USAG DAEGU, South Korea - Chaplain (Capt.) Taylor Kim, Religious Service Office, United States Army Garrison Daegu was promoted to the rank of Major after 13 years of active service, 5 March, at the Camp Walker Chapel. The Command Team, Kim's family and friends, and Chaplains from across the peninsula attended the ceremony.
Kim began his military career in high school as a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet. He was first enlisted to the Republic of Korea Army as an Infantry Soldier in 1987 where he served as a reservist until 1997. He immigrated to the United States and was commissioned in the U.S. Army in 2004 as a 2nd Lt. Chaplain Candidate. He served in numerous stations including multiple deployments to Kuwait and Iraq. In 2018, he was assigned as a resource manager and pastoral coordinator for USAG Daegu.
Notable guest of the ceremony was ROK Army Maj. Gen. Cho, Sang-ho, Ministry of National Defense who has been a long time mentor to Kim.
"I attended the same church youth group with Maj. Gen. Cho when I was in high school," said Kim. "After a couple of years Cho went to the military academy. Right after that point he became my hero and a role-model. Now I am serving in the United States Army as a Chaplain. This means we can meet each other uniform to uniform, respecting each other's service."
Following an impressive piano performance by Ms. Lee, Hye-eun, 8th Army Chaplain (Col.) Kim gave the opening prayer, followed by words of encouragement from the Garrison Chaplain.
"When I was a younger chaplain, my Senior Officer once came with his Lieutenant Colonel rank and gave it to me," said USAG Daegu Garrison Chaplin (Lt. Col.) Alfred C. Grondski. "I was only a Captain then but he said 'you've got this rank, now earn it!' It was inspiring that somebody believed in me and saw that I am suitable for that rank. With a certain rank we should always look forward to serving others and act accordingly to that rank. Just from the month or two that we have known each other, I believe that you, Chaplain Kim, have earned that rank"
Opening remarks were given by USAG Daegu Garrison Commander Col. Robert P. Mann Jr. "This promotion is not about what you have done, it's about what you are thankful and capable of."
Mann emphasized the responsibility that Kim has to take from now on. "You are an infantry man and a chaplain. Both shaped who you are. You had mentors like Maj. Gen. Cho and had great experiences, but none of them are what you are expected to achieve from now. There is much more respect, much more honor, but much more responsibility. You will be expected to pass on your knowledge and experiences to younger chaplains and Soldiers across Area IV. The service you are required to achieve will be much higher."
After Mann finished his speech, he called Chaplain Kim to the stage to be promoted. Maj. Gen. Cho and ROK Navy Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Kim, Chung-hun, Minstry of National Defense proceeded to the stage and replaced the old shoulder boards with new ones. Then, Chaplain Kim's daughter replaced his old Army Service Uniform service cap with a new one. Finally, Mann gave the U.S. Army Oath of Commissioned Officers to Kim, which officially promoted Kim to the rank of Major.
"Back when I was a Company Grade Officer, I would say I was like a sprinter," said Kim as he gave his remarks. "Always racing on my way like in short range. But as a Field Grade Officer, I think it is going to be like a long race marathon. So I am going to do my best but first will be listening to others and take their advice."
Kim also gave advice to junior Soldiers and young chaplains. "Time flies. I still remember my good old infantry days. I feel like it was only yesterday but almost 30 years have passed by. My advice is please not to waste your time, youth, energy and resources for nothing. Do something for good, meaningful and worthy. Invest for your future."
"Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character," added Kim.