SECNAV Champions Spiritual Readiness

Story Number: NNS191001-12Release Date: 10/1/2019 1:51:00 PM
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By Gloria Colon-Buzatu, Navy Chief of Chaplains Public Affairs

Admiral Gooding Center, Washington, D.C. (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer addressed Navy Chaplain Corps senior leaders to underscore spiritual readiness, a top priority, Aug. 21, at the Admiral Gooding Center, Washington, D.C.

The four-day Strategic Leader Symposium was held Aug. 19 to 22 designed to specifically advance the Department of the Navy Strategic Plan (STRATPLAN) for Religious Ministry (RM) from lines of efforts to measurable outcomes.  Gathered to learn, this group of more than 150 chaplains and Religious Program Specialist heard firsthand from the head of the Navy the ‘effects’ religious ministry has on shaping a ready force.

“You are the ones that people turn to for solace, guidance and direction,” said Spencer.

Chaplains and RPs promote readiness of spirit that is the wellspring of toughness, stability and resiliency. 

“The health of our services is imperative for readiness...and that’s where we all work together on this strategy to execute with urgency," added Spencer.

The current security environment is more complex and volatile than ever before, according to the National Defense Strategy.

“We’re trying to really expand our presence with what we have and what we have coming online,” said Spencer.  “That’s only going to call more demands on your [Chaplain Corps] services.”

Spencer explained four concepts of spiritual readiness and challenged the Chaplain Corps community with fostering the spiritual strength of the individual and command teams:

-  Self-awareness:  “Being a Marine, you can really boil it down to how the Marine Corps puts it, know yourself and seek work on self-improvement.”

-  Ethical voice:  “Our whole naval force rests on the character of our people.”

-  Grit:   Having passion and perseverance that empowers the ordinary to achieve the extraordinary.  “Whether it’s outmaneuvering the British navy, halting the Germans at Belleau Wood or liberating the Pacific…grit can make all the difference in time of war.”

-  Inspiration:  “In the military we invest a great deal in perfecting and teaching the art and science of leadership, but in the end it comes down to trust.” 

 “My top priority as the secretary…is ensuring that we have the readiness to confront every aspect of this changing and challenging world.”

The secretary’s priorities are ready capabilities, platforms, systems, processes, and most importantly the readiness of the people of the sea services. 

“Without the beating hearts of every faith who make up this force, would have a diminished enterprise.”

The STRATPLAN for RM contains four goals:  Operationalize for Religious Ministry, sharpen core capabilities, develop leaders with intentionality and championing the spiritual readiness of Sailors and Marines. 

“You who are in the business of supporting our people are a critical component of this whole strategy and the fabric that we call enterprise Navy,” said Spencer.

For more information about the Navy Chaplain Corps strategy, visit the Chaplain Corps page, Navy Chaplain Corps Instagram, Chief of Chaplains of the Navy Facebook, and Chaplain of the Marine Corps Facebook.

Religious ministry, leadership with intentionality
Robert Tuttle, J.D. and Ph.D., and the David R. and Sherry Kirschner Berz Research Professor of Law and Religion at the George Washington University Law School briefs Navy Chaplain Corps senior leaders on the Department of the Navy Strategic Plan for Religious Ministry, Aug. 14, 2019, at the at the Naval Support Activity Washington, D.C.
October 1, 2019
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