Message from CPT Smith:
Martin Luther King, Jr. once stated that, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” As anyone who has lived very long has learned, the quickest way to being miserable and unfulfilled is by being self-absorbed and inward focused.
This is why I am proud to be a member of SGAUS, a great organization whose purpose is built upon service to others. SGAUS is an association of men and women from all walks of life working together to assist their states and local communities simply because they sense a deep purpose in answering the call of others in time of need.
Serving as such is sacrificial. It is not done for reward. It is a calling. As the Minister G.K. Chesterton explained, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”
This is why I love serving as a SDF Chaplain and am humbled and honored to be this year’s SGAUS Chaplain Chair. As Chaplains, we serve those who serve. We are privileged to serve and serve with people whose hearts have been moved to fulfill a higher purpose. Our main ministry is being present in the soldier’s time of need to encourage, to inspire, to lift their spirits, to empower what GEN George C. Marshall called the “morale of omnipotence.”
I look forward to continuing the great work of former Chaplain Chairs and building upon their effective leadership. It is my desire to help build a more connected and cohesive Chaplain fellowship within SGAUS. Working with our Chief Chaplains, we can enhance our Corps and better enable every Chaplain, assistant, candidate and RAS.
Ultimately we know, irrespective of our religion or faith tradition, this is not about us. Ministry is about the ones we serve. I pray we take this time, this title, this opportunity and we use it to serve, to assist in the spiritual readiness of the soldiers in our individual states so they can fulfill their mission.
We may have many obstacles and our way forward may be daunting but we were made for such times. It is said that the war makes the general, that the trial reveals the leader. Theodore Roosevelt said, “If Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name.” Let us engage this moment, fulfill our calling and serve our soldiers in such a way that they will remember our name, so they will remember those we serve.
Please reach out to me anytime I can be of assistance.
Pro Deo et Patria, CH (CPT) J. Todd Smith