Professor named Navy Chaplain Corps deputy chief for reserve matters
The (Fort Wayne, Ind.) News-Sentinel
An Indiana rear admiral (select) in the Navy Reserve became the Chaplain Corps' 18th deputy chief of chaplains for reserve matters at a ceremony Monday at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.
Concordia Theological Seminary Professor the Rev. Daniel L. Gard of Fort Wayne will be promoted to the rank of rear admiral during a ceremony Oct. 4, said Christianne M. Witten, special assistant for communications at the Navy's Chief of Chaplains office at the Pentagon in Washington.
The Navy appointment will not affect Gard's service at the seminary, where he will continue to teach as a professor of exegetical theology, said Jayne Sheafer, seminary public relations director.
“Chaplain Gard comes to us with a wealth of experience,” Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd, chief of Navy chaplains, was quoted as saying in a news report Witten provided on the ceremony. “But there are three things that stand out to me: his education, leadership experience and quiet confidence.”
“I am profoundly honored to serve as your deputy chief of chaplains for reserve matters,” Gard said in his remarks, the report said. “This is something I never expected …, and I am grateful for the opportunity. My prayer is that, in this role, I might assist you as you lead our chaplain corps in our vital mission to Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard members throughout the world.”
The Navy provided this biographical information on Gard:
He earned his master's degree in divinity at Concordia seminary in 1984. He then earned a master of arts degree in 1988 and a doctorate in philosophy in 1992, both from the University of Notre Dame.
He joined the Concordia seminary faculty in 1989 after serving from 1984-1989 as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mishawaka.
Gard currently serves or has served on several boards and commissions within The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) denomination, which operates Concordia seminary, and he has written several books and articles. In 2008, he was awarded the Saint Martin of Tours Award by the LCMS' Board for Mission Services for “exceptionally meritorious service to military personnel.”
Commissioned as a lieutenant (junior grade) in the Navy Reserve in 1988, Gard has served in several posts since, including deputy force chaplain/deputy director of Operational Ministry, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Va. (2001-2004); deputy force chaplain, Marine Forces Reserve Headquarters, New Orleans (2004-2008); and deputy regional chaplain, Navy Region Midwest (2009-2012). His most recent post was as joint task force (JTF) chaplain, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
During his military career, Gard has participated in numerous field exercises with Marines and Seabees. He also was mobilized as a reservist during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and he helped develop the Navy and Marine Corps' Warrior Transition Program and implemented it while deployed to Amphibious Task Force East aboard USS Saipan (LHA 2).
From 2007 to 2008, he was mobilized to Marine Forces Reserve, New Orleans, where he was responsible for training, readiness and mobilization of 140 reserve chaplains and the implementation of combat operational stress control throughout the Marine Reserves.
Gard's military awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards). He has been awarded several additional service medals and ribbons.