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SOI-West chaplain receives Whiterspoon Award

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — A Navy chaplain from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, was awarded the Witherspoon Award in a ceremony held at the annual National Bible Week Gala Dinner in New York, Nov. 19.


12/22/2009 By Sgt. Alvaro Aro, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Navy Lt. Gregorio Huerta, chaplain, MCB Camp Pendleton School of Infantry West, was selected as one of three 2009 Witherspoon Chaplains’ Award recipients.

Each year the award is given to the three branches of the U.S. military; Army, Air Force and Navy (Marines and Coast Guard are honored under the Navy branch.)

This prestigious award is given to one outstanding military chaplain from each branch of the Armed Services who not only has a deep personal commitment to Bible reading, but whose actions and day-to-day activities encourage others to read, study and apply the Bible’s principles to their lives.

“Positive thinking will make you successful,” said Huerta. “The message is for everybody, no matter what religious background they have.”

Huerta has lifted the spirits of countless Marines and sailors throughout his career by sharing stories and using examples from the Bible, ensuring to always use a positive approach.

After becoming a religious minister, Huerta decided to join the Navy and spent five years as a religious program specialist. Then, he applied to the officer’s program and became a Navy chaplain.

Although Huerta spends most of his time with Marines, he also provides counseling to sailors and family members.

“I’m more involved with the Marines from the school,” said Huerta. “But my duty is with everyone who needs me.”

The Witherspoon Award is given out in cooperation with each U.S. military branch’s Chief of Chaplain, and is named after the famous World War I and WWII chaplain, Maurice Witherspoon, who served as a trustee of the National Bible Association.

For more information on the Witherspoon Award, visit their Web site at www.nationalbible.org.