Faith and Hope in a War-Torn Land: The US Army Chaplaincy in the Balkans, 1995-2005

Faith and Hope in a War-Torn Land: The US Army Chaplaincy in the Balkans, 1995-2005
Faith and Hope in a War-Torn Land: The US Army Chaplaincy in the Balkans, 1995-2005
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In Faith and Hope in a War-Torn Land: The US Army Chaplaincy in the Balkans, 1995–2005, Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) Ken Lawson has provided the Army with an unusual and much needed perspective on its history. The Chaplain Corps, with justifiable pride, has demonstrated in this study the key role played by the Reserve components (Army National Guard and Army Reserve) in providing religious support to the Army. While this has become routine today, it was certainly not the case in 1995. This is yet another step forward in the integration of the Active and Reserve components in the Army. This study analyzes the planning, command and control, and operations of the Chaplain Corps.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Colonel Timothy R. Reese, Director, Combat Studies Institute
Chaplain (Brigadier General) Douglas E. Lee, Assistant Chief of Chaplains for Mobilization and Readiness
Chapter   1. Introduction
               2. Background: A War-torn Region of the World
               3. The Bosnia Theater of Operations
                   Events Leading to US Military Activity in Bosnia
                   Preparations for the First US Army Chaplains to Arrive in Bosnia, 1995
                   Initial Chaplain Activities and Ministries in Bosnia, 1996
                   Developing Chaplain Ministries in Bosnia, 1996
                   Expanding Chaplain Ministries in Bosnia and Surrounding Areas, 1996–97
                   Chaplain Accounts of Ministry in Bosnia, 1997
                   Diverse Chaplain Ministries in Peacekeeping in Bosnia, 1998
                   Chaplain Duties in Maintaining the Peace in Bosnia, 1999–2000
                   Army Chaplain Ministries in Bosnia, 2001–2002
                   Chaplain Activities During Military Downsizing in Bosnia, 2003–2005
               4. The Kosovo Theater of Operations
                   Background to Contemporary Hostilities in Kosovo
                   Preparations for the First US Army Chaplains to Arrive in Kosovo
                   Initial Chaplain Activities and Ministries in Kosovo, 1999
                   Ministry to Displaced Kosovar Refugees
                   Developing Chaplain Issues in Kosovo, 2000–2001
                   Chaplain Duties in Maintaining the Peace in Kosovo, 2002–2004
                   The US Army Chaplaincy and Downsizing in Kosovo, 2004–2005
               5. Conclusion
About the Author
Appendix, US Army Deaths and Serious Injuries in the Balkans
Index of Chaplains and Chaplain Assistants
1.   The Balkans
2.   Disintegration of Austria-Hungary, 1918
3.   Administrative Divisions of Yugoslavia, 1990
4.   Divisions of Bosnia in sectors led by the British, French, and United States
5.   A 2000 map of Kosovo
6.   A 2000 map of the former Yugoslavia with province of Kosovo highlighted
1.   UMT members (left to right) MSG Paul Wanshon, CH (CP) Jamie MacLean, and CH (LTC) Scott McChrystal, Eagle Base, Bosnia, 1995–96
2.   USAREUR CH (COL) Henry Wake (far right) visits UMTs in Bosnia
3.   Engineering Excellence, a painting by Christopher Thiel showing the US Army crossing the SavaRiver     
4.   Sketch by Gary N. Cassidy of US Army staging base in Taszar, Hungary
5.   Army Chief of Chaplains (MG) Donald Shea visits with Task Force Eagle soldiers in Bosnia, 1996   
6.   Winter/spring 1996 home of CH (CPT) Yarmen and CA SPC McAniff in Bosnia
7.   General Wesley Clark, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
8.   CH (MAJ) Al Shrum presides at a memorial service for a soldier who died in Bosnia from a heart attack while exercising
9.   CH (LTC) F. Douglas Hudson and CA SFC Margarita Brunke at the Grab Potok Refugee Camp, Bosnia     
10. CH (LTC) Eric Ebb greets parishioners after a service at Eagle Base, Bosnia, 2004
11. Ethnic Albanians wave on arrival at New Jersey’s McGuire Air Force Base
12. CH (CPT) Mohammed Khan helps minister to the religious needs of Muslim ethnic Albanians at Fort Dix, NJ
13. US Army Chief of Chaplains (MG) David Hicks (center) and his CA CSM Robert Bush (second from left) meet with US and NATO chaplains in Kosovo, February 2002
14. CH (LTC) Gregg Drew with residents of a mental health hospital in Kosovo
15. SGT Jasmine Yates (rear) with children from the Kamenica area


Commanders and staff officers alike will gain a better appreciation for what it takes to implement an effective ministry program for their units by reading this study. They will also gain insights about the operational role that chaplains can play in the accomplishment of the Army’s objectives in a theater of operations. 

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Defense Dept., Army, Combat Studies Institute
  • Lawson, Kenneth E.
Key Phrases:
  • United States Army Chaplaincy in the Balkans
  • Balkans
  • Bosnia
  • Kosovo
  • United States Army Chaplain Corps, History
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