Author Topic: Floor Committee 2 International Mission  (Read 4836 times)

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2016, 09:05:29 AM »
Just now getting to reading the convention posts.  I believe the delegate was speaking of promotions to flag officer rank being affected by a chaplain following the teachings of his church body/conscience -- that is, not receiving such promotion as a result of his faithfulness -- and our church speaking against such.

Like Chaplain Gard?

Peace, JOHN

Since

1. Chaplain Gard has been promoted to flag officer rank, and (more importantly),
2. He is definitely faithful to the teachings of our church body (which is to say to, faithful to the Scriptures and the God whose Word it is),

the answer to your question is plainly "no".

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2016, 11:36:11 AM »
Promotion boards (and I have sat on many including Flag Officer boards) are rigidly conducted and extraordinarily fair. A Chaplain board does not consider the officers' ecclesiastical affiliation - it may not be mentioned and does not appear in the chaplains' records. All that is considered is the written records in the officer's file. In fact, if a board member knows anything that is not in the written record, it may not be brought up.

The painful reality is that there are many highly qualified officers, including chaplains, that are not promoted because only a certain number can be. For example, there might be 40 officers considered but only 4 will be promoted. No one is promoted or not promoted based on ecclesiastical endorser but only on the prior written record and the judgment of a board as to who has the best potential to lead at the next level.

We have had a number of LCMS chaplains over the years promoted to Flag/General Officer. In the 1990s, LCMS Chaplain Don Muchow served as a two star admiral and Chief of Chaplains. There will remain many LCMS chaplains with highly competitive records for many years to come. Among them are future Flag/General officers.

« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 11:38:12 AM by Daniel L. Gard »

John_Hannah

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2016, 12:18:32 PM »
That certainly the way the Army works also.

Paul Sauer asked me about the "flag problem" cited by a delegate. I don't know what that was about. A case involving an Air Force funeral was suggested. I don't know Air force protocol so could not comment on the case as was described by the media.

So we still don't know what is the "flag problem." :-\

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2016, 01:34:37 PM »
I am saying, Rev. Hannah, that the problem brought up at the convention was not about flags but about promotion to flag officer rank.  That is, the convention was saying that a chaplain's adherence to certain teachings ought not affect his promotion -- but then the question was raised of those whose perspective promotion was to flag officer rank, which is handled differently (we were told) than other promotions.  And we were told that this resolution was meant to speak to that as well as to promotion to other ranks.

John_Hannah

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2016, 01:38:07 PM »
I am saying, Rev. Hannah, that the problem brought up at the convention was not about flags but about promotion to flag officer rank.  That is, the convention was saying that a chaplain's adherence to certain teachings ought not affect his promotion -- but then the question was raised of those whose perspective promotion was to flag officer rank, which is handled differently (we were told) than other promotions.  And we were told that this resolution was meant to speak to that as well as to promotion to other ranks.

If that's the issue that the delegate raised, I have difficulty seeing it as a real problem. I think Chaplain Gard would agree.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2016, 02:59:28 PM »
I missed the delegate's statement. If he or she was implying that Flag/General Officer selection is biased against LCMS, he or she is wrong. As far as FO/GO selection being different, that is also wrong.

There are only a few chaplain FOs/GOs at a time. Army, Navy and Air Force active duty each have one 2-star and one 1-star. The reserve components (Army, AF, Navy, Nat Guard) each have one 1-star. That makes a total of 10 chaplain FOs/GOs at a given time (6 active, 4 reserve). That is out of thousands of chaplains in the system.

FOs/GOs are board selected just like any other officer. The majority of the board are not chaplains but other FOs/GOs. A zone is established based upon date of rank to O-6 (Captain or Colonel) and all chaplains within the zone are considered equally. Only one will be selected. The denomination of the chaplains is not known or considered.

My predecessor was a very conservative Presbyterian. My successor will be a very conservative Baptist. Both my predecessor and my successor are model chaplains who have firm faith commitments and the ability to facilitate freedom of religion for all military personnel. The next one to be selected in three years may or may not be conservative but will be charged with the same responsibility.

There are increasing challenges to the free exercise of religion in the United States. The military will reflect those challenges as a part of American society.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 03:02:18 PM by Daniel L. Gard »

John_Hannah

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2016, 03:37:00 PM »
I missed the delegate's statement. If he or she was implying that Flag/General Officer selection is biased against LCMS, he or she is wrong. As far as FO/GO selection being different, that is also wrong.

There are only a few chaplain FOs/GOs at a time. Army, Navy and Air Force active duty each have one 2-star and one 1-star. The reserve components (Army, AF, Navy, Nat Guard) each have one 1-star. That makes a total of 10 chaplain FOs/GOs at a given time (6 active, 4 reserve). That is out of thousands of chaplains in the system.

FOs/GOs are board selected just like any other officer. The majority of the board are not chaplains but other FOs/GOs. A zone is established based upon date of rank to O-6 (Captain or Colonel) and all chaplains within the zone are considered equally. Only one will be selected. The denomination of the chaplains is not known or considered.

My predecessor was a very conservative Presbyterian. My successor will be a very conservative Baptist. Both my predecessor and my successor are model chaplains who have firm faith commitments and the ability to facilitate freedom of religion for all military personnel. The next one to be selected in three years may or may not be conservative but will be charged with the same responsibility.

