First Buddhist Chaplain

U.S. Navy Commissions Military’s First Buddhist Chaplain

Story Number: NNS040723-10Release Date: 7/23/2004 10:23:00 AM; By Journalist 1st Class (SW) Hendrick L. Dickson, Navy News Service
Lt. j.g. Jeanette Gracie Shin

Chief of Navy Chaplains, Rear Adm. Louis V. Iasiello, left, watches with Commander, Naval Reserve Force, Vice Adm. John Cotton as newly commissioned Lt. j.g. Jeanette Gracie Shin signs her Oath of Office paperwork in the Pentagon.

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Navy commissioned the military’s first Buddhist chaplain in a ceremony at the Pentagon July 22.

Chief of Navy Reserve, Vice Adm. John G. Cotton commissioned Lt. j.g. Jeanette G. Shin in front of several of her family members and friends, making her the Department of Defense’s first Buddhist chaplain.

After taking her oath of service, Shin expressed her gratitude to her peers, and said she looks forward to making a difference in the fleet.

“I am very grateful to have the opportunities to serve the sea services – regardless of their religious faith,” said Shin. “I will do my best to help you [Sailors and Marines] in any way I can.”

Shin’s commissioning is an important moment for the Navy’s Chaplain Corps, as it continues to improve its diversity to serve Sailors and Marines from a variety of religious backgrounds. Shin was praised for her tremendous accomplishment and welcomed to the Corps by her peers.

“This is another historical moment for the Chaplain’s Corps of the United States Navy, as we reach out to provide for the religious needs of our people,” said Chief of Navy Chaplains, Rear Adm. Louis V. Iasiello. “You are most welcome to our ranks as a chaplain, and we look forward to working with you in the future.”

“This really is your statement of care and love and concern for us,” said Rear Adm. (sel.) Harold L. Robinson, Specials Assistant Reserve Manpower Chief of Naval Chaplain’s Office. “It’s a call of the Chaplain Corps to serve every human being we encounter, and that’s what we are saying. We are very blessed to have you among us.”

Shin earned her bachelor of arts degree from George Mason University in Philosophy and Religious Studies in May 2000. She earned her master of arts degree in Buddhist studies from the Graduate Theological Union/Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, Calif., in May.

Shin is currently stationed at the Navy Reserve Center in Alameda, Calif.



Text and photo first published on the U.S. Navy website, 23 July 2004.



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