Former Chief of Chaplains talks at Schofield Barracks’ National Prayer Breakfast

| April 20, 2018 | 0 Comments
At center, 25th Infantry Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Ronald Clark gives brief comments to retired Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas M. Carver, after the National Prayer Breakfast at the Nehelani, Schofield Barracks, April 18. (Photo by Aiko Rose Brum, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

At center, Maj. Gen. Ronald Clark, 25th Infantry Division commander, gives brief comments to the guest speaker, retired Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas M. Carver, after the National Prayer Breakfast at the Nehelani, Schofield Barracks, April 18. (Photo by Aiko Rose Brum, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

Aiko Rose Brum
U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — To have “undaunted courage” was the message retired Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas M. Carver hoped service members received at the National Prayer Breakfast, held here, at the Nehelani, April 18.

Retired Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas M. Carver, the guest speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast, held at the Nehelani, Schofield Barracks, speaks to hundreds in the audience about "undaunted courage." (Photo by Aiko Rose Brum, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

Retired Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas M. Carver, the guest speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast, held at the Nehelani, Schofield Barracks, speaks to hundreds in the audience about “undaunted courage.” (Photo by Aiko Rose Brum, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

The Southern Baptist minister spoke to hundreds who attended and implored them to fully embrace the Army Value of personal courage, especially during new assignments when they feel unqualified to handle what’s before them, when they don’t have a clue on strategy or a plan to proceed, and when they feel completely all alone.

“We should have undaunted courage as we face all the challenges of life,” he said. “All of the things that are earth shaking right now, we need to stand strong and be courageous without flinching. Our troops are. They’ve already proven that through the 243 years of our standing military. … That makes you steadfast and immovable.”

Having served as the Army’s former Chief of Chaplains, from 2007 to 2011, Carver has led and served more than 2,900 chaplains supporting the religious and pastoral needs of 1.2 million Soldiers and family members.

He engaged the Hawaii audience with several stories from his military tenure. Among them, he recalled when Joshua 1:9 became “etched in his soul in January 2003.”

The Main Post Chapel Gospel Choir performs during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Nehelani, Schofield Barracks, April 18. (Photo by Aiko Brum, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

The Main Post Chapel Gospel Choir performs during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Nehelani, Schofield Barracks, April 18. (Photo by Aiko Brum, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

“We were completing our combined force exercise at Graf (Grafenwohr, Germany). All the leaders (including now retired Generals Raymond Odierno and David Petraeus) were meeting for one last time … before (deploying to) the desert,” he said.

Now retired Gen. William “Scott” Wallace, Carver recalled, gave the mission and units that would be going to fight.

“You could hear a pin drop,” Carver explained.

“Chaplain, what do you have to say?” asked Wallace, during the pin-drop moment.

Carver cited Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Carter explained to the Hawaii audience, “Sometimes you’re going to have to make decisions that are very unpopular, and you’re going to be standing alone, and you’re going to need courage. … It means standing up to do things you know to do that are honorable and right. It means doing the hard right versus the easy wrong.”

Retired Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas Carver provides a remembrance photo with his wife, Sunny, at the National Prayer Breakfast at the Nehelani, Schofield Barracks, April 18. (Photo by Aiko Rose Brum, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

Retired Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas Carver provides a remembrance photo with his wife, Sunny, at the National Prayer Breakfast at the Nehelani, Schofield Barracks, April 18. (Photo by Aiko Rose Brum, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

Carver now serves as the executive director of Chaplaincy for the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board. He oversees professional and pastoral support to 3,800 denomination chaplains who minister in various settings in the U.S. and around the world. From this perspective, he believes issues faced by the military and civilian communities have some overlap.

“The issues are similar. There’s something very beautiful and unique about the military because of its closed culture experience. You see issues of culture in society by looking at our basic training. Many of those have not had a moral and ethical upbringing.

“Purpose, direction, significance, community – these are probably the things the military has that our culture needs more of – that sense of belonging and community. It’s really missing,” said Carver.

Service members, including Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Kevin Niehoff, at left, unite with the left or right hand on each other's shoulder as Chaplain (Col.) Brian Chepey of 8th Theater Sustainment Command concludes the National Prayer Breakfast with a blessing at the Nehelani, Schofield Barracks, April 18. (Photo by Aiko Rose Brum, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

Service members, including Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Kevin Niehoff, at left, unite with the left or right hand on each other’s shoulder as Chaplain (Col.) Brian Chepey of 8th Theater Sustainment Command concludes the National Prayer Breakfast with a blessing at the Nehelani, Schofield Barracks, April 18. (Photo by Aiko Rose Brum, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

National Prayer Breakfast ceremonies began in 1953 with President Dwight Eisenhower, said Chaplain (Col.) John S. Peck, command chaplain, 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii. Peck hoped service members would take the opportunity during the breakfast to engage in fellowship, prayer and faith.

Numerous command chaplains attended the breakfast, and Peck encouraged service members to seek them out whenever they are needed.

The Main Post Chapel Gospel Choir and several other chaplains participated during the ceremony. The 25th Infantry Division Band provided musical selections.

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Leadership, News, Observances

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *