Religious Program Specialists: Exceeding the Expected for 37 Years

 

On this day in 1979, the Religious Program Specialist (RP) rating was established to provide much needed administrative, logistical and personal security support for Navy chaplains. Today, 905 RPs serve within religious ministry teams to support the religious and spiritual needs of Sailors, Marines and their families stationed around the world.

Religious Program Specialists celebrate 37 years of service
“It is because of your dedicated service and insights that we are able to be where it matters, when it matters, bringing what matters to our people. Whether it’s assisting with religious services, coordinating meaningful volunteer opportunities through COMRELs, helping with CREDO retreats and workshops, or building trust with your peers who may not know where to turn for help, you help enrich the lives and increase the morale of our people every day. As RPs, you are uniquely positioned as the chaplain’s touchstone to help ensure we are providing programming that is relevant and in tune with the religious and spiritual needs of our people.” Chief of Chaplains Rear Adm. Margaret Grun Kibben 

 

151221-N-IG466-017 GULF OF ADEN (Dec. 21, 2015) Chief Religious Programs Specialist M. Mackenzie hands out christmas cards in the hangar bay of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman A. O. Tinubu/Released)

GULF OF ADEN (Dec. 21, 2015) Chief Religious Program Specialist M. Mackenzie hands out christmas cards in the hangar bay of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman A. O. Tinubu/Released)

150622-N-PD309-021 ACAJULA, El Salvador (June 22, 2015) Religious Program Specialist Seaman Kaleb Phillips, a native of Morehead, Minn., assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va., interacts with a child at a medical site established at Centro Escolar Doctor Eduardo Enrique Barrientos during Continuing Promise 2015. Continuing Promise is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet-conducted deployment to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian-civil assistance, subject matter expert exchanges, medical, dental, veterinary and engineering support and disaster response to partner nations and to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven Leigh Ellis/Released)

ACAJULA, El Salvador (June 22, 2015) Religious Program Specialist Seaman Kaleb Phillips, a native of Morehead, Minn., assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va., interacts with a child at a medical site established at Centro Escolar Doctor Eduardo Enrique Barrientos during Continuing Promise 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven Leigh Ellis/Released)

 

RED SEA (March 19, 2014) Religious Programs Specialist 1st Class Jerry Thompson, from Russellville, Ark., sets up the recording for Aviation Boatswain's Mate Equipment 3rd Class Sequoia Forney, from Raleigh, N.C., during the United Through Reading Kick-Off aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). George H.W. Bush is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Robert Burck/Released)

RED SEA (March 19, 2014) Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Jerry Thompson, from Russellville, Ark., sets up the recording for Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Equipment 3rd Class Sequoia Forney, from Raleigh, N.C., during the United Through Reading Kick-Off aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Robert Burck/Released)

YOKOSUKA, Japan (May 17, 2015) Religious Programs Specialist 1st Class Brandon Reed, from Bothell, Wash., and Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Zachary Rosen, Jewish lay leader for the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), stow a Torah donated to the ship by the Jewish Welfare Board in a case in the ship's chapel. George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jaime Marcial/Released)

YOKOSUKA, Japan (May 17, 2015) Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Brandon Reed, from Bothell, Wash., and Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Zachary Rosen, Jewish lay leader for the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), stow a Torah in a case in the ship’s chapel. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jaime Marcial/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Nov. 14, 2014) Religious Programs Specialist 1st Class Darrell Howell, from Chesapeake, W.Va., helps Boatswain's Mate Seaman Velena Taylor, from Washington, D.C., study for her enlisted surface warfare pin aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67). Cole is conducting operations in thAe U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class John Herman/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Nov. 14, 2014) Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Darrell Howell, from Chesapeake, W.Va., helps Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Velena Taylor, from Washington, D.C., study for her enlisted surface warfare pin aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class John Herman/Released)

 

151118-N-MQ094-008 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 18, 2015) Religious Program Specialist 2nd Class G. Cummings participates in a burial at sea ceremony aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class E. Miller/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 18, 2015) Religious Program Specialist 2nd Class G. Cummings participates in a burial at sea ceremony aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class E. Miller/Released)

MCPON Stevens shares his anniversary letter to RPs
“Without you, there would be no Religious Ministry Team. And on this team, you risk all for the force protection of another. Whether in a hostile theater of combat or in the volatile personal trials of hurting individuals seeking counsel, yours is a rating of protection – all for the sake of others. Thank you for continually exceeding the expected. You didn’t join the Navy or choose your rate merely to celebrate anniversaries. You joined to serve. Happy Anniversary and Semper Fi!”
Chaplain of the Marine Corps/Deputy Chief of Chaplains Rear Adm. Brent W. Scott

 

Marines and Religious Ministry Teams gather for a brief on their next objective during the Combat Center’s Chaplain and Religious Program Specialist Expeditionary Training on range 215, Jan. 20, 2015. The training was held to condition RMTs for combat situations and is the first of its kind. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo/Released)

Marines and Religious Ministry Teams gather for a brief on their next objective during the Combat Center’s Chaplain and Religious Program Specialist Expeditionary Training on range 215, Jan. 20, 2015. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo/Released)

 

RP2 Anderson Miller, native of Detroit, Mich., and Lt. Kamille Williams, native of Atlanta, Ga., take cover during the Combat Center’s Chaplain and Religious Program Specialist Expeditionary Training on range 215, Jan. 20, 2015. The religious ministry teams were conditioned on what to do in the event of being in a combat zone, and how to provide field worship services. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo/Released)

Religious Program Specialist 2nd Class Anderson Miller, native of Detroit, Mich., and Lt. Kamille Williams, native of Atlanta, Ga., take cover during the Combat Center’s Chaplain and Religious Program Specialist Expeditionary Training on range 215, Jan. 20, 2015. The religious ministry teams were conditioned on what to do in the event of being in a combat zone, and how to provide field worship services. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo/Released)

Religious Program Specialist rating celebrates 37th anniversary of serving with Sailors and Marines

Happy 37th anniversary to all RPs, past and present!