May 10, 2011 • On-campus Event
Oath of Office
"I, Adam Horstman, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of Second Lieutenant do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God."
With those words, 1st-year seminarian Adam Horstman became a Second Lieutenant Chaplain Candidate in the U.S. Army Reserves on Tuesday. He took the oath on our campus, at the foot of the bridge that straddles Troublesome Brook, surrounded by fellow seminarians, staff, Chancellor Archpriest Chad Hatfield, and visiting Chaplain (Major) Peter M. Dubinin, an Orthodox priest who has served 15 years in the United States Army.
Seminarian James Parnell, a 1st-year seminarian and a Second Lieutenant Chaplain Candidate in the New York Army National Guard, administered the oath, while 3rd-year seminarian Aaron Oliver, who is a First Lieutenant Chaplain Candidate in the Nevada Army National Guard, witnessed the oath while presenting the U.S. flag during the ceremony.
“This day has been long in the making,” said Seminarian Horstman, reflecting upon his new direction in life. “When I was eighteen, I enlisted in the military, and although the Chaplaincy was not a career option for me at that time, I was instantly drawn to it, especially during my times of deployment. A military chaplain is placed right in the middle of people’s lives, whatever they are going through. The dangers, stress, heartache, and camaraderie in the military make for unbelievable ministry opportunities—from counseling families in crisis to advising commanders facing tough decisions.
“Most importantly,” he continued, “an Orthodox chaplain is a priest who commends others to God and His Church. It was in the military that I first learned about the Orthodox faith, by encountering a prayer book in a desert chapel. Perhaps it was Providence that led me to the same Church as Father Sean Levine, a model priest and chaplain, who has greatly impacted my decision to follow this calling. For me, an Orthodox priest-chaplain is to be a chaplain is the truest sense of the word. Bringing the sacraments to Orthodox Christians on the frontlines and being a witness to the incredible riches of our faith to all people—to people like me, an eighteen- year-old kid away from his new wife and in harm’s way. Such a treasure indeed! Perhaps the events of my life have now led me to my vocation as a military chaplain.”
Chaplain Dubinin, currently stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland, gave a word to those witnessing the ceremony. “Opportunity, responsibility, privilege,” he said, mark the military chaplaincy. “We Orthodox priests all have our crosses, but those who are military chaplains are particularly concerned with serving our servicemen and women, who especially need pastoral care in their circumstances—not knowing if the patrol they are about to go on will be their last.”