FORT STEWART, Ga. - Leaders and alums from the 3rd Infantry Division gathered at Fort Stewart recently to identify the Distinguished Members of the Division and induct new members to the Marne Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Aug. 1. One inductee stood apart as an unlikely character – a man who never carried a weapon but rather wielded the power of his calling to serve both God and country: Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Patrick J. Ryan.
The distinguished Catholic Priest, known for his unwavering dedication and service during World War II and beyond, was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Division as a testament to his remarkable impact on the 3rd ID and the United States Army.
Chaplain Ryan's storied career included serving as the Division Chaplain for the 3rd ID during World War II from December 1941 to February 1943, during which he participated in Operation Torch, the perilous amphibious assault in North Africa. His presence in combat and untiring commitment to the Soldiers under his care in the most difficult circumstances exemplify the indomitable spirit of the "Rock of the Marne."
The induction ceremony took place at the 3rd ID's headquarters building which houses the displays for all the honored Soldiers. Chaplain (Lt. Col.) John Scott, the current Division Chaplain, spoke about the enduring impact of Chaplain Ryan's legacy.
"Chaplain Ryan's service and dedication as a 'Dogface Soldier' are etched into the very fabric of our division's history," remarked Chaplain Scott. "His commitment to caring for the spiritual well-being of our Soldiers, and his bravery during the dark days of World War II left an indelible mark on our the history of our division. Chaplain Ryan was a shining example of what it means to care for the soul of the Army."
The ceremony was a heartfelt tribute to the life and service of Chaplain Ryan, honoring not only his role during World War II but also his continued service in various leadership positions after the war.
During his illustrious career, Chaplain Ryan held various leadership positions within the Chaplain Corps, including serving as the 9th U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains from May 1, 1954, to Oct. 30, 1958. He is also the only person to hold the Deputy Chief of Chaplains position twice.
In commemorating the life of this distinguished member, the 3rd ID honored an exemplar whose selfless dedication continues to reflect the core values and spirit of the division, inspiring the current and future generations of Dogface Soldiers to strive for excellence in service to others.