of the association.

There are also many other ways you can support USACCRA and its membership. As always, word of mouth advertising and influence is always most effective. After you join, please make it a point to personally share your membership in the association with other members of the Chaplain Corps, past and present, and of all components to include our Department of the Army civilians. If you personally recruit one new member a month, you will do a tremendous service to our branch and its professionalism. Second, you can share your activity in the USACCRA on your social media accounts. Use social media for public awareness with notes and pictures of your participation in USACCRA events. Support the USACCRA by sharing updates about its work. Keep abreast of USACCRA activities and initiatives, then share it with others when others comment on alternate Army professional associations. Support USACCRA by becoming a member of a local chapter enjoying the fellowship of that group. If you do not find a local chapter at your current assignment or in your community, please contact USACCRA so we can help you form a local chapter. Finally, when you mark significant events in your career field in the Chaplain Corps, please contact the USACCRA leadership and let us know, so that we can publicly celebrate your achievements. If your achievement is a presentation or publication, also let us know so that we can advertise it. These are some ways YOU can advance the USACCRA. Please know we are eager to have both your membership and your ideas as we move forward advancing a significant future for USACCRA and the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps.

Dues Structure and More by Dennis Madtes (Treasurer)

Membership is open to all US Army ministry team members, active duty, retired, and non-retired. If qualified, you can join and pay your dues at this link: https://chaplainregiment.org/

Annual dues:

Membership E1-E4, GS 1-4: $20 per year

Membership E5-E7, 01-03, GS 5-6: $35 per year

Membership E8-E9, 04-05, GS 7-11: $50 per year

Membership 06-08, GS 12 – SES: $65 per year

Life membership is also available.

Under age 55: $500

Age 56 – 65: $400

Age 65 and older: $300

You can also pay your dues by sending a check to the USACCRA Treasurer, Dennis W. Madtes, 4112 Goldmine Rd, Goldvein, VA 22720.