The Voice for Chaplaincy - Chartered by Congress - Serving Since 1925
Weekly Newsgram - January 23rd 2019

SALT LAKE CITY - A member of the Utah National Guard who died unexpectedly while swimming laps Saturday was a chaplain who cared deeply about his family and the freedoms that Americans sometimes take for granted, his brother recalled.

Corey Holmgren, 35, is the father of two daughters and a son, his brother Justin Holmgren said Sunday. His wife Mindi Holmgren is expecting a baby.

"They know how much their dad loved them and they can hopefully learn from his example for the rest of their lives," Justin Holmgren said. "Because he's just such an incredible man."
The Utah National Guard in a statement Sunday called Holmgren a "phenomenal chaplain and soldier and his loss will be felt deeply within our ranks," offering condolences to his wife and children.

Holmgren was swimming at West Valley Family Fitness Center Saturday as his wife took video of him. He went under and failed to resurface, police said.

Lifeguards quickly pulled Holmgren from the water and attempted to revive him using CPR and a defibrillator, while an emergency crew stationed across the street arrived in less than 3 minutes to help, police said. But after nearly an hour of lifesaving efforts, including at a local hospital, Holmgren was pronounced dead.

A member of the 19th Special Forces Group at Camp Williams in Bluffdale, Holmgren helped to support soldiers who recently returned from oversees and their families.

"There was a patriotism for sure that Corey had, that he cared just deeply about the freedoms that we sometimes might take for granted," the older brother said.

In addition to his military service, Holmgren worked as a marriage and family therapist.

Executive Director Notes
   Here is the "Paul Harvey rest of the story" of this year's National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF) and the Armed Forces Chaplains Board (AFCB). This is longer than my regular column; however, I do believe that content is worth the length this week.
   As a first time attendee, I was struck by the welcoming hospitality of all present for individuals in my position - not only for the endorsers, but for all who were present, to include the often overlooked, but absolutely critical chaplain recruiters from each service. NCMAF Executive Director, Chaplain Jack Lea, CAPT, CHC, USN, Retired, also was very clear that as an "organization of organizations "(the endorsers each represent their faith tradition) NCMAF reinforces MCA (individuals who are those endorsed by their faith traditions via their endorsers, and the endorsing community itself). Chaplain Lea described how NCMAF and MCA, working side by side, advocate for what chaplains and chaplaincy need, communicate both the needs of chaplains and chaplaincy to those with legislative oversight of the services, serve as vehicles of communication, and provide education for chaplains in such settings as our National Institute, our support for women in chaplaincy, through the Military Chaplains journal. Together we raise the level of the profession of chaplaincy.
   The presentations during NCMAF- the theme being Excellence in Leadership for Religious Liberty Advocacy"- were cogent, insightful and timely. As always, it was what took place "before, in between and after" the formal sessions, the ability to network, share common stories of ministry and renew or build friendships, was just as critical.
   On Thursday we were hosted by the AFCB. Each service Chief of Chaplains was present, as were their deputies, to include the Chief of Chaplains for the Civil Air Patrol rounding out Total Air Force Chaplaincy. Each Chief provided an overview of the challenges facing each service, and each has something unique:
   Chaplain Steve Schaick started the presentations. He stated two unique things, the first being that he is the first Air Force Chief of Chaplains to have Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) in his office. Unlike the other principal staff of the Air Force, until this happened he would need to leave his office and go to a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), log in, read and respond to email, logout and then go back to his office - until he got a heads up that another classified email had been sent that he needed to read and respond to, and then repeat the process again. As a former Army Deputy G-1, I find this absolutely amazing and even more inefficient than Army bureaucracy. This has not only made his life much simpler - but has significantly improved the strategic impact of chaplaincy throughout the Air Force.
   Chaplain Brent Scott, Navy Chief of Chaplains, followed with a retro presentation: No AV, no slides, no power point, only a single road map, which unlike a GPS, provides context and perspective - where the journey started, current location and the destination. Having laid this out, Chaplain Scott stated that he had received the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) support to create a new level of required chaplaincy education after the basic course, with additional opportunities for intentional education at the Lieutenant Commander (mid-level), Commander (senior), and Captain (executive), and to have similar courses at the enlisted levels for Religious Program specialists. This is a much-improved model of support for not just Navy chaplains, but also for total Navy chaplaincy, both officer and enlisted alike.
   For the Army, it was Chaplain Paul Hurley stating that he had recently created a Recruiting and Endorsing Directorate. He believes this is a way of leveraging the role of the endorsers to facilitate the recruitment of the best possible clergy within their faith tradition for service as Army chaplains. Both insightful and obvious, it will now be interesting to see how this leveraging of the two plays out for Army chaplaincy.
   You will notice that I did not mention the "second" Air Force initiative by Chaplain Schaick. The Air Force is moving to award the individual chaplain's faith tradition insignia upon completion of their training, as is currently done with physicians and attorneys. Chaplain Schaick has heard from commanders in the field that when they see the chaplain's insignia, it is their expectation they are fully qualified and trained, just as their fellow "classic profession" peers are when they wear their branch device (medical officer or judge advocate). To me, this make sense, in the same way that seminarians (at least in Episcopal seminaries) wear a collar with a vertical black stripe in the front middle of the collar until ordination when they can wear a full white collar to signify their new status.
   One item that all three Chiefs mentioned independently of each other was the quote by WWII Army Chief of Staff, General of the Army George C. Marshall. He said "The soldier's heart, the soldier's spirit, the soldier's soul, are everything. Unless the soldier's soul sustains him he cannot be relied on and will fail himself and his commander and his country in the end."
General Buratai

