Friday, October 25, 2013

Navy Reserve Force Chaplain: On Keeping Faith, Appreciating Others and Staying Connected

About the Guest Blogger:
In the spring of 2001, Chaplain Timothy Lantz reported as Deputy Force Chaplain of the Naval Reserve Force (as it was named then) located in New Orleans, La.  Among very few “regular Navy” personnel assigned, he quickly became very impressed by the professional skills and dedication of all the folks: military and civilian—SELRES and FTS—who make up the Navy Reserve and bring so much to the total Force.  Subsequent tours at OPNAV, MARFORRES and Navy Region Southeast have only served to deepen his respect for the entire Navy Reserve Family.  Captain Lantz has since returned to Navy Reserve Forces Command as Force Chaplain.

As I write this, funding to support ADT, AT and even IDT drills, which was recently unavailable for 16 days due to the federal government shutdown, is opening back up. But even so, many Sailors are experiencing higher levels of stress as a result of the sudden cancellation of orders, delays in drill periods and financial strain.
I recommend three things for each of us to do during these times of uncertainty: Keep Faith, Appreciate Others and Stay Connected.

Keep Faith.  This includes praying for our civilian government leaders, our senior military officials and each other.  It also means trusting that the well-being of our military is of paramount importance and concern. A strong, reliable and flexible Navy is essential to our Country and, in past decades, the Reserve Component has proven to be of great value.  Your contribution to the Total Force has never been more appreciated by the Active Component or more recognized by the American public and Congress. Have faith that your service as a Reserve Sailor is and will be necessary for the strength of our Total Force and is appreciated.

Appreciate Others.  Take a moment to consider the efforts and sacrifices others are making. Tell them how much it means to you. This is a great way to give them a lift and will give you one as well.  Though we may often hear the phrase, “Thank you for your service!” it means much more when it comes from someone who really knows, from personal experience, what we do and how our families support us. Thank each other and your families. We all serve and we all need to feel appreciated.

Stay Connected.   As you resume training, lend assistance, encourage your Shipmates and support your leaders. Make a promise to build a stronger, more cohesive unit through camaraderie. Renewed opportunities for your service and the service of the total Force will come. Your ability to connect to your unit and commands will go far toward preparing the Reserve Force to meet whatever new challenges lie ahead.

Your incredible resilience and your ability to overcome whatever challenges and obstacles come along make the Navy Reserve a proven, trusted and reliable part of the greatest Navy in the world. But in times of stress, especially in times of stress, we all need a lift. Take care of each other, your family and yourself. The Chaplain Corps is always here to listen should you want to talk.

May God continue to bless each one of you and our Navy…and may God Bless America with victory and peace.

Chaplain Timothy Lantz

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