For Fort Riley chaplains
and chaplain assistants, the morning of July 16 started out with a run through
Afterwards the group, their
families and a few civilians who work in Religious Support Services celebrated
the 239th anniversary of the Army Chaplain’s Corps with an organizational day.
“We are there during all
phases of Soldiers’ and families’ lives – from birth, all the way through
death,” said Chaplain (Lt.Col.) Louis DelTufo, 1st Infantry Division Chaplain. “We
celebrate with the Soldiers, and we grieve with the Soldiers. We’re always
there as a constant reminder that there is something more beyond what we can
see, touch and feel. We have hope in something that’s bigger than that. That is
what the Chaplain Corps does; we bring hope.”
The Chaplain Corps was
founded on July 29, 1775, even before the Infantry Corps was founded. Chaplains
are a unique corps in the Army for several reasons. Unlike most other positions
in the Army, only one chaplain is assigned to each unit, usually battalion
level being the lowest.
“No one can just come in
and do what we do,” said Master Sgt. Dialetta Taylor, 1st Inf. Div. chaplain assistant.
“We’re providing that religious support and giving that counsel; everyone in
that unit can’t do that, and so I like that about us.”
That counseling also is
confidential. Soldiers who talk to chaplains know what they say won’t get reported
to the chain of command or anywhere else unless the situation is dire.
“I can be a trusted
confidant who Soldiers can talk to about anything that’s going on in their lives,”
DelTufo said. “I’m able to help Soldiers work through those problems without
having to release that confidentiality.”
When Soldiers are
struggling, they talk to a chaplain because they know that’s the person in the command
who isn’t going to judge them, he added.
Throughout the Chaplain Corps,
chaplains do not carry weapons, but their assistants do.
“You really have to rely on
your chaplain assistant to be able to provide that physical security protection
because that’s what they’re there for, is to look out for you, but you also have
to rely on the Soldiers on your right and your left,” DelTufo said.
Following an awards
ceremony, a barbecue lunch and cake was served, with the oldest and youngest members
of the team cutting the cake.
Chaplain (Col.) Harry
Rauch, garrison chaplain, recapped the year for religious services at Fort
The biggest accomplishment,
he said, has been the opening of the new Victory Chapel near the Colyer Forsyth
He also acknowledged the chaplains
that have deployed in the past year.
“Thank you all for your service and doing us proud,
and getting the word out – bringing God to Soldiers and Soldiers to God.