Last Prayer

501st Change of CommandLast year on 22 July I posted about my first prayer, which wasn’t actually the first time I prayed, but my first official prayer as the Brigade Chaplain. Today, I prayed my last prayer which, undoubtedly, won’t be the last prayer I pray but my last official prayer as the Brigade Chaplain before I leave for home. This was a prayer for the brigade Change of Command ceremony, as the outgoing Brigade Commander passes authority to the incoming Brigade Commander.

Prayers are traditionally a part of military ceremonies and in my experience have not resulted in any issues; though to listen to some media reports you would think that they will be the cause the end of the civilized world.

There are a lot of customs and traditions which symbolize all sorts of history which has been preserved in military ceremonies for years, the Change of Command ceremony is no exception.

501st MI BDE Change of Command
Brigade Primary Staff (which doesn’t include the Chaplain or the Lawyer, who are both Special Staff)

The colors moving into place for the change of command
501st MI BDE Change of Command
The colors in place
501st MI BDE Change of Command
The INSCOM Commander (MG Ballard) speaking to the brigade and guests
501st MI BDE Change of Command
Outgoing brigade commander (COL Arnold) addressing the brigade and guests
501st MI BDE Change of Command
Incoming brigade commander (COL Lee) addressing the brigade and guests

The “Passing of the Colors” as part of the Change of Command ceremony

As usual, there aren’t any pictures of me praying, but that’s OK. I was there. Here’s what I prayed:

Most Gracious Heavenly Father:

Thank you for this day that you have given to us and for this occasion that brings us together which always reminds us of the strength of our military and the freedom it defends, and today, the role that the 501st plays in the defense of freedom here in Korea.

Thank you for Colonel Arnold and for his committed and faithful service as the Brigade Commander. Thank you for the positive impact he has had on the Soldiers and mission of the brigade as he has served with honor and integrity.

I pray that you will continue to be with him and his family as they move on to their next assignment here on the Peninsula. Please return to them blessing upon blessing, as they have been a blessing to so many.

I also pray that you will be with Colonel Lee as he assumes command of the brigade. Provide for him everything that he needs to serve with faithfulness, courage and integrity as he continues the great work that Colonel Arnold has begun.

Finally Lord, I pray that you will bless this time that we share together with your  presence, and pray that everything that is said and done here today will be pleasing to you, as you continue to bless us, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America.

In your precious and holy name I pray, Amen.

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501st MI BDE Change of Command

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