REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama -- From Alabama to Alaska and from Japan to Germany, the sun never sets on one chaplain's mission to serve a global command.

Chaplain (Col.) Kenneth R. Sorenson, command chaplain, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, began his role at the command in coordinating the spiritual needs of Soldiers, civilians and their families June 13.

"SMDC is a great challenge," Sorenson said. "I am absolutely thrilled to be here because of the warmth and friendliness of the people here. Everybody is very helpful. I love what the command does for the Army and the country.

"Trying to make everybody feel connected is something I am still trying to figure out," he added. "One of the highlights of living in this area is the community is so supportive of the military and its mission. Having a command team that is so supportive of the team is a wonderful environment to be in."

Sorenson received a direct commission into the Army Reserves in January 1990. Prior to arriving in Huntsville, he served in Germany for four years; Fort Hood, Texas, for 14 years; and Alaska for nearly three years. He also served in three combat tours as well as three peacekeeping missions.

"I became a chaplain because my sister lived across from the chaplain school at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and she said with my love for Soldiers and the Army I needed to be a chaplain," Sorenson said. "I really wasn't sure what a chaplain was, but she said, 'they bring God to Soldiers and Soldiers to God.'

"I absolutely love being a chaplain, it is the best job in the Army," he added. "I think it is incredible. It is one of the toughest jobs in the Army, but because I like challenges, it is one of the most fun jobs in the Army."

Although he was assigned to SMDC this year, he had visited Redstone Arsenal in the summer of 1992. Another connection he had with Huntsville before being assigned here was with one of Werner von Braun's military aides from the late 1950s who retired at Fort Hood and went to chapel there. Sorenson said his family knew him and had him to their house for dinner.

Sorenson said he appreciates the SMDC team who have welcomed him and make him feel like a part of the family.

He talked about his background growing up and stated how being in a diverse community helped shape his worldview.

"My childhood was diverse in the sense that I grew up in an all-black elementary school," Sorenson said. "Being the only white kid in the class and being declared 'a brother' was really eye-opening and encouraging that we can all work together. It also stresses the importance of seeing the world through other peoples' eyes."

Sorenson also mentioned that besides work, he loves to travel and learn about different cultures.

"My wife and I love to travel as often as we can," Sorenson said. "We have four children so we don't get out as much as we would like to. But we have been to the United Kingdom several times. We have been over in the Pacific Ocean area several times to India, Japan and Singapore. We were stationed in Alaska and Germany and did a lot of traveling while we were there.

"We enjoyed seeing things because it is part of learning about different countries, cultures and people," he added.

Sorenson said he appreciates the SMDC team, which has welcomed him and made him feel like a part of the family. With the mission of the chaplaincy to perform and provide religious support, Sorenson talked about his advisement for the command.

"I do a weekly Bible study on mercy every week," Sorenson said. "It is held on Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. over by our first floor cafeteria. I think it is good for people to know about. Mercy is the theme of the pope this year and mercy is very near and dear to my heart and I want people to know and be aware that we have those meetings."