The Georgia Army National Guard welcomed its first Episcopal Chaplain to the force in a commissioning ceremony held at the Clay National Guard Center chapel in Marietta.
The Rev. Paul McCabe, from Marietta, Ga., has a history of service. He served in the U.S. Navy as a boatswain's mate from 1988 to 1990. After leaving the Navy, he joined the Fulton County Police Department and served from 1993 to 2004.
His military service shaped his faith and trust in God as well as his law enforcement service in the diverse communities in the Atlanta area.
"I've always had faith," said McCabe. "Being a first responder you deal with crisis situations on a regular basis. I feel the experience will benefit will benefit me going forward."
McCabe was motivated to join the National Guard by a friend who served in the military and deployed several times. Following military separation, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, McCabe's friend took his own life. His loss kindled McCabe's desire to serve.
"His death definitely got me thinking about entering the service," said McCabe. "The current challenge of our Soldiers dealing with the effects of deployment are a priority."
McCabe's entry into the Georgia Army National Guard's Chaplain Corps continues to modernize the force to reflect the needs of its Soldiers.
"Paul is a much needed and valued resource for the Georgia Army National Guard," said Lt. Col. Blair L. Davis, state chaplain, Joint Force Headquarters-Georgia. "His presence and qualifications will provide combatant commanders with the additional resources to minister to the needs of our Soldiers."
After being ordained through the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta in 2007, he currently serves at the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation in Marietta, Ga.
Service as an Army chaplain requires chaplains to with Soldiers from all faiths, ethnic backgrounds and gender respecting the importance of diversity throughout the force.
"I want to bring all people from all backgrounds to faith," said McCabe. "Soldiers come to a chaplain not because of his personal faith, but because of their need."
As the Georgia National Guard enters 2018 with multiple operations and deployments, Chaplain McCabe is a welcome addition to the state.
"We are a very operational force," said Brig. Gen. Randall V. Simmons Jr., commanding general, Georgia Army National Guard. "We have multiple units which have deployed multiple times, the addition of Chaplain McCabe can greatly benefit the force going forward."