Chaplain Brandy Bennett, a native of Van Buren, Arkansas, graduated in 1999 from Arkansas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in Music. He served as a Naval Intelligence Officer from 2004 to 2015, qualifying as an information warfare officer and attaining the rank of lieutenant commander. He served as squadron intelligence officer for ELECTRONIC ATTACK SQUADRON 133, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington; special programs officer for JIOCEUR Analytic Center, Molesworth, United Kingdom; senior briefer for Chief of Naval Operations-Intelligence Plot, Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia; and intelligence division officer for SPECIAL PROJECTS PATROL SQUADRON TWO, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. He deployed multiple times in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM as well as U.S. SEVENTH fleet. His awards include the Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various other awards.
In October 2015, Chaplain Bennett separated from the Navy with an honorable discharge and entered civilian ministry. He served as a church pastor while completing his Master of Divinity at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Following graduation from seminary, he was selected to participate in a clinical pastoral education residency with the Eastern Oklahoma Veterans Administration Healthcare System. Upon completion of his residency in October, 2018, Chaplain Bennett was selected for active duty Navy Chaplaincy. He was commissioned a lieutenant in the United States Navy Chaplain Corps and reported for training to Naval Chaplaincy School and Center, Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Chaplain Bennett; his wife, Gena; and his son, Brayden are enjoying being back on active duty serving the staff and candidates of United States Marine Corps Officer Candidates School.
Before coming on Active Duty, LT Burd served as Senior Pastor of Crossroads Community Church of the Nazarene in Sedalia, MO from 2012-2016. He is ordained an Elder and endorsed by the Church of the Nazarene. LT Burd accepted a commission as an Ensign in the Chaplain Candidate Program in 2012 and served aboard USS JOHN C STENNIS (CVN-74) for On the Job Training. He accepted a commission as a Navy Chaplain in January 2016. In his free time Chaplain Burd enjoys distance running, road cycling and watching the San Diego Padres.
WHY A CHAPLAIN?
Navy Chaplains have the incredible opportunity to serve alongside United States Marines. The ultimate responsibility of a Chaplain is to ensure each person’s constitutional right to the free exercise of religion. The Chaplain Corps does this through its’ four core functions: providing for the Chaplain’s own faith tradition; facilitating for others; caring for all – whether religious or not; and advising the command on issues pertaining to religion, ethics, and morale.
Perhaps the greatest tool the Chaplain brings to the table is 100% CONFIDENTIALITY. That means that WHATEVER is told to a military chaplain in their role as spiritual advisor by an authorized user, as an act of religion or matter of conscience, cannot be shared. This is a great responsibility, and one that your Chaplain does not take lightly.
Started in 1971, the mission of CREDO (Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation) is to strengthen spiritual well-being and individual resilience through workshops and retreats for Department of the Navy service members, civilians, and families. Navy District Washington (NDW) offers two types of CREDO Retreats: Marriage Enrichment Retreats and Personal Resiliency Retreats. All retreats are free to attend, and do not provide childcare.