Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Current Buddhist Military Chaplains

Noticed erroneous information in a NY Times article today, which stated that there is only one Buddhist chaplain in the U.S. Armed Forces. This is incorrect: We have THREE commissioned Chaplains who have served or are serving on Active Duty: myself, Chaplain Somya Malasri, and Chaplain Thomas Dyer. We are all endorsed by the Buddhist Churches of America, which is (yes) a religious organization.


Unknown said...

Does anyone know the current plan for Buddhist Chaplains in the military, such as planned number of billets and likely duty stations? Also, are Buddhist Chaplains in the Navy likely to be assigned to an underway billet?

Jeanette Yuinen Shin said...

Hello Michael,

There is no set number of billets for chaplains of a specific religious faith for the U.S. Navy. All chaplains are encouraged to do both blue (Navy) and green (USMC) tours, and US Coast Guard tours during their careers.

paul kendel said...

My name is Paul Kendel and I recently retired from the Georgia National Guard.I was deployed to Iraq in 2005 where I discovered the Buddhist teachings of Chogyam Trunpa and Sakyong Mipham. My exposure to the Dharma helped me greatly in a war zone. I chronicled my experieces in a book titled Walking the Tiger's Path: A Soldier's Spiritual Journey in Iraq. It is available now. I would like to send a copy to any Buddhist military chaplain I can. It might help with other vets and help spread the dharma. See my web site at

Thank you
Paul Kendel

Anonymous said...

I discovered Buddhism while in Iraq in 2005 and published a book about my experiences titled, Walking the Tiger's Path: A Soldier's Spiritual Journey in Iraq. I would like to send a copy to all existing military Buddhist Chaplains. My web site for the book is:

Amy said...

I have a question for you... actually, two. I am a USAF vet and am contemplating an M.Div path in Buddhist Chaplaincy. I would like to return to the military as a Chaplain in a Reserve or Guard role this time around. I am a few years over age however and am having a hard time finding a M.Div program close to home. First, does anyone know how I would find a M. Div Buddhist distance learning program? Also, is the military still offering age waivers for chaplains? Thank you very much! :)

Paul said...

An article about my book Walking the Tiger's Path: A Soldier's Spiritual Journey in Iraq was printed in the Shambhala Times on-line newspaper if there is anyone interested in Shambhala and my experiences in Iraq with the dharma

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