Chaplain Corps, Stuttgart RSO observe 242 years of service to Army

From left, Ch (Col.) Richard P. Lasley, Ch. (Col.) James R. Boulware; Col. Neal Corson; Pfc. Robert Dixon; and Master Sgt. Meaghan B. Davis make the first cut of the Chaplain Corps 242nd birthday cake, July 28, 2017. Photo by John Reese, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

By John Reese
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

The garrison chaplaincy celebrated the 242nd anniversary U.S. Army Chaplain Corps with a luncheon, guest speakers and birthday cake, July 28, in the Panzer Chapel annex.

The birthday gathering was an opportunity for Ch. (Col.) James R. Boulware and Ch. (Maj.) Luis Kruger, the two new garrison chaplains, and for the new garrison commander, Col. Neal Corson, to introduce themselves to the community.

Corson, who spoke first, noted the birthday party was joined by several Army chaplains and their families. He recognized the pastors of two off post churches and Rick Beigler, the garrison’s Jewish distinctive religious group leader. Ch. (Col.) Richard P. Lasley and Master Sgt. Meaghan B. Davis, Installation Management Command-Europe, made the long drive from Sembach Kaserne near Kaiserslautern to support the garrison’s Religious Support Office.

Garrison commander Col. Neal Corson uses the 242nd Chaplain Corps birthday to speak about the importance of the Corps and to introduce himself to the community, July 28, 2017 on Panzer Kaserne. Photo by John Reese, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

Corson said he attended to support the chaplains and civilian religious leaders, encouraging them to spread their arms and help as many families and friends as possible.

“I appreciate the opportunity to come here. I’ll give you as much support as you need,” Corson said. “I’m here for you.”

In consideration of everyone’s busy Friday schedules, the saber to make the ceremonial cutting of the big birthday cake was brought out early. The oldest, youngest and visiting members of the Chaplain Corps joined Corson to make the first cut.

“I’m here, showing support for the garrison,” said chaplain’s assistant Pfc. Robert Dixon, 52nd Signal Battalion. Dixon, being the youngest chaplain’s assistant in attendance, was asked to help cut the cake along with the senior noncoms and officers.

A buffet lunch of summer was served, followed by a reading, a prayer for the Chaplain Corps, a historical video and guest speaker Lasley.

“It’s important for us to pause as a Corps and to be able to see where we are, and to look back to where we’ve come from,” Boulware said. “And then to be able to speak to our community, and thank them not only for what we are called to do, but for the support they’ve given us.

“I think it’s important for our community to understand that the corps has been part of the army throughout battles, redeployments, waiting for future battles,” he continued. “We walk alongside of the Soldiers and family members, so each year, we’re pausing to celebrate our ability—and our freedom that we have, to support those Soldiers and family members who serve in our Army.”

View the photo album on the garrison Flickr page.

Stuttgart’s Religious Support Office celebrates the Chaplain Corps 242nd Birthday with cake, July 28, 2017 on Panzer Kaserne. Photo by John Reese, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs