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7ID chaplain assumes stole, vows to 'elevate religious support' within BDEs

October 14, 2012

By Staff Sgt. Lindsey Kibler

JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. - Surrounded by family, friends and fellow chaplains, Chaplain Lt. Col. Darryl Hollowell was bestowed great spiritual responsibility as the 7th Infantry Division's chaplain's stole was placed onto his shoulders by the division's commanding general, Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, at the Assumption of Stole ceremony, Oct. 12, at the Four Chaplains Memorial Chapel on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"There are servants who serve, and leaders who lead, and then there are servant leaders who do both," said guest speaker Col. William Laigaie, I Corps chaplain. "Jesus said 'the greatest in the Kingdom of God is the servant of God." Hollowell is, he added, an exceptional servant of God.

Hollowell accepted the responsibility, and will now be charged with leading and providing religious support to the Unit Ministry Teams of, not only, the division but its five subordinate brigades. The Unit Ministry Teams of 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Inf. Div.; 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Inf. Div.; 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Inf. Div.; 16th Combat Aviation Brigade and 17th Fires Brigade provide their nearly 18,000 soldiers with religious support and spiritual leadership, regardless of denomination.

"This is a select position for any chaplain," explained Army Deputy Chief of Chaplains, Brig. Gen. Charles R. "Ray" Bailey. "Unit Ministry Teams work for commanders in order to deliver religious support to their soldiers, which is a huge responsibility as a leader. It's a very dynamic, important role within any unit and one that requires a strong leader who can meet the commander's needs. Chaplain Hollowell will fill this role well, and he will have the support of the Chief of Chaplains, the Army community and his unit."

Bailey attended the event on behalf of Army Chief of Chaplains, Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Donald L. Rutherford.

The Stole Ceremony is among the oldest known rituals. Clergy wear stoles as symbols of their spiritual leadership responsibility. Specifically, the stole reminds us of a chaplain's role as a spiritual-leader, servant-leader, and as God's representative among the people.

"Each chaplain has different ways, different religions but, at the end of the day, they come together to take care of soldiers and their families," said Lanza, the ceremony's host. Hollowell "is the right man at the right time," to serve as the newly reactivated 7th Inf. Div. chaplain, he added.

Hollowell assured Lanza that this is a job he will not take lightly, and vowed to serve with honor and integrity.

"I will train and mentor our brigade's unit ministry teams and require nothing less than God's, the Army's, and the Chaplain Corps' character values," Hollowell, a Cleveland, Ohio, native, promised "We [chaplains] are here as prophets to our commanders."

Two priorities on Hollowell's list are to elevate the amount of religious support available to soldiers and their families, and to increase the Health of the Force. Over the last year, Army senior leaders, led by Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, have dedicated an invaluable amount of time and resources to ensure soldiers and their families are being taken care of as part of the Army's Health of the Force campaign.

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