CHAPLAIN APPOINTED TO HONORARY ARMY POSITION
CHARLESTON, S.C., Jan. 28.- Director of Religious Activities and Chaplain to the Corps of Cadets at The Citadel, retired Army Colonel Charles T. Clanton, has been appointed as the Honorary Colonel of the U.S. Army's Chaplain Corps Regiment. Chaplain Clanton was recently notified of the appointment by the Chief of Chaplains of the Army, Maj. Gen. Donald Shea.
The primary mission of the Honorary Colonel is to "perpetuate the history and traditions of the Regiment, thereby enhancing unit morale and esprit." The position is held by a distinguished retired commissioned officer with the rank of colonel or above for a three-year term. There is only one Honorary Colonel of the Chaplain Corps Regiment at any one time.
Chaplain Clanton has been invited by General Shea to be his guest and to be recognized at the Chief of Chaplains Unit Ministry Training Conference in Dallas in March. The conference will be attended by several hundred chaplains and chaplain assistants from all commands of the Active Army, National Guard and the Army Reserve.
Clanton said, "The motto of the Chaplain Corps is 'bringing God to soldiers and soldiers to God', and certainly I had that opportunity in the chaplaincy both in peace and in war. The old adage 'there are no atheists in foxholes' proved true in my experience. It was a real honor and privilege to serve God and those soldiers who had a real need and desire for the ministry I was providing."
Clanton was in the Army Reserves and pastor of Emmaus Baptist Church in Pittsboro, N.C., when, in 1966, he felt compelled to go to Vietnam as an Army chaplain. He offered his services to the Army, switched to active duty and changed his field from armor to the Chaplain Corps.
Subsequently he served two tours in Vietnam as battalion and brigade chaplain in the 9th Infantry Division and the 1st Cavalry Division. His duties included the usual preaching and counseling, visiting hospitals and conducting memorial services, all the while practicing jungle survival skills! Clanton was wounded in Vietnam earning a Purple Heart, and he was one of the few chaplains to win, in Southeast Asia, the Silver Star--the nation's third highest award for valor in combat.
For another 23 years he served as a chaplain in the Army during tours in Germany, England and throughout the United States. His final three assignments included serving as Corps and Installation Chaplain at Ft. Hood, Texas; Commandant of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, Ft. Monmouth, N.J.; and Staff Chaplain of the U.S. Army Forces Command, Ft. McPherson, Ga. He retired from the Army in 1991 with the rank of colonel.
Among his other military awards are the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with four oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster.
From May 1991 until June 1993 Chaplain Clanton was president of Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia which is associated with the Baptist denomination. He was appointed to his current position at The Citadel in February 1994.
When referring to the Corps of Cadets at The Citadel, Clanton said, "What a joy it is to minister to these young men and women who have chosen to come to a college where they will grow physically, mentally and spiritually. They are the hope of America's future and I am thoroughly impressed with the spiritual development I see in so many of them."
A native of Little Rock, Ark., Clanton received a bachelor of arts degree from Furman University, a master of divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a master of science degree from Long Island University. His professional military education includes completion of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.