Dugway Chaplain promoted to lieutenant colonel

By Al Vogel, public affairs specialistOctober 26, 2018

Lester family pins lieutenant colonel rank to Dugway Chaplain
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The family of Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James Lester pinned his new lieutenant colonel rank to his shirt and jacket during his Oct. 1, 2018 promotion ceremony at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. Left to right: The Rev. Ron Lester, his father... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)
Chaplain Lester gives Army Strong hug at promotion
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Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James Lester, after swearing to the Oath of Office, hugs retired Army Chaplain (Col.) David Brown. He was sworn in during an Oct. 1, 2018 ceremony at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. Brown and Chaplain Lester once s... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)
Chaplain Lester greets young Dugwayite at promotion
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Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James Lester greets a small boy during the chaplain's promotion ceremony from major to lieutenant colonel Oct. 1, 2018 at Dugway Proving Ground,
Utah. Many well-wishers, like this youngster and his mother, went... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)
Meticulously made cake served at Chaplain Lester promotion
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Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James Lester stands beside a cake that Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, resident Suna Bridgman made to congratulate him for promotion to lieutenant colonel. The ceremony was Oct. 1, 2018 in the Dugway Hope Chapel.
P... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

The ceremony began with an invocation led by Chaplain (Maj.) Chad Davis of the 43rd Sustainment Brigade and chaplain at Fort Carson, Colorado. Chaplain Davis introduced Col. Brant Hoskins, commander of Dugway Proving Ground, as ceremony officiator.

Dugway's commander praised the chaplain who came here in September 2017, noting that he was much loved and respected by the community and Soldiers.

The next assignment for Chaplain Lester has not been announced, but Hoskins noted that lieutenant colonel chaplains typically become division-level chaplains with the 82nd, 101st, 4th Infantry and others.

Hoskins then read the promotion order, approved by Mark T. Esper, Secretary of the Army and presented Chaplain Lester with a framed copy. His wife Julie and son Josiah removed his former rank from his jacket and replaced them with silver oak leaves of lieutenant colonel. His parents, the Rev. Ron and Betty Lester of Tucson, pinned the higher rank to Chaplain Lester's shirt.

Chaplain (Col.) David Brown, retired Army and a longtime friend of Chaplain Lester's, administered the Oath of Office. Rev. Brown called Julie Lester forward, beside her husband, so he might pray over them as a reminder of their, "New realm of responsibility of calling. And today we pray for their ministry to our nation's Army."

Chaplain Lester then spoke at the podium. The Oklahoma native looked out over the large audience and quipped, "Wow. Can y'all come back on Sunday?" He thanked some groups and individuals in the audience for their support, then presented his wife and mother with a dozen red roses each.

A reception line formed to greet the new lieutenant colonel and family. After the benediction, lunch that included highly decorated cakes made by Dugway resident Suna Bridgman was served.

Dugway Hope Chapel phone is 435-831-2431. Services are:

Sunday, Protestant, 11 a.m. to noon. Thursday, Catholic Mass, 6 to 7 p.m. Officiated by a priest from Tooele.

Wednesday, Bible Study, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Women's Group, 9:15 a.m.