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rmy Chaplain Larry Dabeck (‘89,’98) saw the Iraqi rocket

fire whizz just over his head and hit the next group of

U.S. soldiers beside him. As he made his way to minister to the

14 seriously wounded men, he discovered among them was

Staff Sgt. Roger Turner, a fellow Christian he knew well.

“Sgt. Turner was mortally wounded and died in my arms while

I held him and prayed for him,” Dabeck said. “I got to be with

him as he passed from this life to join the Lord. That is one of

the greatest privileges of my life to be there with my brother as

he died.”

To minister to others in the middle of a war was far from

Dabeck’s mind as he received his Master of Divinity degree

from Columbia International University in 1998. He joined

the Army at age 37 after God closed the door to the more

traditional mission field. On the suggestion of his brother-

in-law, an Army helicopter pilot, Dabeck explored military


“A year later I was signing into my first duty station as a tank

battalion chaplain in the year 2000,” Dabeck recalled. “It was

really interesting as we talked to people at CIU and my pastor,

it really became obvious this was how God was leading and

how everything my wife and I had been doing up to that point

was not for the mission field, but was for this ministry, and God

just keeps confirming that every step of the way.”


Since June 2016, God has seen fit to use Dabeck in an even

more influential way. He is Lt. Col. Dabeck and deputy joint staff

chaplain, the number two chaplain for the Joint Chiefs of Staff

at the Pentagon, overseeing about 3,000 military chaplains who

are serving one million active duty service members.

“There are only two chaplains that serve the Chairman of The

Joint Chiefs, that’s me and my boss” Dabeck explained in a

phone interview from his office at The Pentagon “That makes


CIU alumnus “taking care of those who take care of soldiers”

By Bob Holmes



From CIU to

Lt. Col. Larry Dabeck


CIU Today

Fall 2017