International Military Chaplaincy

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has described late Brig. Gen. Dawuk Danfulani, immediate past Director of Chaplain Services, as an exemplary leader who displayed commitment and integrity.

The army chief spoke through Brig. Gen. Festus Briggs during military interment of the late Danfulani on Saturday at Mangu in Jos, Plateau State.
According to him, Danfulani, during his lifetime, dedicated himself to the development, unity and training of the army chaplaincy, protestant, adding that the presence of over five thousand persons from various groups and states at the burial was a demonstration of his impact while alive.  He said that such rare qualities called for emulation.

"The army general was indeed an ideal leader, a peace maker, a disciplinarian, a professional that understood the demands of the job; he was a man of integrity," he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in line with military tradition, COAS handed to wife of late general, Mrs Gloria Danfulani, the Nigerian Flag, boot, Peakcap and Staff.
The governor of Plateau, Dr Bako Lalong, in his letter of condolence, said Danfulani left impact in the nation through years of meritorious service.

"Danfulani was indeed a clergy and officer who was a peace mediator, lover of his people which he demonstrated in his participation in cultural community festivals in the state, "he said.

Also speaking, Brig. Gen. (Rev) Linus Bulus (Rtd), described late Danfulani as a forthright, kind-hearted, officer who touched so many lives physically, socially and spiritually.
Earlier, the Anglican bishop of Maiduguri, Bishop Emmanuel Moris, said Danfulani was a builder who impacted the lives of so many people within and outside the military.

"We are celebrating a practical builder of men, women, institutions who changed the lives of so many people within and outside the military family.

"He was a captain of the Italian band who loved his nation, a philanthropist who still gave to the needy even while on his sick bed, he assisted the orphans, widows and less privileged," he said.

Late Danfulani, born May 26, 1963, was enlisted into the Nigerian Army in 1985, and was ordained a chaplain in 1989.

Danfulani retired as an army director on Dec. 31, 2018, following a long ill-health after an accident in 2012. He died on Jan. 7, in Lagos.

NAN reports that the funeral was graced by eminent military, church and political personalities such as former chaplain, Col. (Rev) Zemo Audu, Director, Catholic chaplaincy, Brig. Gen. (Rev. Fr.) Charles Iroegbu.

Others were director, Islamic chaplaincy, Brig. Gen. Sani Mustapha and a host of others. The local cultural troupe, on request of the deceased, excourted the corpse to final interment.

Chaplain Wanted
Civilian Ministry Position

Mariner Sands Chapel

Mariner Sands Chapel, an independent community church, is seeking an ordained minister for its dynamic congregation of 150 families.  This individual will also serve as the Chaplain to an active adult community of 700 homes as pastoral needs arise. 

Our mission is to welcome everyone, serve others and build community.  We look to expand our mission by developing innovative programs to attract new members.  

Please visit and to discover more about our unique church and vibrant community.  

All inquiries and résumés should be directed to

Position Description




Along with our 2019 Gold Medallion recipient:

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale Southwest USA Community Servant Extraordinaire

2019 Humanitarian of the Year:
Charles and Mary Ann Strange of the Michael Strange Foundation For Gold Star Families

Charles W. David Lifesaving Medallion recipient:
LT Tyree Glen Bacon, III
New York State Court Officer at 9/11

On Thursday, February 7, 2019

At the South Philadelphia IATSE Ballroom 2401 South Swanson Street Philadelphia, PA 19148

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The Military Chaplains Association of the USA
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