Truman Celebrates 235th Birthday of Navy Chaplain Corps

Story Number: NNS101130-02Release Date: 11/30/2010 5:52:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Samantha Thorpe, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The crew of USS Harry S. Truman celebrated the 235th birthday of the Navy's Chaplain Corps Nov. 28.

Throughout the Navy's 235-year history, the Chaplain Corps has provided ministry and counseling services to Sailors and Marines wherever they serve.

"A chaplain does four things," said Cmdr. Jerome Hinson, Truman's command chaplain. "First, a chaplain provides pastoral care for all, regardless of their faith background; if they are in need of care, we find a way to help. Secondly, we facilitate the free exercise of religion for all. Thirdly, we provide sacramental ministry according to our own faith traditions. Finally, we advise the command on things in which we are experts: religious accommodation, pastoral care, professional military ethics and morals."

On Nov. 28, 1775 the Continental Congress recognized the importance of religion by implementing the "Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies of North America", which required that religious services be performed on Continental Congress ships.

Today, the Chaplain Corps consists of 1,070 active duty and Reserve chaplains from approximately 100 faith groups who tend to the spiritual, physical, and emotional welfare of all military members and their families, regardless of their faith.

Chaplains provide a wide range of programs and services that are crucial to sustaining the readiness and resiliency of Navy personnel and their families. They aid military and civilian personnel by building partnerships with command and local human service providers such as Ombudsmen, family readiness groups, Fleet and Family Support Centers, the Red Cross, food banks and clergy associations.

"The chaplains reach out to the Sailors and Marines on board Truman by doing their best to assist them with their personal problems and helping them overcome obstacles they may not know how to deal with," said Religious Program Specialist 1st Class (SW) Michella Saffa-Wuya, the Command Religious Ministries Department leading petty officer. "As a religious specialist it is an honor to be side by side with the chaplains because they are here to help."

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The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) operates in the Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Official U.S. Navy file photo of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)
November 24, 2010
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