Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Chaplain Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho serves as the command chaplain for the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. military's premier all hazards command. He will move to South Korea this summer to serve as the deputy garrison chaplain for U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, the U.S. military's largest overseas installation and the headquarters post for all U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho and Susanna Cho
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Chaplain Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho poses with his wife Susanna Cho. A former Republic of Army Special Forces officer, Cho decided to serve as a U.S. Army chaplain following 9/11. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
Formation
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Chaplain Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho (right) runs in formation. A former Republic of Korea Army Special Forces officer, Cho became a U.S. Army chaplain after 9/11. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A multitalented Army chaplain who serves at the U.S. military’s only multifunctional all hazards command can preach a sermon, play a song and break a stack of bricks with his bare hands.

Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho is not only a well-respected United States Army chaplain serving at the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive (CBRNE) Command but he is also a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do, a former officer of the South Korean Army Special Forces and a motorcycle rider who plays the saxophone.

Cho’s extraordinary story of faith and service spans generations in his family and bonds two nations across a vast ocean.

Born in South Korea in 1964, Cho grew up in a determined country that was recovering from a devastating conflict. The Korean War had ceased hostilities just 11 years earlier in an armistice that remains in effect today.

Family
Martin S. Cho (first on the left in the middle row) poses with his family at the Jesus Abbey in South Korea with Father R.A. Torrey III and his family in 1971. Cho grew up with Father Torrey's daughters Yency and Burny. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

Cho followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and became a minister. His grandfather received a Bible from Horace Grant Underwood — a prominent missionary who spent much of his time in Korea — more than 110 years earlier.

When it came time for Cho to do his mandatory service in the South Korean military, he was selected for the Republic of Korea Army’s elite counterterrorism unit — the 703rd Special Operations Battalion. His unit was a forerunner to the Republic of Korea Army’s 707th Special Mission Battalion, an equivalent to the U.S. Army’s elite Special Forces unit.

In the South Korean Special Forces, Cho served close to the Korean Demilitarized Zone during times of heightened tension. He participated in intense training to stay prepared for any circumstance along the world’s most heavily guarded border. Cho's training included an arduous 250-mile march with a 45-pound ruck pack through mountainous terrain along the Korean DMZ.

Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho and Susanna Cho
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Chaplain Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho poses with his wife Susanna Cho. A former Republic of Army Special Forces officer, Cho decided to serve as a U.S. Army chaplain following 9/11. He currently serves as the command chaplain for the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. Department of Defense's premier all hazards command. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Chaplain Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho plays the saxophone and rides a motorcycle. He serves as the command chaplain for the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. military's premier all hazards command. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Marshall R. Mason) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho (in front on the right) earned a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a Korean martial art that is also an Olympic sport. He serves as the command chaplain for the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. Department of Defense's premier all hazards formation. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

Cho later immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s and served as a minister at churches in Hawaii and California. But in the aftermath of 9/11, he decided to join the military again, this time as a U.S. Army chaplain.

Today, he serves as the command chaplain for the 20th CBRNE Command, the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-headquartered command that confronts and defeats the world’s most dangerous hazards. From 19 bases in 16 states, Soldiers and civilians from 20th CBRNE Command deploy to support joint, interagency and allied operations.

This summer, Cho will return to South Korea to serve as the deputy garrison chaplain for U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, the U.S. military’s largest overseas military installation and the headquarters post for all U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula.

Cho said he was motivated to serve to honor the sacrifice of those who went before him – the nearly 55,000 U.S. troops who gave their lives for freedom on the Korean Peninsula and the missionaries who risked their lives to share the word of God.

“From my father’s experience, I know that liberty is really important, and through faith and service, we can change the world for the better,” said Cho.