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Army Chaplaincy (and why I want to do it!)

As some of you may already know, I am in the process of being commissioned as an Army Chaplain in the United States Army.  It is a decision that Maria and I have thought over, prayed about, and have continued to pray and think about over the past few years.  Just recently, I received notice that I have been endorsed by the United Methodist Endorsing agency.  When the certificate came in the mail, addressed to "Chaplain Aaron Kesson" I swallowed my own spit and almost choked (no joke!)  Now, I know that I cannot be officially called "Chaplain" in the sense of my role in the Army as of yet because I have yet to receive my commission, but the thought of it is very exciting!

As a part of my application process, I had to submit an essay entitled "Why I Want to Be an Army Chaplain".  It sounded easy enough, until I realized it had to be one page exactly.  I wondered how in the world I was going to fit all my excitement and anticipation into one page.  Well, here is what I wrote and what I submitted.   I plan to keep updates to the process on my blog.  I hope that it sheds some light on my decision and that you will keep me and Maria and our boys in your prayers as we continue this journey.

“Why I Want To Be An Army Chaplain”
            My journey to accepting the call to become an Army Chaplain has taken several years for me to formulate in my spirit and in my heart.  Much like my call to pastoral ministry, I initially attempted to avoid the nudging on my heart thinking it was just a phase.  However, after talking with my ministry mentors, members of my congregation, friends, and family, it has become clear that God is calling me to serve him and my country in service to others through the unique ministry of Chaplaincy.  As a Christian, I stand firmly on the words of Jesus when he states there is no greater honor than to give of oneself for the well-being of another.  The Army Chaplaincy is a ministry opportunity where service to others is essential and necessary for the well-being of everyone involved.  I desire to be used by God to serve others as an Army Chaplain.
Coupled with the desire to see lives changed and transformed by God’s love, I desire to serve in environments where I can be in ministry with others, walking side by side and offering support whether it is spiritual or emotional, part of my faith tradition or outside my faith.  To me, there is something sacred in the opportunities to share God’s presence in the midst of anxiety and fear, and to bring a sense of hope and peace to situations where hope and peace seem nothing more than words on a page.  This is where I believe the potential for true ministry takes root and where hope is found in the sacred.  It is also where I know that I can be used by God to be an instrument of peace and healing. 
I do understand that there will be several challenges and trials that I will face along this journey.  I also understand that I will continue to grow and to learn as a person of faith, a member of the clergy, and as a human being.  To have the opportunity to grow in these areas while serving and leading the men and women who serve so selflessly to defend our freedoms fuels my desire and my call to be an Army Chaplain.


  1. Good to see how you arrived at your decision.


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