Alumnus Chaplain Earns Highest Army War College Degree and Certification

Author: 
Virginia Nieuwsma

The Very Rev. Peter Baktis Ch (COL) USA, a military chaplain and member of St. Vladimir Seminary's Class of 1985 (M.Div.), recently earned the highest degree offered by The Army War College, the senior service school for that branch of the military. His graduation on Friday July 26 marks the first time an Orthodox chaplain has been selected to attend the Army War College and thus receive both a Masters in Strategic Studies plus the certification required for all senior assignments, the Joint Professional Military Education Level 1 (JPMEP1). Out of approximately 100 eligible chaplains, six per year are selected to attend the College.

A priest in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), Fr. Peter has been assigned as the Command Chaplain for the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), the first Orthodox chaplain to receive this post. "This is a direct reporting unit to the Department of the Army," noted Fr. Peter. "My responsibilities are to supervise, mentor and coach 37 chaplains assigned to the Command all over the world. I will travel throughout the year to Asia, Europe, and Australia as well as various locations in the United States."

Father Peter will also be the advisor to the Commanding General of INSCOM on all religious matters. In addition to developing and implementing programs to help the soldiers and families throughout the Command, he'll also provide counseling and assistance to those assigned to INSCOM's headquarters in Ft. Belvoir, VA.