The Marine Corps is a fighting unit, and relies on the Navy to provide its chaplains and corpsmen.  The first Navy chaplain to accompany Marines into battle was J. F. Fleming who served the First Provisional Regiment to Nicaragua in 1912.  Throughout every war since, Navy chaplains have accompanied Marines into battle.  When the valiant Marines marched into the Chosin Reservoir early in the Korean War, their chaplains joined them--froze in the bitter cold with them--accompanied them into the field where they tended wounded and comforted dying.

From the opening shots of the Korean War to Armistice, both Army and Navy chaplains were there.  None earned Medals of Honor, but many received other high awards...mostly posthumously.  Thirteen U.S. Army chaplains were killed in action or died in captivity as P.O.W.s. 

Army and Navy Chaplains in Vietnam were as dedicated as any Men of God in history.  They served the Vietnamese people as well as the soldiers and Marines in their charge.  They built orphanages, counseled the despondent, wrote letters home to bereaved family, and conducted far too many memorial services for lost comrades.

They also went where they need not have gone, because duty called.  Three chaplains earned Medals of Honor.  Two of them completed one full tour of combat duty, then voluntarily returned to serve the men who called for them in the darkest hours of life.  Both men died in their moment of valor, shunning danger to  tend the wounded and minister to the dying.

Courtesy of

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