NEWPORT, R.I. — Twin brothers, both formerly enlisted Sailors and now U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps officers, reunited during an Officer Development School (ODS) graduation ceremony, May 6.
Lt. Duane Hardy, a reserve component Navy chaplain and Philadelphia native, graduated along with 104 students as a class 22040 member.
“The chapel services encouraged me to succeed as I was dealing with the challenging civilian-to-military transition at boot camp as a teenager,” said Duane. “Chaplain Deborah Blanks at Recruit Training Command preaching highly relatable topics with this motherly care left a big impact on me.”
Duane began his active duty enlisted service in 1988 as a personnelman serving aboard USS Tortuga (LSD 46) at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story (formerly Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek), Virginia. He then transferred to the reserve component in 1992 and relocated to Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans.
“I’m very proud of [Duane], he’s a fine pastor and preacher,” said twin brother Lt. James Hardy, a chaplain and 2013 ODS class 13070 graduate. He also entered enlisted service in 1988 as a disbursing clerk. “I am confident in the skills, characteristics, and traits Duane possesses to serve as a Naval officer and chaplain.”
James is currently attending the Advanced Education Program with an emphasis in Pastor Care and is assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Virginia.
Chaplains offer everything from faith leadership, to personal advice, to much-needed solace - all while living up to the guiding principles of the chaplain mission: providing religious ministry and support to those of your own faith; facilitating the religious requirements of those from all faiths; caring for all servicemembers and their families, including those subscribing to no specific faith; advising the command in ensuring the free exercise of religion.
James shared the unique attributes of a Navy chaplain.
“Navy chaplaincy enables me to fulfill the call that God has placed on my life… while serving my country, the community, and sea services. By fulfilling the call to God, I’m able to become all things to all men and for greater good,” he added.
Chaplain William Butts, OTCN command chaplain and a 2011 ODS class 11100 graduate, recalled how ODS shapes newly commissioned officers to lead.
“Chaplains wear two collar devices, the designator insignia on their left and the officer insignia on their right collar,” said Butts. “ODS prepares us how to become basic naval officers and what is expected to be a professional Navy chaplain that is reflected on that right collar.”
Since November, Duane and his Navy Operational Support Center has supported 63 funeral details.
“It’s a lasting impression whenever people see a Navy chaplain on a ship, chapel, church, funeral, and everywhere else we are called to,” Duane noted.
Duane is also pastor at the Seven Pines Baptist Church in Sandston, Virginia.
After graduating ODS, Duane will return to Navy Reserve Center Richmond in Virginia.
ODS provides staff corps officers and several restricted line designators with training necessary to prepare them to function in their role as newly commissioned Naval officers.
For more information about OTCN, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/NSTC/OTCN.