Former ATEC chaplain bids farewell after 29 years of service

By Courtney GilbertSeptember 30, 2021

Former ATEC chaplain bids farewell after 29 years of service
Maj. Gen. James J. Gallivan, commanding general of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), presents Chaplain (Col.) Jerry C. Sieg, former ATEC chaplain, with the certificate of retirement while Sieg's wife, Karlyn, stands beside him during Sieg’s retirement ceremony Sep. 17 at ATEC Headquarters. (Photo Credit: Courtney S. White Gilbert) VIEW ORIGINAL

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Maj. Gen. James J. Gallivan, commanding general of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), honored Chaplain (Col.) Jerry C. Sieg, former ATEC chaplain, for his lasting achievements and contributions to the Army for more than 29 years of service during his retirement ceremony Sep. 17 at ATEC Headquarters.

“It’s very important to share the lifelong commitment that Chaplain Sieg has made to the Army, the accomplishments he’s achieved, and the exceptional work he’s done for the Army and for the nation,” said Gallivan.

Sieg was commissioned in the Army in 1981 as a field artillery officer. His first assignment was as a platoon leader in the 1/80 Field Artillery Lance Missile Battalion in Aschaffenburg, West Germany. Sieg later served as the Military Community Detachment commander for the Aschaffenburg community before he left active duty to attend seminary in 1984. Sieg served in the local parish for seven years after he was ordained in the United Methodist Church. Then he decided to return to active duty as a chaplain in 1995.

Although Sieg had many assignments, according to him, his most notable assignments were held while he was stationed in Fort Bragg. Sieg served as the clinical supervisor and the director of the Family Life Chaplain Training Center from 2011 to 2015.

Prior to Sieg’s arrival at ATEC, he was the garrison chaplain for Carlisle Barracks from 2015 to 2018. While in that position, he served as both the senior protestant pastor and senior leader wellness spiritual subject matter expert.

In 2019, Sieg became the ATEC chaplain and provided spiritual leadership, resiliency, and religious support to the workforce.

During his tenure at ATEC, Sieg obtained funding from the Army Chief of Chaplain’s Office to lead five Strong Bonds retreats for Soldiers and their Families. He worked together with the Readiness and Resilience leader to develop suicide awareness, prevention, and intervention training to equip ATEC leaders and personnel in saving lives.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sieg provided key spiritual support by collaborating with religious support teams in various locations nationwide to ensure all had the freedom to exercise religion and engage in worship opportunities during the holy day season in a time of social restriction and isolation.

Additionally, Sieg successfully organized and executed a virtual counseling program that offered chaplain confidentiality and made it available to the entire ATEC workforce.

Sieg was an active member of the local Aberdeen Proving Ground community religious support team. He actively engaged in morning worship experiences, participated in outreach opportunities to Families, and supported special religious support events.

According to Sieg, serving in the military has been in response to his devotion to God. Throughout his career, he abided by the Chaplain Corps motto: “Pro Deo et Patria,” which means For God and Country.

During his remarks, Sieg shared the importance of keeping the faith by carrying the torch of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and died in service to the nation. Sieg shared how the torch to serve in the military was passed on to him from family members and other notable figures in his life who previously served.

“Torches need to be passed because when we run the Olympics, they pass that torch, and they pass it on to the next generation,” said Sieg. “It’s about knowing how to receive it and how to hand off on it.”

Sieg thanked all of those who helped shape his career and helped shaped his character, and thanked God as the primary influence along the way.

“Foremost, it’s God,” said Sieg. “God is the one who called me and who gave me the torch in ways that I didn’t even know it; who surrounded me with people who taught me along the way that coached and mentored me, ran with me and made a difference.”

Sieg closed out by challenging the audience to ask themselves what is the torch they carry.

“Yes, it is about those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, but today is about living out that sacrifice in ways that they could not to ensure that the next generation will be able to.”