Skip Navigation Links

Have Faith in Your CGA Chaplains

Stefanie Senkow
March 10, 2021

Chaplain Rupe with cadetsNEW LONDON, Conn. – There’s something you can always count on as a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy. Your chaplain.

“Our role as chaplains is a ministry of presence,” said Captain Ryan Rupe, Command Chaplain at the Academy. “During Swab Summer, we interview each cadet to make our presence known and invite them to use us as part of their support system.”

The support of chaplains has been with the military for centuries. Chaplains deployed with ships in the 19th century and, as one of the most educated sailors on the ship, taught basic subjects to the crew.

The first chaplain arrived at the Academy in 1932.

“Our primary task is to ensure the free exercise of religion,” said Captain Rupe. “But we are here to support all cadets, regardless of their beliefs, through four mandates.”

  1. Provide religious services.Chaplains provide opportunities and spaces for you to worship according to your own respective faith traditions.
  2. Facilitate.If the chaplain cannot provide for you, he/she will ensure that you and your family are connected with military and civilian faith groups who can provide needed spiritual support.
  3. Care for all. Whenever you see a chaplain, you can count on his/her care. Wherever you may find yourself spiritually, even if you do not practice, you can seek the compassion and counsel of one of the Academy chaplains.
  4. Advisement. No matter what your circumstance is, you can bring it confidently to a chaplain knowing that they will provide you with their best advice and guidance possible. Everything you tell a chaplain is completely confidential.

“We are also here to protect the right of a student not wanting to worship. All cadets can count on that security,” said Rupe.

Learn more about the Academy’s faith programs and how the chaplains can be a resource to you!