Weekly Spiritual Resilency Message: “Too Easy Drill Sergeant!”

This post is for SPIRITUAL FITNESS and resiliency and is brought to you on a weekly basis through the Virginia National Guard Chaplain Corps. Spiritual Fitness is IAW AR 600-63, Chapter 6-2 (d).  In the spirit of the regulation the Chaplain Corps recognizes each individuals freedom to worship or not worship.  This email is forwarded to those who wish to incorporate spiritual fitness into their daily routine. The regulation reads: “In providing for self-development activities, commanders and other leaders must ensure they do not favor one form of religion over another. The practice of religion, to the extent that it relates to spiritual fitness, must be left to the sole discretion of the Soldier, Family member, or Army civilian. They must be free to worship or not worship as they choose without fear of being disciplined or stigmatized for their choice. (See AR 165-1 and AR 600-20).

Need To make contact with a Chaplain?  CALL 1-434-298-6106 for contact information for your unit’s Chaplain or to have a Chaplain contact you! You may also send an anonymous email to dearchappy@hotmail.com if you would like to vent, identify a issue or ask a question. A Chaplain will respond. We are here to listen, help and provide comfort regardless of your belief system or philosophy of life.  We exist to SERVE YOU!

This week’s Spiritual Resiliency Message comes from CH (LTC) J.D. Moore, Full Time Support Operations Chaplain, Virginia Army National Guard.


In 1976 I attended enlisted basic training.  When the Drill Sergeant gave us the standard for any exercise the group would yell, “To easy Drill Sergeant!”  We were eager to excel in every task!  It was our DUTY to excel.

What is Duty?  In the Army, duty is devotion to duty, fulfillment of obligations-professional, legal, and moral, carrying out mission requirements, meeting professional standards, setting the example, complying with policies and directives and continually pursuing excellence.  I believe focusing on the pursuit of excellence is exactly where the other parts of this definition must hang. If we get that right, the rest will follow!

In the first definition in The American Heritage Dictionary, excellence is defined as “The state, quality, or condition of excelling; superiority.  The word excel is defined as, “to do or be better than; surpass; to show superiority, surpass others.” Then under the word excel, the following terms are listed and explained as synonyms for excel.  The words excel, surpass, exceed, transcend, outdo, outstrip all suggest the concept of going beyond a limit or standard.

Doing our best to excel takes energy.  Excelling in duty is not a lazy person’s quest! If you and I do our duty, making every effort to excel in every area in the definition given above we can say we are pursuing excellence. It will exhaust us.  Most can meet the standard, but to excel means to stretch beyond the standard. I believe stretching beyond the standard in the pursuit of excellence can build a confident and resilient Soldier and organization. It ALSO builds people of faith. So, do we excel or do we meet the standard?

It is known that Admiral Hyman G. Rickover’s interviews were legendary and one of the reasons is he always wanted to cut through the glib and rehearsed answers to get a look at the person underneath. He especially wanted to know how candidates would act under stress. On occasion he had them sit in a chair with the front legs sawed off an inch or two shorter than the back, to keep them off-balance. In his autobiography Why Not the Best?, President Jimmy Carter tells about his Rickover interview.

The admiral asked how he had stood in his class at the Naval Academy. “I swelled my chest with pride and answered, ‘Sir, I stood 59th in a class of 820!’ I sat back to wait for the congratulations. Instead came the question: ‘Did you do your best?’ I started to say, ‘Yes, sir,’ but I remembered who this was. I gulped and admitted, ‘No, sir, I didn’t always do my best.’ He looked at me for a long time, and then asked one final question, which I have never been able to forget-or to answer. He said, ‘Why not?”

So, Why not? Getting back to that “Too Easy Drill Sergeant!” spirit is our DUTY if we are to excel in resilience, individual goals and organizational missions.  The Believer should especially take this to heart as we have two mandates to fulfill, both to God and man.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you may excel still more. (NASB)

Be Blessed! Be Resilient!

Here To Serve!  Charge!!!

CH (LTC) J.D. Moore, Virginia Army National Guard
Full Time Operations Chaplain
Building 316, PRN 134,
FORT PICKETT, Blackstone, VA 23824
Office: 434-298-6106
Cell: 434-292-9054
SGT Estelle Christiansen, Chaplain Assistant: 434-298-6463
JFHQ Virginia National Guard Chaplain, CH (COL) Todd Combee, BB Cell: 434-480-2195
VaANG State Chaplain Assistant, SGM Joey Slaughter, cell: 434-713-1803