The Voice for Chaplaincy - Chartered by Congress - Serving Since 1925
Weekly Newsgram - January 10th 2018

National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 created an independent commission on military, national, and public service to conduct a review of the military selective service process and to consider methods to increase participation in military, national, and other public service needs of the Nation (Subtitle F of the law). The Commission will hold its first public meeting at noon on Thursday, January 18, at the Hall of the States Gallery here in Washington, DC. 

The Commission grew out of the House and Senate conference committee to reconcile the NDAA. You may recall the House had considered an amendment to their version of the bill to include women in the draft ( Post Article May 17 2016) but replaced it with a plan to study such an initiative. The Senate had also addressed the issue but had voted to require women be included. During the reconciliation conference, Senator John McCain introduced language to create the Commission as an alternative to the change in the selective service in return for dropping the immediate inclusion of women in the draft. 

There have been previous commissions to review public service in the U.S. - the most recent in  1989 chaired by Paul Volcker. Their report, Leadership for America, Rebuilding the Public Service, dealt with issues of public trust in the institutions of government and the need to "restore the leadership, talent, and performance essential to the strong public service the future demands (p13)." 

The Defense Department was required by the NDAA to submit a report on the military selective service system prior to the beginning of the meetings of the Commission. This report was provided in March of last year and is available here

Over the next several months the Commission will be seeking public input on its mandate to consider service in our nation. Open meetings will be held across our land and will focus on military as well as alternative service opportunities for out nation's youth. 

As chaplains, we can be part of this process. We have a perspective and voice which may not otherwise be heard. All of us represent the tenets of our faith community and the values and obligations which flow from them. A major issue of this Commission is the consideration of mandatory service by women in the military. Another issue which has implications for our ministry is the place of conscientious objection in mandatory service. The most recent debate on this issue has dealt with individuals being able to object to particular conflicts over against military service in general - Herm Keizer was very concerned about this issue and expended great effort in focusing attention on a new consideration of this aspect of service in our modern age. 

As the Commission begins its work pray for those involved and be observant for meetings and opportunities to express your view as chaplains. Out nation needs  our voice. 

Lyman Smith
Executive Director

In Memoriam

Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired
United Methodist
MCA Member
Born December 3, 1945
Deceased January 6, 2018
Destin, Florida

Chaplains on 
Martin Luther King Day

This past weekend our nation paused to remember and celebrate the contributions of Martin Luther King to our community well being. Chaplains around the globe participated in and led ceremonies and volunteer service opportunities to celebrate this holiday. Please consider two quotes from these services - 

"We are committed to the First Amendment rights of all people, and it's time to live what Dr. King spoke about. He knew it was time for America to be a place of justice, a place where people love toward one another. It's the freedom of all. And he lived for that; he fought for it, he taught it. And he saw it. There's no reason why America can't be that America that has been Constitutionally guaranteed." Chaplain (Lt Col) Arthur McCaffrey, Malmstrom Air Force Base

"I have a dream today that our internal readiness would be congruent with our external readiness," Shabazz said. "I have a dream today that we will defend our Soldiers in times of trouble like we defend our nation in its times of distress. I have dream today that everybody that wears this uniform no matter what their condition will have a leader attached to them to show them some dignity and respect. I have a dream today that we will honor the least among us and that your leadership will become a sermon and that your sermon is preached with dignity and respect." - Chaplain (LTC) Khallid Shabazz, 7th Infantry Division Chaplain

Opportunity to Serve
Retired Military Chaplain

Full Armor Group Inc., a government contractor, is seeking a retired military Chaplain to fill a Facilitator position in Manama, Bahrain under the authority of the CREDO Program Office at NAS Naples. 

The opening is available in Sep 2018. Primary responsibilities include facilitating CREDO retreats, seminars, workshops, and care support groups; providing referrals to helping professionals within the Navy system; promoting knowledge sharing between other caring professions within the Navy system. 

Forward questions and/or your resume to betty.poe@fullarmorgroupcom .


VA Facilities Now Offer Same-day Care for Urgent Primary
and Mental Health-care Needs

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced on January 12 a major milestone, that 100 percent of its more than 1,000 medical facilities across the country now offer same-day services for urgent primary and mental health-care needs.

Same-day services means a Veteran with an urgent need for primary care and mental health-care receives services that may include: a face-to-face visit with a clinician; advice provided during a call with a nurse; a telehealth or video care visit; an appointment made with a specialist; or a prescription filled the same day, depending upon what best meets the needs of the Veteran.

"We made a commitment to our nation's Veterans that we would work to reduce wait times and improve access, and we are doing it," said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. "We were able to meet this goal, in large part, because of the concerted focus of our staff who care for our Veterans in facilities across the country."

Since 2014, VA has concentrated its efforts on improving access and meeting the urgent health-care needs of Veterans. In 2016, all of VA's medical centers offered same-day services for primary and mental health services.

In addition to offering same-day services, VA has reduced patient wait times. VA also implemented a new process to ensure timely follow-up appointments for time-sensitive medical needs. More than 100,000 such appointments have been completed.
In 2017, Veterans completed over 57.5 million appointments and VA clinicians saw almost 6 million patients.

To view access information about each facility nationwide, visit The information provided at this link is not offered by any major national hospital organization in the country.



The 75th Anniversary of the Sinking

2018 Gold Medallion recipient: 
LTG. Nadja Y. West, US Army Surgeon General 

The 2018 Humanitarian of the Year: 
Twilight Wish Foundation-Cass Forkin


Steven A. Schaick, Ch, Brig Gen, 
USAF Deputy Chief of Chaplains

Thursday, February 8, 2018 
Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel 
1 Dock Street (2nd & Walnut Streets) Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation 1201 Constitution Avenue The Navy Yard-Bldg. 649 Philadelphia, PA 19112

Main: 215-218-1943 Fax: 215-218-1949

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The Military Chaplains Association of the USA
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