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NEWS | Jan. 12, 2016

Chaplain recognized as three times the citizen

By Staff Sgt. Sheila Holifield Army Reserve Sustainment Command

In the United States Army Reserve it’s common to hear the term Twice the Citizen referencing a wide-range of ability and expertise among Army Reserve Soldiers. During a promotion ceremony held at the Army Reserve Sustainment Command (ARSC) in Birmingham, this term was taken one step further. Chaplain (Maj.) Jeffery Bush, command chaplain of the ARSC was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

“As I reflect back on the career of Chaplain Bush we recognize him as three times the citizen,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Brian Ray, command chaplain for the 377th Theater Sustainment Command of New Orleans, Louisiana. “He is three times the citizen because he is first a man of God, second he is a citizen Soldier, and third he is a wonderful father.”

The ceremony was made official as Bush was promoted by the ARSC Commander, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Doll. 

“It is an honor to promote Chaplain Bush and I thank him for all he has done for this command and how he has touched so many of our Soldiers’ lives and Soldiers around the world,” said Doll.

Bush entered the Army Chaplain Corps in 1992 by direct commission through the Chaplain Candidate Program, a program for seminary students.

The Corps motto is “Vive Vocationem” – To Live the Call, said Chaplain (Brig. Gen) Carlton Fisher, assistant chief of chaplains for mobilization and readiness in the Office of the Chief of Chaplains (OCCH) at the Pentagon.

“Chaplain Bush certainly is a leader who lives and follows the call for God and country every day,” said Fisher.

Fisher outlined the four foundations of military chaplaincy, noting they are religious leaders, champions for religious freedom, pastoral caregivers and advisors to the commander.

 “Chaplain Bush embodies these four foundations,” added Fisher.

Bush has crossed paths with many of the ARSC Soldiers in previous assignments throughout the Army Reserve. 

“I am both humbled and honored by this promotion, it’s been a good road. To my Army Reserve family, we have been together for a while; some were with me at the 81st Regional Support Command, others at the 87th United States Army Reserve Support Command (East), and you all mean the world to me,” said Bush as he reflected on this momentous occasion.

Bush said, serving in the Army Chaplain Corps has been one of the greatest honors of his life. And added, the diversity, collegiality, and professionalism of our Corps creates an ideal environment for religious support and pastoral care. 

 “I enjoy every aspect of chaplaincy, from the work I do to ensure freedom of religious expression to my role as an advisor on religion and spirituality to my commander,” said Bush.

His favorite part though, “is still pastoral,” added Bush. “I love ministering God's word to Soldiers and providing care and counsel to them and their families.”

In his civilian ministry, Bush pastors the Southcrest Baptist Church in Bessemer, Ala. His father, Harold Bush and his children, Shelby and Andrew Bush, along with many Soldiers, family, and friends were there to witness the promotion ceremony.