WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. - About 13 years ago Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Hann deployed to the southern New Mexico desert for a major exercise and stopped briefly at White Sands Missile Range. Now he is the Post Chaplain.

Hann took over as Post Chaplain in January after Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Grant Johnson left WSMR for an assignment in Germany.

"I was with a quartermaster unit out of Fort Lee in 1995 and I came out here for an exercise called Roving Sands," Hann said. "We drove through here briefly stopping for food and water and I thought - man, this is nice," he said. The 26-year veteran of the Chaplains Corps comes to White Sands from a tour in Iraq, by way of Fort Belvoir, Va. where he was the Forward Deployed Chaplain for Army Materiel Command.

During his last assignment, Hann managed the Chaplain Branch's Logistics and Acquisition Materiel branch where one of his projects was to test communion wine.
"People laugh, but it's the truth," Hann said. "We tested communion wine to see that it will withstand the heat of Iraq or Kuwait and also the snows of Afghanistan while still tasting good."

Hann said his assignment to Fort Belvoir gave him valuable insight into how the Chaplain Corps works. While there he also served a tour in Afghanistan that included time in Kuwait.

Hann said he was excited to be at White Sands because, despite his vast experience with operational units, this is his first opportunity to be a post chaplain.

"I can (prepare to deploy like any other Soldier), pack my bags with my eyes closed and get on a C17," Hann said. "But now I'm doing things like the installation status report, common levels of service, dealing with contracts, things that are common to post chaplains."

Hann said his first order of business is to learn his new job, a task made much easier due to the healthy chaplain's program he inherited and the large group of chapel helpers already in place. "Ms. Hernandez (the chapel secretary) knows everybody on post. I don't have to look in the phone book and wonder who to call about a particular issue. She already knows. She is a wealth of knowledge," he said.

Since becoming an Army chaplain more than two decades ago, Hann's career has taken him around the world. Prior to Fort Belvoir, he was the Chief of Operations at the Chaplains School, Fort Jackson, S.C.; he served in two brigade assignments at Fort Riley, Kan. and one in South Korea; he worked in resource management in the Chief of Chaplain's office; was assigned to a quartermaster unit at Fort Lee, Va.; had an assignment to Germany and served in Desert Shield/Storm.

Hann is a native of Canton, Ohio and is accompanied by his wife, Dee. They have a daughter living in Columbia, S.C. and two sons in the Army -one at Fort Bliss and the other at Fort Campbell, Ky. He has a passion for baseball as he has played it and coached his sons at it. Hann also enjoys bird hunting and said he is looking forward to going out to the WSMR skeet range to practice.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16