Chaplain (Lt. Col.) John E. Scott formally assumed the role of 3rd Infantry Division chaplain during an Assumption of Stole ceremony at the Marne Chapel on Fort Stewart, Georgia, Sept. 28, 2022.
Similar to an Assumption of Command ceremony, an Assumption of Stole ceremony allows an incoming chaplain to be formally bestowed their role by a senior officer, but instead of a guidon, the new chaplain receives a stole.
The stole has a long history as a symbol of prayer and faith. For 3rd ID, the stole identifies the wearer as the Marne Division’s chaplain. The stole has the names of the previous division chaplains embroidered on the right-hand side and the military operations those chaplains served in on the left. The white symbolizes purity and the black on the opposite side is the color of the chaplain branch.
“The importance of the tradition is born in antiquity,” said Chaplain (Col.) Michael F. McDonald, the command chaplain for 3rd ID, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield. “It is symbolic of the faith, trust and confidence placed into the individual about to take the office of spiritual leadership. It is not bestowed on all, but those with particular responsibilities and oversites – such as the division chaplain.”
Scott is an Ohio native who started his Army career as an Armor officer. He was reappointed as an active duty chaplain in June 2010, with his last assignment being the communication synchronization officer for the Office of the Chief of Chaplains.
Distinguished guests, such as Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza, commander of 3rd ID, and Families attended the ceremony. To officially recognize Scott as the new division chaplain, McDonald officiated Scott’s commitment to providing spiritual leadership to 3rd ID.
“I am excited about becoming the Marne Division chaplain,” said Scott. “This Division has a rich history, so it is a humbling honor to assume this role. There is nothing like having a job where my primary mission is to invest in people, connect them in spirit, and cultivate community.”
His new responsibility will include advising the commanding general on matters of religion, morals and morale, ensuring Soldiers and Families have freedom to practice their religion, and leading religious support operations for the division. McDonald will rely on Scott and his Unit Ministry Teams to care for every Soldier, Family member and civilian in 3rd ID.
“I want the Soldiers, Family members and civilians of this great division to know that their Unit Ministry Teams care for them and are here to serve them,” said Scott. “We will do our very best to be there for them every day.”