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News: SC National Guard Chaplain Corps gets new leadership

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South Carolina National Guard chaplain leadership turnover Staff Sgt. Erica Knight

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the adjutant general of the South Carolina National Guard, talks to Col. Steven Shugart, outgoing state chaplain, during a ceremony at the adjutant general's office in Columbia, S.C., July 13, 2013. Livingston gave Shugart a memento honoring the South Carolina soldier's warrior spirit. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Erica Knight/Released)

COLUMBIA, S.C.— Col. Steven Shugart, outgoing state chaplain, passed the mantle of leadership to Col. Lawrence Dennis, chaplain, during a Changing of the Stole Ceremony at the adjutant general’s office in Columbia, S.C., July 13, 2013. The stole signifies the faithful execution of the spiritual mission of the Chaplain Corps.

"Chaplain Shugart assembled the finest chaplains and put them on a mission to take care of our soldiers and their families," said Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the adjutant general for South Carolina. Livingston called Shugart a "warrior's chaplain."

Shugart served as the state chaplain for over three years. Prior to holding that position, he deployed to Iraq with soldiers from South Carolina. During his time with the Guard, he has helped soldiers and family members weather difficult situations, life changes and the stresses of deployments.

Shugart said he became a Soldier to be more than what he was. To him, these three years have only felt like a minute. Shugart will be retiring from the Guard later this year.

"Thank you for letting me serve with you," Shugart said to the soldiers assembled in front of him. "It has been the greatest honor."

Dennis, who will take over the State Chaplain position, has also deployed with South Carolina troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has a deep understanding of the pressures and stress that soldiers endure.

Dennis humbly accepted the position of state chaplain, saying that he could never fill Shugart’s shoes.

"Steve wanted to run to the sound of a soldier's heart," Dennis said. "He's set the bar high and we will keep marching to the Soldier's needs."


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Public Domain Mark
This work, SC National Guard Chaplain Corps gets new leadership, by SSG Erica Knight, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:07.13.2013

Date Posted:07.14.2013 17:01

Location:COLUMBIA, SC, USGlobe

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