Army Chaplain Has Heart For Helping
by U.S. Army Troy Darr
Public Affairs Officer
July 6, 2023
An Army chaplain’s prayers were answered
last year when he was selected to serve as the international staff
chaplain for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.
“I always wanted to serve in the international community,” said
Chaplain (Maj.) Jorge Baez Ramirez. “I saw the position advertised,
applied for it, we prayed, and I got the call that I was selected. I
think God selected me to be here.”
June 9, 2023 - U.S. Army Chaplain (Maj.) Jorge Baez
Ramirez, the international staff chaplain for Supreme
Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, stands at a podium on the
SHAPE parade field in Casteau, Belgium during a ceremony
rehearsal. (Image created by USA
Patriotism! from U.S. Army photo by Troy Darr, NATO Brigade
Public Affairs Officer.)
Baez was commissioned as an Army chaplain
in 2010 serving with the Army Reserve’s 338th Medical Brigade in
Horsham, Penn., and worked as a hospice and hospital chaplain for
“The U.S. Army gave me the opportunity to serve
and to help others at the same time,” said Baez. “I always had a
heart for helping people.
“I love assisting Soldiers and
their families with their spiritual issues and getting them
connected with God and their loved ones.”
Baez said his
greatest experience in his career as an Army chaplain came a few
years ago during reserve annual training.
“A Soldier from
another unit came to me ready to commit suicide and asked me to give
him a reason not to do it,” said Baez. “We spoke for about three
hours that night. He found out how much his family loved him.
“We cried together, and he made me a promise he will change his
life. We admitted him into a hospital for a few days, and we are
still in touch till this day.”
Baez started working at SHAPE
in February for what was only seven months on the original orders
but has since been offered the opportunity to stay for an additional
one or two years. He said he is praying with his family for guidance
on what is best for him and his family.
“My family and God
are my source of strength,” said Baez. “Not having them with me (on
this assignment) is challenging for me.
“Although we talk
and have our family altar morning worship at 6 a.m Eastern Time, I
missed them very much. But knowing that they support my work and
appreciate what I do here, makes me strive harder every day.
“My family is and always has been a central part of my
ministry. Without my family my ministry would not make sense.
Everywhere I go for ministry, my family is there with me.”
Baez said his goal during this assignment is to be a source of
spiritual strength for the entire community. He also said he wants
the international staff chaplain position at SHAPE to be recognized
as critically important for directing the religious activity in the
chapel and for SHAPE across the larger multinational community.
For Baez, the most difficult part of being a chaplain is gaining
people’s trust so they can share their spiritual and family issues.
“Because of personal experience sometimes people hesitate to
trust us as chaplains, but once we get their trust it is easier to
minister to their needs,” said Baez. “Most Soldiers know how to keep
themselves physically and mentally fit, but when it comes to
spiritual fitness most people need help.
“Chaplains are here
to make sure all Soldiers’ spiritual needs are met in their own
religious beliefs and practices or in no religion at all."
Baez said his greatest joys in life are seeing his family happy and
being able to help others feel closer to God and their families.
A key aspect of Baez’s ministry and work to help others is
“Every day I am looking for ways to improve
myself to be more prepared to help people to meet their spiritual
needs, whether it is completing my doctoral degree, my BSRT
(Building Strong & Ready Teams) training or anything else that
provides me the necessary tools to elevate my skills to do my job
the best way possible,” said Baez.
Baez’s advice to Soldiers
is “to try their best to be connected with their family and their
“Material things come and go,” said Baez. “Rank and
positions are very valuable, but we should value people more, and at
the end of the road God, family and friends are the ones who will
remain in your life.”
The mission of the U.S. Army Chaplain
Corps is to provide religious support and advise on matters of
spirituality and religion to build strong, ready teams to deploy,
fight, and win our Nation’s wars as a unique and necessary branch of
the Total Army that is fully engaged in joint and multi-domain
operations in war and peace.
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