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Serving those who serve

By Pfc. Brendan Roethel | | April 30, 2013


The Chaplain Corps of the Navy consists of ordained clergy who are commis­sioned naval officers. Their mission is to promote the spiritual, religious, moral, and personal well-being of the members of the Navy and Marine Corps.

Navy Chaplains come from a variety of religious backgrounds; chaplains can be Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist. Chaplains are assisted by Navy en­listed personnel in the Re­ligious Programs Specialist rating.

The mission of the Chap­lain Corps is to provide reli­gious ministry and support for service members, fa­cilitate for all religious be­liefs, care for all Marines, sailors and their families and advise commanders to assure the free exercise of religion, said Navy Cmdr. Dean Hoelz, the base com­mand chaplain for Marine Corps Air Station Beau­fort.

Chaplains offer an array of special religious events to those they serve aside from church services in­cluding confirmations, first holy communions, bap­tisms memorial services and funerals and mar­riages. Chaplains also offer marriage counseling, crisis counseling, alcohol and drug counseling, Christian education, Bible studies, and in home visits.

It’s expected for chap­lains to be out of the office and communicating with the service members, said Hoelz. This is when chap­lains go into people’s work areas to see and learn about what they do, and give the Marines and sail­ors an opportunity to com­municate with chaplains so they can ask questions, get advice or discuss their is­sues or how their day has been going.

“I’ve done the physical fitness test with Marines and ate at the chow hall with service members as a way to open up commu­nication with them and dis­cuss whatever might be go­ing on in their lives,” said Hoelz. “People will not see me, if they don’t see me seeing them.”

Chaplains offer more than just church services they offer various opportu­nities to receive religious education and offer dis­creet counseling to assure that service members and their families are doing well.

To contact a chaplain call 228-7775.