There are increasing challenges to the free exercise of religion in the United States. The military will reflect those challenges as a part of American society.

A very minor point. Aren't there actually 11?
o   Chief/Deputy in Army, Navy, & AF = 6.
o   USAR, ARNG, USNR, USAFR, ANG = 5
TOTAL = 11

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2016, 03:39:48 PM »
I missed the delegate's statement. If he or she was implying that Flag/General Officer selection is biased against LCMS, he or she is wrong. As far as FO/GO selection being different, that is also wrong.

There are only a few chaplain FOs/GOs at a time. Army, Navy and Air Force active duty each have one 2-star and one 1-star. The reserve components (Army, AF, Navy, Nat Guard) each have one 1-star. That makes a total of 10 chaplain FOs/GOs at a given time (6 active, 4 reserve). That is out of thousands of chaplains in the system.

FOs/GOs are board selected just like any other officer. The majority of the board are not chaplains but other FOs/GOs. A zone is established based upon date of rank to O-6 (Captain or Colonel) and all chaplains within the zone are considered equally. Only one will be selected. The denomination of the chaplains is not known or considered.

My predecessor was a very conservative Presbyterian. My successor will be a very conservative Baptist. Both my predecessor and my successor are model chaplains who have firm faith commitments and the ability to facilitate freedom of religion for all military personnel. The next one to be selected in three years may or may not be conservative but will be charged with the same responsibility.

There are increasing challenges to the free exercise of religion in the United States. The military will reflect those challenges as a part of American society.

A very minor point. Aren't there actually 11?
o   Chief/Deputy in Army, Navy, & AF = 6.
o   USAR, ARNG, USNR, USAFR, ANG = 5
TOTAL = 11

Peace, JOHN

Ooops...you are right. There are 11.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2016, 03:40:51 PM »
My guess is that this is the flap being referred to.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2016/06/22/air-force-talking-god-retirement-ceremonies-does-not-violate-policy/86243824/

It happened back in April that a retiring AF officer wanted some traditional flag speech done at his retirement ceremony and invited a someone to give it. The Air Force told him not to give that particular speech, presumably because it mentioned God, and forcibly removed the speaker from the premises mid-speech.

An investigation followed and I think it was determined that the AF acted inappropriately and should have allowed the speech. But during that investigation all kinds of issues came up about the rights and duties of military personnel regarding expressions of faith. So I didn't hear the proposed amendment or comment from the floor of the convention, but if it talked about flag ceremonies and freedom of conscience for LCMS military personnel, I would guess this incident was in the background.

John_Hannah

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2016, 04:35:49 PM »
That seems to be the case. It was a retirement ceremony not a funeral. It appears that the commander was wrong, although I do not know about USAF protocol and retirement flag folding speeches. We don't do that in the Army. I recently attended a Navy retirement and they didn't do anything like it. If in fact the honoree is given his choice in the matter, it should be allowed. This incident may be a single local incident rather than service-wide practice.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Rev. Brian P. Westgate

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2016, 04:56:43 PM »
(This is my WELS blood talking): I don't understand why a chaplain would be an admiral, a corporal, and so-on-and-so-forth. Isn't he just a chaplain? What do the different ranks infer?

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2016, 05:13:24 PM »
(This is my WELS blood talking): I don't understand why a chaplain would be an admiral, a corporal, and so-on-and-so-forth. Isn't he just a chaplain? What do the different ranks infer?

In the British Navy (maybe the Army as well), a chaplain has no rank. The American system is different - a chaplain is also a commissioned officer. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. What matters is that we can go wherever people in uniform go and bring them Word and Sacrament.

WELS has never sent chaplains. The LCMS does and actually gives them a divine call as a missionary of the Synod.

Rev. Brian P. Westgate

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2016, 05:17:30 PM »
And now my ex-WELS blood wonders how the American system ended up different from the American system. The British just seems more natural for the church from what little you've described, Dr. Gard.

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2016, 05:20:36 PM »
And now my ex-WELS blood wonders how the American system ended up different from the American system. The British just seems more natural for the church from what little you've described, Dr. Gard.

I am uncertain why we differ. Most US Navy customs and traditions were directly adapted from the British Navy. But not this.

It was, in any case, a decision of the Kingdom of the Left.

Jim Butler

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Re: Floor Committee 2 International Mission
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2016, 05:28:15 PM »
My guess is that this is the flap being referred to.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2016/06/22/air-force-talking-god-retirement-ceremonies-does-not-violate-policy/86243824/

It happened back in April that a retiring AF officer wanted some traditional flag speech done at his retirement ceremony and invited a someone to give it. The Air Force told him not to give that particular speech, presumably because it mentioned God, and forcibly removed the speaker from the premises mid-speech.

An investigation followed and I think it was determined that the AF acted inappropriately and should have allowed the speech. But during that investigation all kinds of issues came up about the rights and duties of military personnel regarding expressions of faith. So I didn't hear the proposed amendment or comment from the floor of the convention, but if it talked about flag ceremonies and freedom of conscience for LCMS military personnel, I would guess this incident was in the background.

No, it had something to do with how a Flag Officer is promoted. The speaker said that a FO/GO also had to be approved by Congress (I think he meant the Senate). I'm still not sure of his point and I was sitting there. Of course, I wasn't sure of the point of about 90% of the proposed amendments; most of them struck me as silly or frivolous.
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