New Chaplain Helps Sailors Aboard Harry S. Truman

Story Number: NNS090821-34Release Date: 8/21/2009 4:59:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Kayla Jo Guthrie, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (HST) (CVN 75) received a new command chaplain Aug. 9.

Cmdr. Jerome A. Hinson, an Episcopalian priest, relieved former HST Command Chaplain Cmdr. Ken Counts.

Hinson said he hopes to provide an outstanding religious program and help provide support to the crew.

"A chaplain's role is to be a constant reminder of the love of God, by providing pastoral care for anybody and to give advice and guidance to the command in areas of our expertise," said Hinson.

Hinson said he hopes to help by providing Sailors with opportunities to worship, counseling services and knowledge of charity organizations. He also wants to build relationships with the Sailors and help them find ways to grow their souls.

Hinson, a Missouri native, was studying for a doctorate in mathematics at the University of Missouri-Rolla in Rolla, Miss., when a priest approached him about joining the ministry.

"I was really resistant to the idea at first," said Hinson.

Hinson eventually decided to go with the idea and attended a year-long school to become an Episcopalian priest.

The inspiration of becoming a chaplain came to Hinson after he read, "I was a Chaplain on the Franklin," a book about Father Joseph Timothy O'Callahan, a chaplain who received the Medal of Honor during World War II.

"What struck me the most about the story was the way he provided ministry to his people and the way he supported the service members in their daily lives," said Hinson.

After reading the book, Hinson always hoped to serve on an aircraft carrier.

When Hinson was searching for a new position as an Episcopalian priest, a Navy recruiter called him and offered him a position as a chaplain with Submarine Squadron 7 in Pearl Harbor. Hinson said his wife had always wanted to live in Hawaii, so they decided to give Navy life a try.

Hinson has served 15 years in the Navy as a chaplain, including tours at Force Service Support Group 3, USS Lake Erie (CG 70), the Marine Corps Service Group, Marine Air Wing 1, the Marine Recruiting Command and Marine Corps University.

Hinson said he feels HST already has a great religious program, and he hopes to continue the extremely good work the command is doing.

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