“Faith in God is the heartbeat of men and the lifeblood of nations. The United States Army believes in this doctrine…” begins an Army chaplain recruiting brochure from 1954. it continues:
The emergence of the United States as the champion of democracy and freedom under God has been built on the twin bulwarks of faith in God and high moral principle. To guard this heritage and to insure that it will never be lost, the Army has qualified chaplains as part of its armament.
This red, black and white brochure goes on to tell of the tradition of chaplaincy from the Egyptians, 16 centuries before the Christian era, through the Hebrews and Romans. It speaks of chaplains who served during the French and Indian War then “in every war in which this country has engaged.”
It goes on to describe the many opportunities for “real service” as chaplains in the United States Army and the urgent need for “many men to make great sacrifices for the cause of liberty,” sacrifices which “must be shared and supported by the churches of the Nation.”
It concludes with a few lines from the official Chaplains’ March, Soldiers of God, which was sure to inspire prospective candidates for the chaplaincy:
Soldiers of God, we serve Him faithfully
and march in his name
Through thunder and flame
Wherever the ‘call’ may be
Trusting in God, His strength we lean upon
As into the fight the Legions of Light,
The Soldiers of God, march on …
In 2007, the Army Chaplain Corps ran a series of ads that appeared at least in Army Times, in an effort to encourage people “already ordained or still in seminary” to “consider the call of a truly unique ministry.” I’ve recently come across two of these ads from September and October 2007 issues of Army Times. Have you considered the call?