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Citadel News Service
2 Jun 2009

Chaplain Joel Harris to lead campus religious activities

The Citadel has appointed retired Army Lt. Col. Chaplain Joel C. Harris as director of religious activities. He replaces Chaplain David Golden who retired this spring after 10 years providing spiritual guidance to the South Carolina Corps of Cadets and The Citadel family.

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Joel C. Harris, The Citadel's new director of religious activities

“Chaplain Harris brings extensive experience and a strong spiritual and ethical foundation to the college,” said Citadel President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa. “His military and civilian background equip him to work exceptionally well with our cadets and related ministries.”

An ordained pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention, Harris graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1972 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army. He served as both a cavalry officer and an Army aviator. He resigned his commission in March 1978 to attend seminary and become an Army chaplain. Following seminary, he served as pastor in churches in Oregon, Massachusetts and Vermont, returning to active duty in 1990.

Harris served in a variety of assignments while in the Army. He was deployed many times in support of both combat and peacekeeping operations during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Operation Stability Force, Bosnia. From 1997 to 1999, he was the broadcast chaplain for American Forces Radio and Television Europe.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit. A 2008 graduate of the Naval War College, Harris’ last assignment before retirement was as chief of operations for the U.S. Army Europe Chaplain. When he was selected for promotion to colonel in September 2008, he chose instead to retire and accept the opportunity to lead religious activity at The Citadel.

“I am deeply honored that Chaplain Harris has chosen to conclude his professional military career in order to bring his talents and leadership to The Citadel,” Rosa said.

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