Our Military Background

sea rec sea apr sea third class
submarine chaplain
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When I visit different military ministry web sites I often wonder what affiliation the web master or the people engaged in the ministry have with the military. Sometimes it becomes evident from the terminology used on the web site, other times it isn't. I decided to create this page where I would answer that question for anyone who wondered that about us. So here goes...

I began my military career straight out of high school. I was 18 and didn't want to be drafted into the Viet Nam war (thinking there was probably a bullet waiting over there with my name on it. It's probably stuck in a tree somewhere now!). I figured three hot meals a day and a clean rack on a ship three miles off the coast was safe enough, so I enlisted in the US Navy.

Boot camp and basic electronics technician basic school in California began the process; followed by electronics technician "A" school and then satellite communications technician "C" school (I realize the rating insignia isn't right on the third class crow up above, but it was the only one I could find. If you are reading this and know where I could get a good graphic of a third class 'ET' rating badge I'ld appreciate it if you could email me with the info). Anyway, I thought sure I would get sent straight to a ship following all that schooling, but to my surprise my first assignment was in Hawaii (rough duty, but somebody had to do it!).

During my schooling in the Navy I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior at a Christian servicemen's center called the "Port 'O Call" in Castro Valley California. So after my tour of duty in Hawaii I got out of the Navy to go to Bible college. While there I joined the Naval Reserves and began actively drilling one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer. It was while in the enlisted reserves that I got my first real taste of sea duty! During summer training duty I sailed aboard a couple of destroyers, and an LST.

After receiving my bachelor's degree from Bible college I went on to seminary to get my Master of Divinity Degree. I saw a recruiting letter on the seminary bulletin board for Naval Chaplain's School and decided if I had to go back to active duty or to war some day I'd rather be a chaplain than an electronics technician so I applied. I was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy Chaplain Corps. I'll never forget the look on my friends' faces when I walked into the reserve center the next month as an officer!

There were five chaplains drilling at the reserve center now and things just got too crowded for me! The reserve center was actually half Marine Corps and half Navy. So I went to the Marine Corps I&I and asked him if he wanted a chaplain. He asked me if I was volunteering and I said "Yes Sir!" So for the next three years I did my weekend drilling and summer duties with the Marine Corps. UuRah!

Following graduation from seminary I went to Maine as an associate pastor and began drilling at a Naval Air Station. This gave me my first experience with antisubmarine warfare aboard P3 Orion aircraft.

Finally, I was recalled to active duty and sent once again to Hawaii. There I served at Submarine Base Pearl Harbor and as staff chaplain for Commander Submarine Squadron One. Here I rode the submarines in my squadron to minister to the submarine sailors where they worked and lived. From there I retired from the US Navy, but not from military ministry!