St. George Orthodox Military Association (SGOMA) was founded on October 20th, 2009, on the feast day of Holy Great Martyr Artemius (military saint). The SGOMA is a Pan-Orthodox group designed for the spiritual support, assistance, and growth of ALL Eastern Orthodox Christian men and women serving in the United States Armed Services around the world.
On Dec. 23rd, 2009, the St. George Orthodox Military Assoc. (SGOMA) received official recognition and a Hierarchical Blessing from His Grace, Bishop Daniel, of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (a member jurisdiction of SCOBA). Bishop Daniel has a very deep interest in the well being of the Orthodox Men & Women serving in the U.S. Armed Services. Bishop Daniel spent two years on Active Duty as a U.S. Army Orthodox Chaplain and another five years as a U.S. Army Reserve Orthodox Chaplain until his elevation to the episcopate.
The Association’s goals are to assist these military members in practicing their faith wherever they are. One of the Associations main goals is to work in increasing the size of the Eastern Orthodox Chaplaincy within the US Military. Currently there are fewer than eight (8) Army Orthodox Chaplains, and approximately eleven (11) Navy Orthodox Chaplains (covering the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard) serving our troops both at home and overseas. Another goal is ensuring that our Orthodox Military Members have access to much needed information (Orthodox Bibles) as well as other various prayers and information.
It is estimated that the USA has almost 3 million active and reserve service members in its 5 branches. The standard accepted percentage of Orthodox in the USA is 1 to 1.3%. So the number of Orthodox Christians in military service is estimated around 39,000. With few Orthodox Military Chaplains to serve them, many Orthodox Service Members are going with out religious and pastoral care in the US Military.
What can you do? First review our website. Find out about the SGOMA and about our Orthodox men & women serving our Country in the Armed Services. Secondly, learn more about how our military is letting the Orthodox Christians fall between the cracks. Third and most importantly, after you learn more about the struggle of the Orthodox Christians in our Military, contact your US Congressman and Senators and urge them to do the right thing and increase the number of Orthodox Chaplains (military and civilian contractor) serving our military service members both state side and overseas. Also contact your Priest, Bishop and Metropolitan and tell them to also urge Congress and the Military for more Orthodox Chaplains, as well as to encourage their priests and seminarians to seriously consider a career as a Military Chaplain, or to find ways to support Orthodox Military Members in their local areas. Lastly, if you are interested in helping out the SGOMA and supporting our various outreach programs consider becoming an official member. You can find out more information about the various levels of membership available in SGOMA. And as always, if you are interested in donating to SGOMA you can find out what some of our needs are and how you can help on our ” Donations ” page
The more we stand up for our Orthodox Service Members the better care and attention they will receive!
Please feel free to join in on the discussions and learn more about the needs and ways to support our US Orthodox Military Members. You can discusses issues and share your thoughts on our Facebook Page. You can find the link to our Facebook page in the “ Links ” section of this website.