CORONADO, Ca. (NNS) -- More than 125 attendees gathered to celebrate the 244th anniversary of the Navy Chaplain Corps onboard Naval Air Station North Island in a ceremony hosted by Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC). This marks the first time that NSWC hosted the event.
“The Navy Chaplain Corps Anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the ways that chaplains and Religious Program Specialists, or RPs, serve Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and their families,” said Capt. Guy Lee, NSWC’s Force Chaplain. “We focus on promoting the free exercise of religion, which is the right that all Americans have to worship according to their convictions - and includes the right not to worship at all. We believe this liberty makes our people strong in spirit, morally resilient and tough. As a result, they're able to fulfill their commitments, both in peace and war.”
The Navy Chaplain Corps was established by the Second Continental Congress in the second article of Navy regulations on Nov. 28, 1775, which prescribed twice-daily religious services performed aboard the budding Continental Navy’s warships.
The guest speaker of the event was Capt. Adam Curtis (ret.), a former Navy SEAL and ordained deacon who works with the Naval Special Warfare community.
“Chaplains really are an integral part of the NSW community,” said Curtis. “The chaplain's may not always be in the spotlight, but their mission has always been about doing what matters, when it matters for our people and the people that matter to them.”
Throughout the Navy's 244-year history, the Navy Chaplain Corps has provided ministry and counseling services to Sailors and Marines wherever they serve around the world. It is important for Sailors, Marines and their families to know that chaplains and RPs are available to assist them wherever they are stationed.
“Between Camp Pendleton and San Diego, there are approximately 300 chaplains and RPs assigned in the local area,” said Lee. “Chaplains and RPs are always embedded in their assigned units, so you can't go to an organizational chart and identify a specific command where they all reside. For this reason, we use the Navy Chaplain Corps Anniversary as an opportunity to come together as a community.”
NSWC’s mission is to provide maritime special operations forces to conduct full-spectrum operations, unilaterally or with partners, to support national objectives. NSW’s greatest competitive advantage is its people, and it provides the nation’s premiere maritime special operators and combat support personnel in support of U.S. Special Operations Command’s global mission.
For more news from Naval Special Warfare, visit www.navy.mil/local/nsw/.