ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. – “The role of a chaplain in today’s Army isn’t a whole lot different since the Chaplain Corps was authorized by the Continental Congress on 29 July 1775,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Kevin Daul. “We are right next to our Soldiers on mission while deployed, advising commanders and staff on hard ethical and moral situations, and in garrison caring for their families. Chaplains nurture the living, care for the wounded, and honor the dead.”
Daul arrived at the U.S. Army Sustainment Command in late June, and as ASC welcomes him to the command, it also celebrates the 248th anniversary of the Army Chaplain Corps, July 29. Daul is not only celebrating the history and meaning of the day, but the vital functions chaplains provide. The Chaplain Corps anniversary is a time to celebrate the “unsung heroes” – the religious affairs specialists and noncommissioned officers in charge – who serve alongside chaplains, organizing events and meeting with Soldiers, family members, and Civilians, he said.
“They are some of the greatest assets that our Soldiers come across in their day-to-day activities,” said Daul. “They also have the same privileged communications the chaplains have, so if a Soldier or family member feels more connected to the religious affairs NCOIC, they can serve that role as a confidant.”
For 18 years, Daul has served in the Army and provided faith-based care for the needs of its Soldiers, but the West Bend, Wisconsin, native has been serving God since he was a young boy.
“I was raised in a Christian home where Christianity was everything,” said Daul. “My grandmother taught us how to pray, how to go to church, how to have a relationship with Jesus. I went to a Christian school and the teachers invited us to be Christians and to give our lives to Jesus as our personal Savior and friend; in fourth grade, I accepted Christ as my Savior.”
At that time, Daul didn’t know that he was going to be a pastor, but after serving in the U.S. Air Force as a crew chief on KC-135Rs, he went to school and became a pastor in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He took three years of undergraduate training at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, and earned his Master of Divinity at Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Seminary, in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
“We are thoroughly educated before we come into the Chaplain Corps,” said Daul, “Chaplains are required to complete a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and the religious endorser’s requirements before we come into the United States Army. Chaplains are fully qualified professionals before we put the rank on.”
Daul himself came into Army service while he was still in seminary as a second lieutenant chaplain candidate. His first assignment was with at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, with the 25th Infantry Division, 45th Sustainment Brigade, renamed as the 25th Sustainment Brigade.
“Being a chaplain is really all about receiving a calling for service,” said Daul. “Regardless of what denomination or religion you represent, chaplains have that calling for serving Soldiers and the mission of the U.S. Army.”
Supporting people, regardless of denomination or religious preference in a wide variety of ways, is Daul’s favorite part of serving as an Army chaplain. Whether he is needed as a listening ear about a person’s joys and successes, or as a guide through life’s struggles, Daul will meet in whatever capacity and whichever location he is needed.
“We are kind of like a physician in that a physician takes care of the needs of every person, no matter what they believe,” said Daul. “I look at a person as a human being that God loves, and every human being that God loves, I take care of their spiritual needs.”
In his first few weeks as ASC’s new chaplain, Daul has already learned a great deal about the command and the local area. He has met with ASC’s historian and archivist, who showed him a map of where all the chapels were located on Rock Island Arsenal during and after the Civil War period and he is working on plans to conduct a leader’s tour focused on the former island chapels.
The leader’s tour is not all he has planned for ASC, however. Like his predecessors, he will hold worship services for National Day of Prayer, Easter and Ash Wednesday. He is planning quarterly prayer luncheons, Bible study, prayer meetings, and of course, one-on-one confidential meetings.
“Many times, chaplains conduct services on the hoods of Humvees or maybe on a tank, underneath a tent or even the open air with nothing but a Bible in hand,” said Daul. “It looks a little different here in garrison, but we will provide religious support in all places.”
As Daul settles in at ASC, he encourages all employees to stop by and visit the Religious Support Team office up on the fourth floor, south end of building 390. He can be contacted at: [email protected] or 309-782-0923 and through MS Teams.
For more information on the Army Chaplain Corps, visit: https://www.army.mil/chaplaincorps
|Date Posted:||07.28.2023 09:41|
|Location:||ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, IL, US|