CHIEFS OF CHAPLAINS
Headquarters, U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) sponsors an annual International Military Chiefs of Chaplains Conference, now held the first Monday in Feburary of each year. The event takes place each year in a different country, and is co-hosted by that nation.
The first conference was held in February 1990 in Stuttgart, Germany, as the NATO Cheifs of Chaplains Conference. The purpose was to provide a forum for dialogue and discussion, to enhance interoperability, facilitate host nation support, and ensure professional pastoral care in combat. The second conference was held at Church House, British Army on the Rhine, Lubbecke, Federal Republic of Germany. The third conference was held in Rome, Italy.
Under the leadership of then USEUCOM Command Chaplain, Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff, Captain, Chaplain Corps, U.S. Navy, the conference expanded in many ways. It had already begun to include non-NATO nations within Europe, but was further enlarged to include invitations to all USEUCOM nations, and later to all military Chiefs of Chaplains or Chaplains General anywhere in the world. During Chaplain Resnicoff's tenure--coordinating conferences in Luxembourg, Geneva, and Vienna--such invitations resulted in the participation of Chiefs of Chaplains from nations including South Africa and South Korea.
As the vision for these conferences was enlarged, one goal of the conference became cooperation and information sharing among NATO and non-NATO member nations. Of particular emphasis was cooperation and discussions of lessons learned in the areas of humanitarian, peacekeeping, and other contingency operations. Such discussions became an integral part of USEUCOM's strategy of engagement, particularly in support of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program -- one of the command's most important initiativesin post-Cold War Europe. This program seeks to promote trust, interoperability and understanding with nations of central and eastern Europe through military contact in the form of PfP exercises, workshops, and conferences.
Speakers at these annual International Military Chiefs of Chaplains Conferences have included religious, political, and military leaders ranging from Pope Paul II, to World Council of Churches General Secretary Konrad Reiser,to then USEUCOM Commander in Chief General Wesley K. Clark.
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Click here for additional information on past International Military Chiefs of Chaplains Conferences:
Address of John Paul II to the 3rd Conference, Rome, Italy, February 6 1992
"Taking Faith to the New Front Lines" -- Christian Science Monitor article
on the 10th annual Conference, Vienna, Austria, February 1999
Address of World Council of Churches General Secretary Konrad Reiser,
to the 11th annual Conference, Genva, Switzerland, February 9 2000
Statement of Mike Moore, Director General, World Trade Organization,
at the 11th annual Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, February 2000