MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
The chaplain of a unit fills a role offering caring guidance to a unit, but each one carries with them a host of experiences and a spiritual philosophy all to their own. Navy Lt. Allen Presser, the acting chaplain for Marine Wing Support Squadron 273, is no different.
Presser’s career in the Navy spans more than 20 years but he still finds ways to seek self improvement and help others do the same. Most recently, Presser has been working to get his run time down so he can be more physically fit for service.
“I love to lift weights and be physically active it is just another way of seeking self improvement,” Presser said. “In a way, I hope that undertaking these endeavors make me more approachable and maybe even helps to motivate others to achieve their own goals.
“It is easier for someone to relate to a person who seeks self improvement, because it lets you know they are human and struggle with obstacles just like everyone else,” he added.
One way he seeks self improvement begins at home. Presser actively works to become a better part of his household alongside his wife and son and tries to share the importance of doing so.
“I love to be a part of the marriage workshops and programs that I provide or are provided by the other chaplains,” said Presser. “It lets the other servicemen and women know that all marriages require consciously trying to be a better spouse and [parent].”
While growing up near Seattle, in a town known as Federal Way, Wash., a younger Presser found trouble in his education and had to find guidance to finish.
“One of my largest goals as a chaplain is to help the younger service members with both spiritual and career development,” added Presser, with a hopeful smile. “I dropped out of high school because of some bad choices, but I still pressed on and managed to achieve a lot with a little guidance from above.
“I think all that anyone needs to do is to develop some type of moral compass and drive whether from God or some other source to help motivate them in the right direction.”
The long journey of his education led from a general education diploma to an undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies. He specialized in political science, naval science, international security and conflict resolution and moved on to completing a master's in divinity.
Presser graduated at nearly the top of his class with a 4.0 grade point average for which he received a full academic scholarship for his sustained academic performance.
“I love to encourage and inspire people to do the best that they can and strive to do more,” Presser said. “I think that the Lord put in us the need and desire to always want self improvement and in the end we are a product of our self improvement.”
The term life-long learner and student is something Presser gained through humility and a humble attitude. He continuously tries to exemplify the desire and want to achieve the most life has to offer in turn leading us to happiness, peace and spiritual growth.