WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Rear Adm. (Select) Daniel L. Gard relieved Rear Adm. Gregory C. Horn, 17th deputy chief of chaplains for reserve matters, during a change of office and retirement ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard Sept. 23, 2013.
The ceremony marked the end of a 25-year career for Horn in the Navy Chaplain Corps reserve component. Horn, an ordained Presbyterian Church USA minister, assumed his duties as the 17th deputy chief of chaplains for reserve matters on Oct. 7, 2010.
During his time as the senior chaplain for 227 chaplains in the reserve component, he focused on "strengthening the partnership between the active and reserve component resulting in a true total force," said Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd, chief of Navy chaplains during his remarks.
Over the course of his career, "he learned to do ministry by walking around, by being with his people wherever they were. He was able to connect with them in their language, providing that vital message of hope and encouragement. As a leader and throughout his career, he remained connected to his fellow chaplains and religious program specialists, soliciting their input and maintaining a listening ear," Tidd added.
Tidd also highlighted the unique ministry of a Navy chaplain where "we're expected to be pastors, and we're required to be staff officers. To do both effectively requires a professional balance. Rear Adm. Horn has exemplified that professional balance while also managing the delicate balance of parish ministry with chaplaincy for the past 25 years," he said.
Throughout his career as a Navy chaplain in the reserve component, Horn also maintained his civilian ministry responsibilities as pastor and head of staff at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bakersfield, Calif.
Vice Adm. Robin Braun, chief of Navy reserve, made a special presentation to the elders in attendance from Westminster Presbyterian Church. Braun acknowledged their sacrifice throughout Horn's career, which often took him away from his church as he answered the call to serve Sailors, Marines, and their families as a Navy chaplain.
Claudia Keith, an elder from Westminster, described a "shared mission commitment" over the past 25 years within the congregation. "[While] we couldn't have foreseen this proud day at the beginning, we are proud to stand beside Greg, and thank him for a job well done by a true and faithful servant," she added.
After the official change of office, Rear Adm. (Select) Gard delivered his remarks, reflecting on Horn's service. "In peace and in war, you have heeded the call from God and country to serve. You have left a legacy of honor, courage and commitment, [and] I am humbled to pick up the mission that you have so nobly and faithfully borne. I covet your continuing mentorship and prayers."
Horn's daughter, Lieutenant Jessica K. Bell, also a Navy chaplain in the reserve component, delivered the benediction. "Let us celebrate and honor the unfurling journey of our fellow traveler, your beloved servant. Let us remember and be inspired by a life that is marked by a consistent response: 'Here I am Lord, send me.'"
In an interview prior to the ceremony, Horn reflected on the role of chaplains from the Navy reserve component. "Over the past 98 years, chaplains from the Navy reserve have played a critical role as force multipliers in times of great need, ensuring the spiritual readiness and resiliency of the force," he said.
"While we are truly one Chaplain Corps, both active and reserve, we could not do what we do without the flexibility, innovation and competencies our reserve component chaplains and religious program specialists bring with them from their civilian employment," according to Horn.
"God Bless the United States Navy Chaplain Corps and the essential ministry of presence provided to people who sail away from peace at home to ensure it exists for everyone else," he said.
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