U.S. Navy Commissions Military’s First Buddhist Chaplain

By Journalist 1st Class (SW) Hendrick L. Dickson, Navy News Service

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Navy commissioned the military’s first Buddhist chaplain in a ceremony at the Pentagon July 22.

Chief of Navy Reserve, Vice Adm. John G. Cotton commissioned Lt. j.g. Jeanette G. Shin in front of several of her family members and friends, making her the Department of Defense’s first Buddhist chaplain.

After taking her oath of service, Shin expressed her gratitude to her peers, and said she looks forward to making a difference in the fleet.

“I am very grateful to have the opportunities to serve the sea services – regardless of their religious faith,” said Shin. “I will do my best to help you [Sailors and Marines] in any way I can.”

Shin’s commissioning is an important moment for the Navy’s Chaplain Corps, as it continues to improve its diversity to serve Sailors and Marines from a variety of religious backgrounds. Shin was praised for her tremendous accomplishment and welcomed to the Corps by her peers.

“This is another historical moment for the Chaplain’s Corps of the United States Navy, as we reach out to provide for the religious needs of our people,” said Chief of Navy Chaplains, Rear Adm. Louis V. Iasiello. “You are most welcome to our ranks as a chaplain, and we look forward to working with you in the future.”

“This really is your statement of care and love and concern for us,” said Rear Adm. (sel.) Harold L. Robinson, Specials Assistant Reserve Manpower Chief of Naval Chaplain’s Office. “It’s a call of the Chaplain Corps to serve every human being we encounter, and that’s what we are saying. We are very blessed to have you among us.”

Shin earned her bachelor of arts degree from George Mason University in Philosophy and Religious Studies in May 2000. She earned her master of arts degree in Buddhist studies from the Graduate Theological Union/Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, Calif., in May.

Shin is currently stationed at the Navy Reserve Center in Alameda, Calif.

Books

The Army Chaplaincy:  Professional Bulletin of the Unit Ministry Team, Fort Monmouth, NJ: U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, 

Bergsman, H.L., The Pioneers:  A Monograph on the First Two Black Chaplains in the Chaplain Corps of the United States Navy, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1981.

Johnson, J.D., Combat Chaplain:  A Thirty-Year Vietnam Battle, Denton, Texas:  University of North Texas Press, 2001.

Jonakait, R.N., The Abuses of the Military Chaplaincy, New York:  American Civil Liberties Union, 1973.

Kirschner Associates, Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups:  A Handbook for Chaplains, Prepared for the Office of the Chief Chaplains, Department of the Army, 1993.

Mansfield, S., The Faith of the American Soldier, New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2005.

Norton, H.A., Struggling for Recognition, Washington:  Office of the Chief Chaplains, Department of the Army

Nicholas, M.L., An Examination of Military Chaplaincy Start-Up Styles:  A Guidebook for Junior Chaplains Going Afloat, Department of the Navy, 1979.  

Links

Note:  Chaplains are on the committee to evaluate applicants seeking Conscientious Objector status.

The Military Chaplains’ Association of the United States of America

National Chaplain Center, Department of Veteran Affairs

National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces’ Covenant and The Code of Ethics for Chaplains 

U. S. Army Chaplain Center and School

U. S. Army Chaplaincy

U. S. Air Force Chaplain Service

U. S. Navy Chief of Chaplains Homepage

Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors