By Mr. Derek Gean (Leonard Wood)March 19, 2015
Community members from various faith traditions gathered to pray for the community, nation, leadership and military at the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood Military Community 2015 National Prayer Breakfast Tuesday at Pershing Community Center.
Several installation chaplains led around 300 people in different prayers.
"This morning we gather to request God's strength help and guidance for our nation's leaders, U.S. military and Fort Leonard Wood community," said Chaplain (Maj.) Mark Miller, 3rd Chemical Brigade chaplain and event organizer. Miller provided the audience with a history of the National Prayer Breakfast.
"Military installations and commands have followed their president in observing the National Prayer Breakfast event to improve spiritual fitness and invoke divine favor for our mission and national security. Throughout our nation and military, understanding how the faith of our forefathers was critical in the formation of our American heritage, reinforces our history as important," Miller said.
The breakfast included instrumental music from the 399th Army Band Brass Quintet and special music by Kathy Miller.
Chaplain (Col.) Michael Thomas, senior installation chaplain, introduced the morning's guest speaker, Chaplain (Col.) Michael Coffey, Chief of Staff, Office of the Chief of Chaplains. Coffey, who has served as a chaplain since 1986, spoke to the crowd about leadership.
"Anytime we have a crowd of people like this, we have people who are leading, we have people who will one day be leading, and it is a sad commentary that we have people in the crowd that even though they have served for 30 years, they may never lead in the truest sense of that word," Coffey said.
Coffey offered his three observations on the making of great leaders.
"Just three things make all the difference in the world sometimes," he said.
"As a leader you have to know where you are going. It really is very important to know where you are going. What sort legacy would you like to have,?" Coffey asked.
Secondly he encouraged the attendees to persevere and never quit.
"Nothing in the human spirit is as powerful as perseverance. If you persevere you can be the drops of water that create the next Grand Canyon. Perseverance will help you learn to become the leader you need to be," Coffey said.
Finally he said that quality leadership is all about motivation or attitude.
"So what's your attitude, what's your motivation, how do you do when things get very hard. Look at your attitude," he said.
Coffey compared the troubles of life to boiling water. He said in the boiling water, carrots get soft, eggs get hard, but if you throw coffee in, it changes the entire environment.
"That's what I want you to do. I want you to lead, I want you to change," Coffey said as he concluded his message.
Following Coffey's speech, the breakfast concluded with the singing of "God Bless America" and a closing prayer.