FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. - The U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command held a Change of Stole ceremony at Kino Chapel, Fort Huachuca, Ariz., July 23, as the Commanding General for NETCOM, Maj. Gen. John Baker, passed the NETCOM Stole from outgoing NETCOM Command Chaplain, Chaplain (Col.) Richard Garvey, to the incoming Command Chaplain, Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Will Horton.
The history of the stole shows it was first used in the Roman Empire to symbolize a position of honor in the government, said Deputy Command Chaplain, Chaplain (Maj.) Jim Fisher.
"Scholars have suggested the stole has its origins in the Jewish traditions to symbolize a prayer mantle. In the Old Testament, the passing of a mantle or stole represented the transfer of prophetic authority between Elijah and Elisha," said Fisher. "Today, we see the stole as both a sign of authority and a symbol of pastoral responsibility."
"We are here today to recognize the vital role the chaplain has in the Army," said Baker during his remarks. "The Continental Congress established the chaplains as an integral part of the Army of the United States on 29 July 1775. Chaplains have served in significant numbers from the earliest battles of the American War of Independence to the present. From the beginning, the Army has turned to chaplains in order to nurture the living, care for the wounded and honor the fallen."
Baker went on to speak of the bond between the Chaplain and those they serve. "Chaplains hear confessions, celebrate the joys of life, bear the burdens of heartbreaks, and diligently strive to offer the reality of hope, even in the darkest hour."
Speaking of a phrase coined by the Army Chief of Chaplain, Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Paul Hurley, 'Live the Call,' Horton said "… under this mantle, this stole, my commitment before you today is that I will live that call via my personal ministry motto: Here to Serve, Ready to Lead."
Baker thanked Garvey for leading the NETCOM family as the Command Chaplain. "I thank Chaplain Richard Garvey for leading our NETCOM family these last 21 months. You have been our shepherd for 15,000 personnel in 22 countries and 37 states. I publicly offer my sincerest gratitude to you and Becky [Garvey] for your service to us, among us and with us."
Garvey, who is leaving for an assignment as the command chaplain for the Army's Cyber Center of Excellence, Fort Gordon, Ga., after 22 months at NETCOM said "Well, if I am honest, I have to admit, I do not want to leave, but the Army tells us where and when we will go. So it is with a sad heart I transition today, but it is with a hopeful heart and trust in God that I leave with hope for the future."