Becoming An Army Reserve Chaplain A Missed Military Chaplain Opportunity

Now I Regret Not Becoming
An Army Reserve Chaplain

Getting my masters degree was the best career move I ever made when it comes to my chaplain career decision. But there are several regrets I have in my ministry career journey.

Army Reserve Chaplain Decision

"Ever consider becoming an army reserve chaplain?" was the question one of my friends asked me back when I was just beginning my pastoral career.

"No", was my answer, which meant that I did become an Army Chaplain, a Navy Chaplain, or an Air Force Chaplain. all which are now ministry regrets.

As I look back on my 40 year ministry career, one of my greatest career regrets was not becoming a chaplain in the reserves when the opportunity to do so was presented to me.

The other military chaplain opportunities never presented themselves to me nor did I seek military chaplaincy. I often wonder if the decision to pursue military chaplain positions could have enriched my life in a powerful way.

Yes, I know we all have questions about what could have been and I can do nothing now that those chaplain career opportunities are past.  I write about them to suggest anyone considering a career in the military as a chaplain think long and hard about the opportunity as a military chaplain.

What Are My Regrets About Not
Becoming An Army Reserve Chaplain?

  • I now see that the chaplain recruiter's challenge that I was cut out for chaplaincy much more than being a local parish pastor was right on. (Not just a recruiter, he was my friend).
  • I have since seen data saying that military and healthcare chaplains feel more fulfilled in their careers than pastors.
  • The twenty years of my army reserve chaplain service that I thought was such a long off would have ended about 20 years ago, providing me with a substantial retirement compared to the pathetic pastor retirement program my faith group provides.

Retirement Planning The Real Issue

Back then, like most young adults in their twenties, retirement planning was not something I thought about. 

Not much has changed since then, with young adults still ignoring retirement strategies, such as funding 401K's early when the greatest compounding produces the greatest financial benefit for retirement.

My challenge to those reading this is to take action in your twenties and thirties in funding your financial future.

You see, becoming an Army Chaplain would have been  great way to let the military fund my retirement.  Doing so early in my ministry career would have given the funds to grow over a longer period of time.

Yes, most of us have regrets concerning our financial decisions and not becoming an Army Reserve Chaplain is one of many for me.