ARLINGTON, Va. - The chaplains of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment celebrated the 237th anniversary of the Chaplains Corps with a wreath laying ceremony at the Chaplain's memorial in Arlington National Cemetery followed by a luncheon.
The chaplains of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) marked the 237th anniversary of the Chaplain Corps with a wreath laying ceremony July 27, 2012, in Arlington National Cemetery, Va.
Soldiers, Chaplains and their families from around the nation gathered at the Chaplains' Memorial to celebrate the occasion and honor the fallen.
"We honorably celebrate 237 years of our beloved Chaplain Corps," said Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Don Rutherford, the U.S. Army chief of Chaplains, to the crowd. "I encourage each of you to continue in your investment of our Corps and our Army."
The Chief of Chaplains asked a special blessing be said for the past, present, and future of the Corps during the day's events.
"We are truly thankful for the last 237 years and may God bless the next 237 years," said Rutherford.
Those gathered bowed in prayer before a special wreath ceremony in honor of the momentous occasion.
"The wreath laying was really nice," said Chaplain (Maj.) Jason Nobles, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Chaplain. "I couldn't ask for a greater event for these Chaplains."
During the luncheon that followed, those involved in the planning were able to reflect on the meaning and success of the anniversary celebration.
"This event is very special for our Corps, and it was a team effort to get the job done," said Nobles, who organized the event. "I couldn't have done any of this without my team doing their parts."
Sgt. Anthony Keylon, a Chaplain's assistant assigned to the 4th Battalion, 3rd U.S. Inf. Reg. (The Old Guard), said the event was a huge success because of the execution and thorough planning.
"This event has been in the works for months, and to get all of the moving pieces together was really amazing. I would definitely call this event a success," said the East Ridge, Tenn., native. "It was all about attention to details. We had ensured that food, buses, chairs, sound systems and every little thing scheduled was ready by that morning."
He added that the Chaplains' hectic schedules made it even more significant that so many could assemble at once.
"We had about 200 people here, and this was a special time that the Chaplain Corps can get together and minister to one another," said Keylon. "The Chaplain Corps is so small that everyone knows everyone. I got a chance to see people that I haven't seen in a while."
Keylon continued by saying that he can't wait until next year's anniversary.
"This is my first year here with The Old Guard and having a chance to add to the history of this Corps in such a major way has been such a valuable experience," he said.