Captain Daniel L. Mode earned his undergraduate degree in Philosophy in 1988 at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He then attended Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and graduated in 1992 with Master’s Degrees in History and Theology. His History Master’s thesis on the life and heroics of Navy Chaplain Father Vincent Capodanno was eventually transformed into a popular biography, known as The Grunt Padre. It became the catalyst for his many public speaking engagements regarding the life of Father Capodanno and the Navy Chaplain Corps.
Father Mode was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in May 1992 for service in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia. His subsequent pastoral assignments included: Associate Pastor of a 12,000 member parish in Fairfax Station (1992-1996), Vice-Principal of Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington (1996-2001), and Pastor of Queen of Apostle’s Parish in Alexandria (2001-2005).
Chaplain Mode began his military service in September 1988 as a Chaplain Candidate Program Officer, with the rank of Ensign. Concurrent with his seminary training in preparation for ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood, he served at a variety of on-the-job Navy training assignments.
Promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade in 1998, Chaplain Mode accepted a superseding appointment to the Reserve Component of the United States Navy. During his nine years of reserve time he drilled at Bethesda Naval Hospital (1998-1999) and at the Office of the Chief of Navy Chaplains (2000-2003). In January 2004, Chaplain Mode began drilling with MEFREL 106, in direct support to Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA. From May 2005 to March 2007, he was mobilized for service in Operation Enduring Freedom, attached to the Commander, Joint Task Force 76 in Bagram, Afghanistan. As a supervisory chaplain there, he coordinated the ministry of seventeen US and coalition chaplains in providing pastoral care to more than 30,000 soldiers in over 50 forward operating bases.
In June of 2007, CAPT Mode was assessed to the Active Component of the United States Navy and was assigned to USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75). He completed a seven-month deployment to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and maritime security operations. From June 2009 to June 2012, CAPT Mode was assigned to the United States Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut to serve the staff and the brigade of cadets. From July 2012 to October 2014, he was assigned as the Command Chaplain of the USS WASHINGTON Strike Group in Japan completing two six month deployments in the Seventh Fleet. From November 2014 to May 2016, he was the Command Chaplain of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In June 2016, he assumed the duties as the Division Director of Plans and Operations for the Chaplain Corps and completed a seven month fellowship at the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington, D.C. From June of 2019 to March of 2022, he served as the 7th Fleet Chaplain in Yokosuka, Japan. He currently serves as the 12th Chaplain of the Coast Guard.
CAPT Mode is a 2015 Naval War College Distance Education graduate of Joint Professional Military Education Phase I. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 stars), Navy Commendation Medal (2 stars), Joint Service Achievement Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon.