SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The new command chaplain here wants to increase the involvement of sea-duty sailors in the base’s chapel community.
He also wants to establish an onboard presence with the crews of the seven ships that operate from Sasebo.
“The reason we are all here is to support the ships that are here,” said Cmdr. Ed Ranard, 52, who arrived about two weeks ago. His wife, Barbara, will join him later this fall.
“I’ve already taken that to heart, and in time, I will put my actions where my words are. Getting them involved in the chapel community is very high on my priority list.”
He also wants to revitalize the Religious Ministries Department programs, saying he’s already heard from many people desiring to be involved in various programs. In the near future, Ranard plans to tap into that enthusiasm.
As the base’s command chaplain, he directs those serving on ships such as the USS Essex and USS Juneau. “When they all return, I’m going to speak with them and say, ‘Hey, I’m here for you, and I want to do all I can to help take care of you.’”
One measure he’ll offer ship chaplains, Ranard said, is a break from service after service.
Ranard started serving as a pastor when he was a junior and senior in high school, and he hasn’t stopped.
“I really want to be a pastor, and a mentor, to the chaplains that are here, and RPs, too,” he said, referring to the enlisted sailors serving as religious program specialists.
After graduating from high school in 1969 in Bloomington, Ind. — where he met his wife — he attended Franklin College in Franklin, Ind., graduating in 1973 with a liberal arts degree in philosophy.
From there, he worked on a master’s degree while attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., for about 18 months, and transferred Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Ill., where he completed the coursework.
Ranard became a Navy chaplain in October 1985 before earning a master’s degree from Duke University in pastoral care and counseling.
He comes to Sasebo from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where he served as a regimental chaplain.
Cmdr. Harry W. Griffith, Sasebo’s former command chaplain, left for a religious teaching post in Connecticut. Ranard is on a three-year tour.