Protecting the Pacific Northwest
I serve the southern portion of the D-13 area of operations. My units and stations span some 400 miles of coastline from the California border north to Grays Harbor, Washington, and as far east as Kennewick, Washington. I live in Astoria and have an office at the
Sector Columbia River administration building in Warrenton, Oregon. It is my privilege to serve with the United States Coast Guard.
There are currently three chaplains assigned to District Thirteen: CDR Michael Greenwalt (District 13 at Pier 36 in Seattle, (myself) LT Greg Hazlett and our Reserve Chaplain, LCDR Scott Dunfee, who lives in Portland, OR. Additionally, we have several reserve and volunteer clergy who help support our Coast Guard family throughout the District.
In case of an emergency contact 911.
After hours contact the Sector Columbia River Command Center at 503-861-6211.
If you have specific questions about other religions, faith groups and available resources, please contact one of our chaplains. Our Chaplains have a variety of print and video resources available that relate to spiritual development, religious education, marriage and parenting, etc. Some are free, and others are available for loan.
CDR Michael Greenwalt is our District Thirteen Chaplain. His office is located in Seattle and he directly oversees the Coast Guard stations and units in the northern area of operations of District Thirteen. For those of you new to the Seattle area, the D13 Chaplain office is located at Pier 36 in Bldg. 1 on the first deck. For information about upcoming chaplain sponsored events in the District and helpful links, you can visit the D13 Chaplain website on a standard workstation through the link on the D13 cgweb home page.
Chaplains are best known for what is called "deck plate ministry". Simply, that means getting to know people where they work. We also provide pastoral counseling services to military members and their families, conduct sacramental acts like baptisms and weddings (both ashore and afloat), provide divine services onboard cutters, train and equip religious Lay Leaders assigned to our largest cutters, provide suicide prevention, pre-marriage education programs and marriage workshops, work closely with our Gold and Silver badges, Work Life and Ombudsmen, and act as the principal advisor to the District Commander on issues of religion and morals. The Coast Guard instruction that defines the Commander's Command Religious Program is COMDINST 1730.4B (Religious Ministries Within The Coast Guard).
All chaplains assigned to the Coast Guard are in fact Navy Chaplains. Navy Chaplains have the distinct privilege of serving with the Navy, USMC, and the USCG. There are currently 38 active duty and 12 reserve chaplains assigned to the Coast Guard (out of approximately 800 chaplains in the Navy Chaplain Corps). It is difficult to get one, let alone two, tours of duty as a chaplain assigned to the Coast Guard. Many chaplains never get the opportunity to serve with the Coast Guard.
Why are there Chaplains? I have included a short history of the Chaplain Corps below, but in a nutshell, the Armed Forces have had chaplains assigned since the inception of our nation. Chaplains represent many different religious faith groups and denominations and are endorsed by their particular church bodies to serve as military chaplains. Military chaplains have a singular purpose in the military, to protect the free exercise of religion for our military members and their families.
There are many different expressions of religious faith in the Armed Forces. Chaplains exist to provide for, and accommodate, the religious needs of their own faith groups, facilitate for those of other faith groups, and to provide pastoral care for all. Even if you have no religious background or faith, the Chaplain is someone who will faithfully listen, care, and offer guidance. An important consideration is that when you speak to a Chaplain and desire confidentiality, you can be assured that your conversation will remain privileged. Please feel free to contact one of us with any questions. We can be reached at:
D13 Command Chaplain: CDR Michael Greenwalt
D13 Sector Columbia River/North Bend Chaplain: LT Gregory Hazlett
D13 Reserve Chaplain (MSU Portland): CDR Scott Dunfee
A Concise History of the Chaplain Corps