JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington - America's First Corps bid farewell to the first female I Corps command chaplain during a Change of Stole ceremony June 29 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
"The passing of the stole is a tangible representation that the responsibility for spiritual leadership and pastoral care has passed from one chaplain to another," said event Master of Ceremonies, Chaplain (Capt.) Sean Dennerlein.
The outgoing I Corps Command Chaplain, Col. Yvonne C. Hudson, relinquished her role to Col. John S. Peck.
"I am proud to have served in America's First Corps," said Hudson. "No chaplain could have asked for a better command family."
Hudson, who is the senior ranking woman in the Army's Chaplain Corps, is heading to Fort Sam Houston, Texas to be the senior Installation Management Command chaplain.
Peck, a native of Dallas, Texas, comes to I Corps after serving as the senior mission command chaplain for the 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
"It's great to be here at Joint Base Lewis-McChord," Peck said. "I am humbled and grateful as I think about the present and the future."
The historical basis of the Passing of the Stole Ceremony draws its tradition from the Bible. Second Kings, Chapter Two, described the transfer of the spiritual leadership of Israel from the Prophet Elijah who passed his mantle to his successor.
The senior corps chaplain provides training and readiness oversight to 149 ministry teams and support to more than 43,000 soldiers across the corps, said Hudson.
"There are no easy leadership positions at any level in America's First Corps," said Hudson. "Everyone must be all-in and motivated to get the job done."
Ministers and chaplains wear the stole during worship to symbolize their voluntary submission to the will of God and their role as servant-leaders for God's people, said. Dennerlein.
The Passing of the Stole reminds all chaplains and religious affairs specialists of their calling to serve Soldiers and families as servant-leaders. It is a time of recommitment to assisting Soldiers with their spiritual needs.