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Chaplain (J01C)

Captain John M. Shimotsu, Chaplain Corps, U.S. Navy

Chaplain Shimotsu, a native of California, reported to Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in June, 2016 to assume the duties of Command Chaplain.

He earned his commission in 1985 through the NROTC program at the Virginia Military Institute, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. His initial sea tour was on USS OLDENDORF (DD 972) in Yokosuka, Japan, where he served as the communications officer and combat information center officer.

Resigning his commission to pursue formation for the Catholic priesthood, Chaplain Shimotsu entered the Navy Chaplain Candidate Program while a student at Mount Angel Seminary where he received a Master of Arts in theology and a Master of Divinity degree. Upon being ordained a priest he was commissioned as a Navy chaplain in 1994 and recalled to active duty in 1997.

His assignments as a chaplain include 1st Tank Battalion and 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines in Twentynine Palms, California and USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) in Newport News, Virginia and Coronado, California. While ashore, Chaplain Shimotsu earned a Master of Arts degree in National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, and a diploma from the Naval Command and Staff College. In 2004 Chaplain Shimotsu reported to the Office of the Chief of Navy Chaplains, where he served as the director of policy and strategic planning.

In 2007 Chaplain Shimotsu served as the command chaplain on USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6) in San Diego, California, a tour that included assignment as an individual augmentee to the Warrior Transition Program in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. He then served as the Deputy Fleet Chaplain, U.S. Fleet Forces Command; the Fleet Chaplain, Seventh Fleet; and from June 2014 until June 2016, the Pacific Fleet Chaplain with additional duties to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (2 awards), Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (5 awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.


(as of November 2016)