ASAN, Guam -- Called to serve, military chaplains based in Guam celebrated the 243rd U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps birthday at Papa’s Restaurant in Barrigada Nov. 30.
Navy chaplains have been a part of the lives of many service members and their families, offering good counsel, warming hearts in times of celebration, and helping to mend them in times of tribulation.
Chaplains heed four guiding principles: to provide religious ministry and support to those of their own faith, to facilitate the religious requirements of those from all faiths, to advise the command in ensuring the free exercise of religion, and to care for all.
Cmdr. David Yang, Joint Region Marianas force chaplain, considers the chaplains corps a special type of ministry for people.
“We provide ‘ministry of presence’ by being in the midst of the lives of our service members – whether it is in times of war or peace, trial or triumph, or despair or delight,” he said. “I count it a blessing that, each day, I get a chance to touch people and bring divine presence and peace when people are faced with chaos and insecurity.”
The Navy Chaplain Corps was established Nov. 28, 1775, when the Continental Congress implemented the “Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies of North America,” which required that religious services be offered aboard ships.
Since then, more than 800 chaplains from more than 100 different faith groups have formed a community and continue to join in the fellowship of providing support through compassion.
“We may be serving on different platforms or even in different branches of service, but we are brought together with the common purpose of serving our service members and ensuring that their first amendment right to practice their religion is properly exercised,” Yang said. “It brings me such joy that I get to be a part of doing something special.”