Navy Chief of Chaplains visits U.S. Navy Korea

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jermaine M. Ralliford Navy Chief of Chaplains Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben visited Sailors and families living in Busan, Chinhae and Seoul, Republic of Korea (ROK) from July 14-21. Sailors in Korea are assigned to a variety of commands working for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK), Commander, Navy Region Korea (CNRK) and Commanding Officer, Combined Fleet Activities Chinhae (CFAC).

Kibben’s visit is the first official visit for a Navy Chief of Chaplains to the Korean Theater of Operations and supports the Character Matters campaign launched from her office earlier this month. The campaign highlights the Chaplain Corps’ focus on strengthening core values of Sailors throughout the fleet.

“I’m really very keen to be here [in Korea],” said Kibben. “To meet all of you folks who are living in the final frontier. There’s a lot of saber rattling going on and I can see that you’re all here to support the fleet, the family, and especially the warfighter.”

During Kibben’s visit, she spoke to Sailors and Marines stationed in the Republic of Korea about the importance of an individual’s character and how it strengthens a unit.

“It’s no accident that our values are honor, courage and commitment,” said Kibben. “As warfighters, our values are well grounded in our character and our skills. How you carry yourself and how you execute your mission is tied to how to you identify with your sense of character…in two words – character matters.”

During Kibben’s visit, she went to the Jinhae Orphanage in Changwon, and the Aikwangwon Home and School for the Mentally and Physically Disabled. Both are part of CFAC’s community relations program that for Aikwangwon, founded in 1952 with help from the U.S. Navy, lasted for more than 60 years. She had the opportunity to meet with the care takers and spent time with home members.

Kibben met with U.S. and ROK Navy religious leaders to discuss how to better serve the needs of service members and their families, mentally, emotionally and spiritually while they are serving on the peninsula. She also joined Sailors, Marines and family members for various events to include leading a Protestant service and Catholic mass at CFAC, meeting with families in Busan, and holding all-hands calls with service members at CFAC, CNFK, and Camp Mujuk.

“I think this is the first step on a major step forward in strengthening the alliance and improving the quality of life for Sailors and their families,” said Lt. Zachary Zumwalt, command chaplain of Navy Region Korea. “We will strive to reach every service member and let them know that we are there for them.”

CNFK is the U.S. Navy’s representative in the Republic of Korea (ROK), providing leadership and expertise in naval matters to improve institutional and operational effectiveness between the two navies and to strengthen collective security efforts in Korea and the region.

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Photo Caption:
BUSAN, Republic of Korea (July 17, 2017) Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, Chief of Chaplains […]