• U.S. Army Master Sgt. Dennis Reynolds, left, state chaplain assistant, and Col. Steven Shugart, outgoing state chaplain, share a quiet moment during the passing of the stole ceremony at the adjutant general's office July 13, 2013, in Columbia, S.C.  (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Erica Knight/Released)

    South Carolina National Guard chaplain leadership turnover

    U.S. Army Master Sgt. Dennis Reynolds, left, state chaplain assistant, and Col. Steven Shugart, outgoing state chaplain, share a quiet moment during the passing of the stole ceremony at the adjutant general's office July 13, 2013, in Columbia, S.C...

  • The South Carolina Army National Guard Chaplain Corps celebrated a change of leadership at the adjutant general's office in Columbia, S.C., July 13, 2013. The passing of the stole from the outgoing state chaplain to the new state chaplain is like passing the unit flag during a change of command. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Erica Knight/Released)

    South Carolina National Guard chaplain leadership turnover

    The South Carolina Army National Guard Chaplain Corps celebrated a change of leadership at the adjutant general's office in Columbia, S.C., July 13, 2013. The passing of the stole from the outgoing state chaplain to the new state chaplain is like...

  • U.S. Army Master Sgt. Dennis Reynolds, South Carolina Army National Guard chaplain assistant, places the stole on Col. Steven Shugart, the outgoing  Carolina Army National Guard chaplain, during a ceremony at the adjutant general's office in Columbia, S.C., July 13, 2013.  (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Erica Knight/Released)

    South Carolina National Guard chaplain leadership turnover

    U.S. Army Master Sgt. Dennis Reynolds, South Carolina Army National Guard chaplain assistant, places the stole on Col. Steven Shugart, the outgoing Carolina Army National Guard chaplain, during a ceremony at the adjutant general's office in Columbia...

  • U.S. Army Col. Steven Shugart, the outgoing outh Carolina Army National Guard chaplain, wears the stole for the last time during the passing of the stole ceremony in Columbia, S.C., to transfer the position to Col. Lawrence Dennis, chaplain, July 13, 2013.  (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Erica Knight/Released)

    South Carolina National Guard chaplain leadership turnover

    U.S. Army Col. Steven Shugart, the outgoing outh Carolina Army National Guard chaplain, wears the stole for the last time during the passing of the stole ceremony in Columbia, S.C., to transfer the position to Col. Lawrence Dennis, chaplain, July 13...

  • U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the adjutant general of the South Carolina National Guard, places the stole on the incoming state chaplain, Col. Lawrence Dennis, during a ceremony at the adjutant general's office July 13, 2013, in Columbia, S.C.  (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Erica Knight/Released)

    South Carolina National Guard chaplain leadership turnover

    U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the adjutant general of the South Carolina National Guard, places the stole on the incoming state chaplain, Col. Lawrence Dennis, during a ceremony at the adjutant general's office July 13, 2013, in...

  • U.S. Army Col. Lawrence Dennis, the incoming state chaplain, talks to Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the adjutant general of the South Carolina National Guard, after the passing of the stole ceremony at the adjutant general's office in Columbia, S.C., July 13, 2013.  (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Erica Knight/Released)

    South Carolina National Guard chaplain leadership turnover

    U.S. Army Col. Lawrence Dennis, the incoming state chaplain, talks to Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the adjutant general of the South Carolina National Guard, after the passing of the stole ceremony at the adjutant general's office in Columbia...

  • U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the adjutant general of the South Carolina National Guard, talks to Col. Steven Shugart, outgoing state chaplain, during a ceremony at the adjutant general's office in Columbia, S.C., July 13, 2013. Livingston gave Shugart a memento honoring the South Carolina soldier's warrior spirit.  (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Erica Knight/Released)

    South Carolina National Guard chaplain leadership turnover

    U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the adjutant general of the South Carolina National Guard, talks to Col. Steven Shugart, outgoing state chaplain, during a ceremony at the adjutant general's office in Columbia, S.C., July 13, 2013...

COLUMBIA, S.C.- Col. Steven Shugart, outgoing state chaplain, passed the mantle of leadership to Col. Lawrence Dennis, chaplain, during a Changing of the Stole Ceremony at the adjutant general's office in Columbia, S.C., July 13, 2013. The stole signifies the faithful execution of the spiritual mission of the Chaplain Corps.

"Chaplain Shugart assembled the finest chaplains and put them on a mission to take care of our soldiers and their families," said Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the adjutant general for South Carolina. Livingston called Shugart a "warrior's chaplain."

Shugart served as the state chaplain for over three years. Prior to holding that position, he deployed to Iraq with soldiers from South Carolina. During his time with the Guard, he has helped soldiers and family members weather difficult situations, life changes and the stresses of deployments.

Shugart said he became a Soldier to be more than what he was. To him, these three years have only felt like a minute. Shugart will be retiring from the Guard later this year.

"Thank you for letting me serve with you," Shugart said to the soldiers assembled in front of him. "It has been the greatest honor."

Dennis, who will take over the State Chaplain position, has also deployed with South Carolina troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has a deep understanding of the pressures and stress that soldiers endure.

Dennis humbly accepted the position of state chaplain, saying that he could never fill Shugart's shoes.

"Steve wanted to run to the sound of a soldier's heart," Dennis said. "He's set the bar high and we will keep marching to the Soldier's needs."

Page last updated Thu July 18th, 2013 at 00:00