Chaplain’s Corps Talks New Plan for Religious Ministry
Chief of Chaplains Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd announced the release of the Department of the Navy’s Strategic Plan for Religious Ministry 2014-2019, Feb. 10.
“Chaplains play a vital role for our Navy and Marine Corps team, providing counsel, building hope, and increasing the resilience of our force,” Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus states in the strategic plan.
Navy chaplains and religious program specialists operate across a broad spectrum of environments to fulfill the mission of the Chaplain Corps: to inspire hope and strengthen spiritual wellbeing through the delivery and coordination of effective religious ministry at sea and ashore.
The Department of the Navy (DoN) Strategic Plan for Religious Ministry 2014-2019 was carefully designed to support the priorities of the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Commandant of the Coast Guard. The plan also advances Professional Naval Chaplaincy and expands on the goals of the previous strategic plan released in 2008, Tidd said.
“Part of ‘Be Ready’ is having the opportunity to practice one’s faith wherever our Shipmates serve. Whether at home or operating forward, our Navy chaplains play a vital role in ensuring our Sailors, Civilians, and families have the resilience to meet every challenge they face,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert states in the strategic plan.
Gen. James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, also remarked in the strategic plan that “chaplains are invaluable when it comes to ensuring we keep faith with our Marines, our Sailors, and our families.”
Navy chaplains support the religious freedom of Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, DoN Civilians, and families as well as support commanders as they carry out their charge of command by; providing and facilitating religious ministry, caring for all with complete confidentiality, dignity, respect, and compassion, advising commanding officers on the accommodation of religious needs; the spiritual well-being of service members and families; a moral and ethical command climate; and religious matters that affect the command’s mission.
The strategic plan will focus on leveraging these core capabilities to meet three strategic goals: serve our people, engage with leadership, and meet professional standards, Tidd explained.
“When professional religious ministry is delivered effectively, chaplains can help inspire hope, strengthen spiritual well-being, increase personal resilience, and enhance mission readiness across the Naval Service,” Tidd added.
The strategic plan will serve as the foundation for policy and programming for the professional delivery of religious ministry across the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. It will also inform and shape the development of professional standards for chaplains and religious program specialists.
“Every chaplain oversees a command religious program which can address health of force issues that impact resilience and readiness in a meaningful, substantive way,” he added.
“Each chaplain has a role to play in aligning their command religious program to support the commander’s mission and intent as well as the DoN Strategic Plan for Religious Ministry 2014-2019,” Tidd said.
The Navy Chaplains Corps is currently comprised of 1,056 chaplains in both the active and reserve components, representing more than 100 different faith groups and religious organizations.