“The chaplain is like the Marine’s gas-mask; he never wants to have to use it, but there’s a comfort knowing that he’s there.”
LCDR Bruce Crouterfield, CHC, USN The Value of the Chaplain in the Fleet Marine Force Environment
Such is a humorous quote from a Marine during the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Many in the military regard the chaplain as the “Emmanuel Factor” – “God with Us” in all that we say and do because our sense of relevancy is grounded in our relationship with God.
The mission of the chaplain in the Marine Corps is to deliver religious accommodation, care, and advisement in order to strengthen faith, values, and virtues, so that Marines, and their families may best serve their country. The Chaplain seeks to accomplish this by inspiring hope and strengthening spiritual well-being through the delivery and coordination of effective ministry.
Spirituality is the expression of the human spiritual nature in thoughts, actions, and relationships.
Being disciplined in the growth of personal spiritual understanding, personal spiritual disciplines,
and personal spiritual connections with others and the divine causes individuals to grow personally and replenish their resources. Intentional practices of study, prayer, worship, charity, service, silence, simplicity, and rest represent ways of invigorating spiritual health.
The chaplain’s four competencies are care, facilitate, provide and advise. In the advice role Chaplains strengthen the chain of command and assist in the development of leadership by providing advice to leaders at all levels. Chaplains serve as principal advisors to commanders for all matters regarding the Command Religious Program within the command, to include matters of morale, morals, ethics, spiritual well-being, and emerging religious requirements.
Confidentiality is the cornerstone of pastoral care provided by chaplains. The unconstrained ability to discuss personal matters in complete privacy encourages personnel and family members seeking chaplain assistance to speak freely, without fear of recrimination in pursuing their need for pastoral care. Such ability to speak freely establishes a sacred trust, facilitates increased morale and mission readiness, and benefits both the individual and the institution. Confidential communication includes acts of religion, matters of conscience, and any other information conveyed to a chaplain. Confidential communication may be conveyed through oral or written means, including electronically. All chaplains have the professional obligation to maintain the privacy of all confidential communication disclosed to them in their official capacities.
Chaplain Matthew Drayton
Ph. (847) 887-8328 (office), (816) 352-6487 (blackberry)