Top National Guard Chaplain visits Illinois National Guard Chaplains

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SPRINGFIELD, IL (03/19/2018) (readMedia)-- Springfield, Ill. – Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) Kenneth "Ed" Brandt visited with chaplains of the Illinois National Guard on March 16. Brandt is the Senior Army National Guard Chaplain and United States Army Deputy Chief of Chaplains for the Army National Guard.

As the Deputy Chief of Chaplains he provides resources and training, as well as establishes policy for over 800 members of the Army National Guard Chaplain Corps.

Brandt's address focused on chaplain identity during changing times for the National Guard. Brandt stressed the importance of the role of the chaplain in today's fighting force. The address was also an opportunity for Brandt to build relationships with chaplains in Illinois. Brandt shared about his career path and shared insight into the paths ahead for the audience. Brandt also remarked on the importance of visits from senior leadership with those providing services to the Soldiers and their families.

"One of the joys of coming out to Illinois or any state or territory, is connecting with chaplains that are doing the work of the Army National Guard Chaplain Corps and caring for Soldiers," said Brandt. "If they have any concerns I can take them to my superiors, anything we are doing wrong we can correct, and to affirm what they are doing on behalf of Soldiers as Chaplains."

Brandt was accompanied by Master Sgt. William Kaemmer, Master Religious Affairs Specialist, National Guard Bureau. Religious affairs specialists work closely with chaplains to serve Soldiers and their families as part of a unit ministry team. Kaemmer highlighted important tasks, established expectations and took time to encourage the religious affairs specialists of the Illinois National Guard.

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Steve Foster, of Riverton, Illinois, Senior Army Chaplain, Illinois Army National Guard, organized the training and stressed the import role the chaplain plays.

"What we bring to the table actually helps assist individuals when it comes to relationships," said Foster. "When it comes to suicide, studies show that spiritually has an effect to lower rates."

Chaplains of the Illinois National Guard gather annually to share experiences and conduct professional development to help them better serve the Soldiers and Airmen of the Illinois National Guard. The meeting helps to better prepare the chaplains in order to meet the varying religious needs of the 13,000 Soldiers and Airmen in the Illinois National Guard.

The Chaplain Corps is seeking ordained ministers to serve the men and women of the Illinois National Guard.

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(Photos in Attachment)

For high resolution photos, please contact the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office at

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